Pender AmeriCorps Seniors seeks volunteers for its RSVP programs.
A few weeks into her new position as the executive director of Pender AmeriCorps Seniors, Cathy Guidry already had plans to match more volunteers with needs across Pender County. Guidry, a longtime volunteer and Burgaw resident, became the new director in early February.
“Volunteering helps you to meet people who have like interests and helps you to explore what interests you might have,” Guidry says.
AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) engages persons 55 and older in volunteer services to meet critical community goals and human and social needs while providing a high-quality experience for volunteers. Studies show that 84% of volunteers report improvements in health and wellbeing after just one year of service.
Locally, Pender AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP is sponsored by Pender Adult Services (PAS) with services provided across Pender County through PAS Senior Centers in Burgaw and Hampstead.
“My volunteer experiences help me understand the importance that volunteering has not only for an organization but also for the volunteer’s life,” Guidry says.
First on Guidry’s list was creating a recruitment video to attract volunteers willing to tend to the needs of their neighbors. The video (found here) explores the social needs across the county and offers information about the various programs seeking volunteers. It also volunteers’ perspectives about their experiences.
“There is a huge need for compassion/socialization care for adults who aren’t able to live in their homes, but don’t fall into programs that are covered by Medicaid or other grant programs,” Guidry says. “One my initiatives will be recruitment of volunteers specifically looking at diversity. It is important that our volunteers mirror the population of Pender County — all races, all religions, LGBTQ+ populations, disabled populations.”
Guidry hopes the video will recruit new volunteers and help everyone see that where there is a need volunteers can fulfill, no matter where it is in the county. She hopes to increase the amount of volunteers RSVP has on the western side of the county as well.
Approximately 188 volunteers served 1,874.75 hours in December 2021 and January 2022 combined.
“They do everything — manage our social media and that of Pender Adult Services and the front desk at Topsail Pender Adult Services, tutor students in reading and math, work at the For Our Furry Friends Thrift Store, sit with and call homebound seniors, deliver Meals on Wheels, make greeting cards for different projects in the county, help at food banks and other things throughout the county.”
Can you help?
How to Volunteer for AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP in Pender County
To volunteer, call the office and ask for Executive Director Cathy Guidry or Program Assistant Kathy Becker. The number is (910) 259-9119 extension 329.
The commitment of the volunteers depends on both their availability and the need of the volunteer stations. Some programs seek volunteers on certain days at certain times; in others, volunteers can schedule the times they would like to come in to help.
For additional information:
click this link to visit the website