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Senior Volunteers Contribute Many Hours
Leonardtown, MD - 3/28/2012
By Dick Myers
The members of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging rack up a lot of hours. In fact, the program’s volunteers donated 27,844 hours of service to local county agencies, community organizations and non-profit groups in 2011.
That volunteer effort, when converted to the amount of dollars saved, equates to $621,478. That amount was emblazoned on a ceremonial check that was presented to Commissioner President Francis “Jack” Russell (D) during the RSVP program’s annual volunteer recognition luncheon on March 20 at the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center. The check was them presented to the entire commissioner board during a ceremony at the commissioners’ March 27 meeting.
During the March 20 luncheon Gina Alexander was honored for 4,612 lifetime hours and Peggy Taylor for 4,372 hours. Both appeared at the presentation during the commissioners’ meeting and posed for pictures.
The RSVP program is part of the National Senior Service Corp., which is overseen nationally by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The purpose of the program is to connect older adult volunteers to meaningful community service work. Volunteers can choose where they serve, how they serve, when they serve and the type of impact they wish to have on the community. The seniors can choose to serve with a favored non-profit or public agency or have the program make the match for them.
According to the Department of Aging website, http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/aging/index.asp “All citizens benefit when people work together to resolve problems. When serving through RSVP, volunteers are civically involved and a vital part of improving quality of life and impacting change in communities. Studies also show that people who volunteer and serve are less likely to become ill and more likely to maintain a positive outlook on life.” Other benefits listed include meeting new friends and neighbors, invitation to the annual recognition event and a small free insurance policy.
The RSVP office is located at the Loffler Senior Center at Chancellors Run Regional Park. Norine Rowe is the RSVP program manager. The program can be reached at 301-737-5670, ext. 1653.
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