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Three Volunteers, Three Stories of Service

From RSVP Connections; Written by Carrie Smith on 2011-11-28
Three Volunteers, Three Stories of Service

To celebrate the second annual “Senior Corps Week” on September 19th – September 23th, Erie County RSVP invited our volunteers to a challenge!

Senior Corps Week is hosted by our federal funding agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service, to shine a spotlight on the 3 national senior volunteer programs: the Foster Grandparent Program, the Senior Companion Program, and RSVP!

Here’s the Erie County Senior Corps Challenge:

We challenged our talented and dedicated volunteer to try multiple, new, one-time volunteer opportunities such as the Olmsted Party for the Parks, the Reinstein Woods Fall Festival, and many more. We extended the challenge through the months of September and October to allow volunteers to choose from a wide range of opportunities to fit their schedule and interests.

Second, we asked our volunteers to submit a story based on all of...(Read More)

RSVP Volunteers Receive Presidential Recognition

From RSVP Connections; Written by Patricia Dowling on 2011-11-28
RSVP Volunteers Receive Presidential Recognition

Erie County RSVP recognized sixteen exceptional volunteers who earned the highest level of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2011. The presentation was held on Friday, October 21 at the Statler Erie Room of Erie Community College North Campus. The awards were presented by Erie County Executive Chris Collins, Brenda Ward, Commissioner of the Erie County Dept. of Senior Services and Pat Dowling, RSVP Director.

These 16 volunteers received the "Call to Service" Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals who have contributed at least 4,000 hours of volunteer service within their lifetime --- the equivalent of two years of service.

The Presidential Service Award was created by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to recognize the invaluable time, talent and dedication an individual has volunteered to serve their country and community. Recipients...(Read More)

Volunteering for the Veterans

From RSVP Connections; Written by Mary Cameron on 2011-11-22
Volunteering for the Veterans

After losing loved ones in Vietnam, I have dedicated the past 15 years to helping veterans. I would do anything for our veterans, because we would not have the freedoms we enjoy if not for their many sacrifices.

There are thousands of veterans in Erie County, and many are unaware of benefits and services that they may be eligible for. One of my primary interests is to help veterans who are struggling – whether because of financial difficulties, health/emotional issues, unemployment, homelessness or other problems --- to find out what assistance is available.

As an RSVP volunteer, I assist at the Erie County Dept. of Veterans Services 4 days per week, 7 – 9 hours per day. I help with reception, reporting, making appointments, entering information regarding burial of deceased veterans, coordinating the events calendar, and much more.

In addition, I am very active in veterans’...(Read More)

Adopting a Spot of Beauty

From RSVP Connections; Written by Jean Serusa on 2011-11-22
Adopting a Spot of Beauty

I had just read about the Senior Corps Week Challenge and the "prize turkey" when my daughter announced to me that "You can do Thanksgiving, and I'll do Christmas this year."
The thought of me cooking a turkey in my new gas oven after creating a "very well done" meatloaf was scary, but it was worth it to share a story to be considered a contender!

My volunteer experience this fall was prompted by a "Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper" call for helpers to clean up the water shorelines of which there are MANY in Erie and Niagara County. Also prompted by an AARP call for service, I figured "Yes, everyone has talents and can help!"

To participate and make the environment a better place seemed only natural for me, having moved here from the Finger Lakes area.
For four years, I had my own private "Shoreline" to keep up, all 86 feet of it, on Conesus Lake. I spent many evenings enjoying the...(Read More)

Sharing the Joy of Gardening at Hospice

From RSVP Connections; Written by Carol-jo Pope on 2011-11-21
Sharing the Joy of Gardening at Hospice

Working at Hospice Palliative Care on Como Park Blvd. has been a wonderful experience for the members of a new WNY Garden club: South Towns Gardeners. Through an email from Erie County RSVP, we learned about this wonderful community garden opportunity. You can imagine our joy when we were offered the Courtyard garden by Lisa Nestico, the head of volunteer program.

Working in the garden has given each of our members a heartwarming experience. As a new group, the garden has brought us together so that now we work as a Band of Sisters. The rewards of working in the garden are many as each time one or some of us are present, there is always a staffer or another volunteer who openly loves our being there. We have met so many of the dedicated people who work behind the scenes in very much shared office conditions and who tell us time after time what a wonderful place the courtyard garden has...(Read More)

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