Helping America's most vulnerable™

RSVP — Twin Cities Metro

RSVP is a national Senior Corps program sponsored locally by Volunteers of America of Minnesota. We match people age 55 and over with volunteer opportunities to meet their individual skills, interests, schedule and geographic availability. Our volunteers see their involvement as an investment in themselves, the future of their community, and the causes they feel passionate about. All RSVP volunteers receive free supplemental insurance and other benefits.

There is a broad range of areas where you can make a difference, including:

  • Independence and well-being for seniors and people with disabilities
  • Literacy and education
  • Employment and job skills
  • Veterans and military
  • Families
  • Housing
  • Hunger

We can provide you with the tools, resources and connections you need to make an investment in yourself and your community — and put your passion to work!

To explore your options, please contact:

West Metro: 612-704-6114, mary.quirk@voamn.org
East Metro: 612-704-6116, jkoschak@voamn.org

Current opportunities



Veterans and Military Families

The stress of multiple deployments, injuries, illness, unemployment, and aging affects the wellness of many veterans and their families.

Assist local organizations that deliver vital services by:

  • Helping with transportation, chores, and errands
  • Being a friendly visitor
  • Assembling care packages for active military personnel

Literacy and Education

In school:

AARP Experience Corps Literacy Tutors: volunteer as an in-classroom literacy tutor! Volunteers are placed in Kindergarten through Grade 3 classrooms in 13 schools across Minneapolis and St. Paul to work one-on-one with students who are not yet reading at grade-level. Tutors help to close the achievement gap by providing literacy support and serving as another caring adult students see at school. Stipends available for an 8-10 hour/week commitment through the school year. For more information, contact Erin Simon, Volunteer Coordinator at 612-708-5933 or experiencecorps@voamn.org

After school:

Every Minnesota youth has an average of 2,000 hours of discretionary non-school time in a given year — roughly equivalent to a full-time job. Participation in after-school programs can reduce initiating drug use by nearly 46% while reducing the likelihood of skipping school by half, with the long-term benefits of improved school performance, reduced crime and welfare costs, and increased wages.

Volunteers are needed for:

  • Tutoring elementary and middle school age youth in after-school programs
  • Providing mentoring support and leadership development skills
  • Reading and mentoring by phone with Telefriends

Employment and Job Skills

Low-income parents, dislocated workers, veterans, refugees, immigrants, and ex-offenders are only a few of those seeking assistance.

Volunteers are needed for:

  • Tutoring English Language Learners and GED seekers
  • Supporting job training and job placement programs

Housing

The number of homeless persons in Minnesota continues to increase—up 25% generally and up 26% for youth. Whether becoming homeless after losing a job, or losing a house to foreclosure or being evicted from rental housing, the effects can be devastating.

You can help by:

  • Assisting families to locate and secure affordable housing
  • Supporting transitional housing programs
  • Building and rehabbing homes

Hunger

One in ten Minnesotans runs out of resources before the end of every month, missing a meal every other day. From hungry expectant mothers who deliver low birth-weight babies to hungry adults who become diabetic, hunger costs Minnesota at least $1.2 billion in direct and indirect healthcare and education expenses. We can connect you with an organization where you can become part of the solution.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Assisting food shelves and outreach programs in packaging and distributing food

Independence and Wellbeing for Seniors and People with Disabilities

Nearly one of every six Minnesotans, and 40% of people 65 and over has a disability. This can affect the ability to go out alone, care for oneself, handle basic physical activities, and retain employment.

You can help someone maintain independence by:

  • Being a friendly visitor
  • Driving people to doctor appointments and errands
  • Delivering meals to home-bound people
  • Taking grocery orders or shopping for those who can't get out
  • Shoveling, raking or helping with chores
  • Providing light carpentry skills to make minor home safety/accessibility modifications

Our RSVP Special Projects

  • CarFit increases older driver safety through friendly, fun, and educational public events that provide a quick, comprehensive check of how well drivers and their vehicles' safety features work together. People drive their vehicles to a CarFit event and a trained volunteer goes over a 12-point checklist for things like airbag and safety belt adjustment. The entire process takes about 20 minutes. You can help by training as a CarFit technician (you choose how many & which events you attend).
  • Bone Builders is a free exercise program which uses weight and balance training to protect against fractures caused by osteoporosis. Bone Builders exercise classes are in senior housing facilities, churches, and community centers throughout the counties we serve. You can help by training to lead or co-lead a class (or by being a substitute leader).
  • Veterans' Story Collection uses volunteer visitors who meet with war-time veterans and gather their stories over the visits. This project honors, records, and shares stories that may otherwise be lost, and helps provide dignity to veterans by revealing info that may not be known by family and caregivers. Completed stories will go to the Library of Congress. You can help by becoming a story-gatherer.
  • The Pretty Good Players are people 55 to 80+ who use true stories, original skits, and humor to address a variety of issues related to aging —with presentations that both entertain and challenge audiences. You can help by performing, writing, directing, or doing promotion, scheduling, audio, photography.
  • The RSVP Ambassador Program uses enterprising volunteers who create their own unique recruitment strategies, with the support of RSVP materials and staff. Outreach may include tabling, presenting, phone calls, social media, etc. You can help by being trained as an RSVP Ambassador (you choose how often & which outreach you do).

