Friends RSVP provides over 500 volunteers to over 100 non-profit and public organizations to help them serve their clients and meet their missions. RSVP volunteers contribute more than 64,000 hours each year to help meet community needs in Merrimack, Rockingham, Belknap, and Strafford Counties.
RSVP volunteers are engaged in more than 150 different assignments, based upon their own interests, talents and time availability. Some examples of volunteer assignments are listed below.
- Serve as tutors and mentors to children and youth;
- Assist with public safety, disaster preparedness and blood drives;
- Organize or manage local thrift shops and food banks that make it easier for struggling individuals and families to make ends meet;
- Organize and serve thousands of meals each year through Meals-on-Wheels and congregate meal settings;
- Provide clerical and other office assistance to non-profit organizations;
- Provide free tax preparation for low-income seniors and assist with starting small businesses;
- Act as museum docents and cultural event ushers;
- Visit veterans homes and visit hospices to ease the pain and loneliness at the end of life;
- Collecting and donating children's clothes to those in need;
- Making blankets and caps for infants in poverty;
- Supporting the Purple Cap Project to teach new mothers about the “period of purple crying,” which is the most common period of infant shaking; and
- Making military helmet caps for soldiers and sailors, and holiday gifts for service men and women
A new initiative that the RSVP Program is focusing on is our Food Insecurity Project . Our volunteers work with partnering agencies to support community gardens and gleaning programs during our state's short growing season. Food goes to local pantries. Needy families receive fresh, nutritious food to improve their health without added cost. RSVP volunteers provide staffing of soup kitchens and emergency meal offerings for needy families in the Friends RSVP service area. RSVP volunteers provide staffing to food pantries in the collection, packaging, and distribution of food and other needed items to needy families throughout the coverage area of the individual pantries.
Many more opportunities are available, and new ones can be created to meet new volunteer or community needs. If you have a particular interest or skill you'd like to share, we'll find an organization that needs you!
RSVP ALSO RUNS SIGNATURE PROGRAMS, INCLUDING:
Caregivers Program provides door-through-door transportation for medical appointments and basic needs, including staying with them to assist them, isolation-reducing companionship and telephone reassurance. We use screened volunteer drivers, and rides are free of charge to clients. Clients must be age 60+ and be unable to access other services. Volunteers are either matched one-to-one with clients who need companionship as well as rides, or they are part of a medical transportation drivers pool. If you are interesting in being a volunteer caregiver, check out the job description.
Bone Builders is a free senior strength training and balance exercise program. It can prevent and reverse osteoporosis and improves muscle strength, balance and bone density, along with helping with energy and general health. Classes are taught by certified volunteer leaders at over 20 locations throughout Merrimack, Rockingham, and Belknap counties. For a list of times and locations, click here.
If you are interested in being a volunteer Caregiver or want to learn more about Bone Builders session leaders, check out these job descriptions.
Senior volunteers in the RSVP Program not only help those in need, they gain significant benefits themselves. RSVP volunteers get reconnected in their communities through meaningful activities that renew a sense of purpose, increase physical and mental activity, and promote better health and prolonged independence. Volunteers can give as much or as little as they wish. Even one or two hours a month is appreciated. You can make a big difference in someone’s life!
For more information or to volunteer in Merrimack and Belknap Counties, please call 1-800-536-1193 ext. 7608. For more information or to volunteer in Rockingham and Strafford Counties, call 1-800-536-1193 ext. 7614. Thank you!
RSVP Program Sponsor
Friends of RSVP
Grant Support Provided By
Samuel P. Hunt Foundation
Government Support Provided by
Merrimack County Rockingham County
RSVP is a Senior Corps Program of the
Corporation for National and Community Service