Shirley J. Johnson, assistant director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), spoke at the LaGrange County AARP Chapter 3829 meeting on June 7. RSVP is a service of Catholic Charities, and a member agency of the United Way in DeKalb County and the United Fund of LaGrange County.
Johnson explained that the volunteer center offers community volunteers opportunities to serve local agencies and become involved in activities that benefit the local community. RSVP assists in matching volunteer skills, wisdom, and talents with community needs.
Last year 432 senior and 76 younger volunteers provided over 131,268 hours of community service, valued at over $2,463,900.
Some of RSVP’s most popular projects include: distributing over 2,500 coats, hats, mittens and scarves; expanding their Pack-a-Backpack program to include both DeKalb and Noble counties and distributing over 1,500 backpacks filled with school supplies to needy children; lazy eye screenings and child car seat inspections; cancer quilts for Camp Watcha Wanna Do summer camp at Blackman Lake for children suffering from cancer in LaGrange County; distributing items for Relay for Life, including walker bags, lap robes, cancer caps and mastectomy pillows; leading the agency for SAFE KIDS in DeKalb, Noble and Steuben counties, and assisting in child safety programs like bicycle safety and pedestrian safety for children; as well as veterans helping veterans.
RSVP also provided emergency plan forms to be filled out by those at the meeting, that help outline a simple, thoughtful plan for what a family should do in an emergency. The form also provided a list of the six emergency basics to store in a home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools, and emergency and special items.
Johnson announced the RSVP 32nd Annual Quilt Show contest “Shades of Black and White” would be held on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 500 East 7th St. in Auburn, Ind. Quilt entries for the contest are due by Friday, Oct. 11.
Anyone needing more information or would like to become a volunteer should contact the RSVP Volunteer Center at 260-925-0917.
All seniors are welcome to attend AARP meetings. The LaGrange County Chapter #3829 meets at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 797 N. Detroit St., on the first Friday of every month except July, which has no meeting.