What is Helping Hands RSVP? The Senior Corps Office at ACCA received a federal grant to operate a program for volunteers age fifty-five and up. The Helping Hands RSVP program focuses on services that allow homebound or disabled adults to remain living independently by providing volunteer transportation, companionship, and access to healthy food.
Who can lend a Helping Hand? Anyone age fifty-five and up living in ACCA’s 12 county service area (Athens-Clarke, Barrow, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, and Walton). To ensure the safety of our clients, all volunteers must agree to and pass a background check.
What volunteer opportunities are available through Helping Hands RSVP? Helping Hands will allow you to Get Involved, Give Back and Make an Impact in three specific areas of the greatest need in Athens.
Volunteer Transportation: Volunteer Drivers use their personal vehicles to help seniors get to life sustaining and life enriching destinations. Volunteer Drivers set their own schedule based on availability, and are asked to commit to at least one round trip per month.
The Buddy Program – Volunteers are matched with seniors, we call them “Buddies”, based on shared interests for regular visits, telephone reassurance, and recreation. Volunteers allow their Buddy to participate in a favorite activity such as reading, board games, or gardening, that may have become more difficult with age.
Food Insecurity - Working with ACCA and our partners, volunteers help get meals, groceries and assistance to seniors in the community at risk for hunger. Volunteers may help distribute groceries with the Mobile Food Pantry, deliver meals with our Meals on Wheels program, share meals with a homebound senior through Lunch Buddies, drive a supplemental food route with Take Out Tuesday, or help out in ACCA’s community gardens.
Why Helping Hands RSVP? The benefits of being a Helping Hands volunteer include personalized placement and ongoing support from the Senior Corps staff, supplemental insurance while volunteering, high quality training, and mileage reimbursement for Giving a Ride volunteers.
In addition to these tangible benefits there are numerous intangible rewards to getting involved, giving back and making an impact in the lives of others. Research has found that volunteering provides older adults with improved physical and mental health and greater life satisfaction. To put it another way, giving back makes you feel good!
Becoming a Helping Hands RSVP Volunteer – The first step toward becoming a Helping Hands Volunteer is to submit the appropriate paperwork. All paperwork is available in hard copy form at ACCA or is available HERE
Upon receipt of these items and following a satisfactory Background Check, Helping Hands staff will review your submitted information. Once approved, we will contact you and set up a time for volunteer orientation and any other additional trainings required for the volunteer job.
RSVP is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service and is sponsored locally by the Athens Community Council on Aging. RSVP was established in 1971 and is America’s largest volunteer network for adults age 55 and over, with over 300,000 volunteers serving nationwide.