One-time volunteer opportunities

If you enjoy variety and flexibility, one-time events offer an opportunity to volunteer as your schedule permits, for the causes and events you choose. This is a great opportunity to get together for a good cause and meet new people. Information on one-time special event volunteer opportunities is sent out by email each month. We'll be happy to add to you to our distribution list — contact 612-704-6115 or rachel.laurie@voamn.org


RSVP member benefits



Personalized Assistance

RSVP staff will work with you to identify a volunteer opportunity that will meet your individual needs. We will match your skills, interests, schedule and geographic availability with a volunteer position that is right for you. We will continue to be available to provide ongoing information and support as your volunteer needs evolve.

Supplemental Insurance

As an RSVP member, you will be covered by supplemental insurance when you volunteer. In the unfortunate event that something happens to you while volunteering, or traveling to or from your volunteer position, the insurance will help cover deductibles and out of pocket expenses related to the accident.

Be Counted As Part Of A National Movement

Mature adults 55 years and older are giving thousands of hours daily to positively impact the communities they live in. Your hours will be counted with those of your peers to demonstrate to policy makers and the community the impact of senior volunteerism on a local and national level. Help send the message that mature adults are making meaningful contributions, solving problems and bringing our communities together.

Semi-Annual Newsletter

Twice yearly the RSVP newsletter will inform you about issues affecting volunteers and provide updates on how volunteers age 55 and over are impacting their communities.

Annual Recognition Event

RSVP gathers once a year to celebrate your accomplishments. These events are a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow volunteers and offer RSVP staff an opportunity to honor you and the work that you do.

Travel Reimbursement

RSVP can reimburse a portion of your volunteer related out-of-pocket transportation expense.

Health Benefits Of Volunteering

  • Increase in self-esteem
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Protection against social isolation
  • Reduction in the impact of stress
  • Strengthening of the immune system

A 1999 study by the University of Michigan identified health benefits to individuals who volunteered just one hour per week. The study demonstrates that "people live longer because they volunteer, rather than people volunteer because they're healthier and hence more likely to live longer."


Information for current members



Travel Reimbursement

RSVP can provide a limited amount of travel reimbursement to help defray the costs of transportation to and from a volunteer site. Reimbursement can only be provided to volunteers who are current members, for costs incurred traveling to and from a volunteer site that has a partnership with RSVP. We are not able to pay for parking.

Travel Reimbursement is calculated and paid quarterly using a method that depletes the allocated funds for the quarter. It is not possible to reimburse requests received after the due date. All requests must be submitted by the 10th of the following month. For example, forms for June's volunteer activity are due not later than July 10th.

You must fill out the hours report and travel reimbursement request form in addition to any other forms your station uses. You and your station supervisor must also sign the form. Forms without signatures cannot be processed. Fill out a separate report form for each volunteer station.

If you do not want travel reimbursement, do not include mileage or bus fare on any forms you submit to your station supervisor or to RSVP.

Car

Drivers may claim up to 100 miles per month. Married couples, or others, who drive together should not both request reimbursement for the same mileage. The mileage reimbursement rate is calculated each quarter by dividing the quarter's budgeted funds by the number of eligible miles submitted for reimbursement.

Bus or Metro Mobility

For bus fare or Metro Mobility reimbursement, volunteers can claim up to $20 per month.

Signing in and out count!

Please sign in and out at your volunteer site each time that you volunteer. Some sites use their own record-keeping systems to track hours, while others use RSVP timesheets.

If you want to remain an active RSVP volunteer, the only way the RSVP office can tell you are active is by receiving your hours.
Insurance is paid when accidents occur during travel time to and from the volunteer site and during the volunteer assignment. In order to prove the accident occurred when the individual was volunteering, the volunteer time must be recorded.

RSVP receives federal and state funding. Therefore, we must submit a detailed report of RSVP volunteer involvement to Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Minnesota Board on Aging. The only way our legislators and communities know the value of the program they are supporting is by the accurate information we provide.

In most cases, the station supervisor will forward the monthly hours reports and any reimbursement requests to the RSVP office.
Hours should be submitted to the RSVP office by the 10th day of the month after the volunteer served. For instance, June hours should be submitted by July 10th. Hours can still be accepted after the due date, reimbursement requests cannot.

For more information, contact Rachel Laurie
Phone: 612-704-6115
rachel.laurie@voamn.org