WINDHAM — Town Administrator David Sullivan recently met with a small contingent of Friends RSVP volunteers at the Windham Senior Center to recognize the contributions of RSVP and other national service programs.
RSVP is a Senior Corps Program that enrolls volunteers to meet significant needs. In the Windham area, about 130 volunteers are mobilized throughout the year to get things done that wouldn’t otherwise get done.
They deliver and serve Meals on Wheels, operate senior centers, like the Windham Senior Center, which is run entirely by volunteers, and many other services. The Windham Senior Center manager is a volunteer; all programs and maintenance are provided by volunteers.
Friends RSVP volunteers also run food pantries, tutor children, assist with blood drives, drive homebound individuals, prepare taxes, teach budgeting, teach exercise classes, help people access health and dental care, assist at homeless shelters, libraries, nursing homes, legal aide programs, soup kitchens and in many other areas of need.
“The volunteers in our community are essential to the success of the community’s mission,” Sullivan said.
Last year, 324 Friends RSVP volunteers provided 49,900 hours of service in Rockingham County, including 14,000 hours by 116 volunteers in Windham and surrounding towns.
Other Senior Corps programs (part of the Corporation for National and Community Service) that have been active in New Hampshire for almost 50 years are: The Foster Grandparent Program, that engages members to tutor and mentor children in 90 New Hampshire schools and other youth service organizations, providing about 3,500 children with more than 140,000 hours of targeted interventions every year. The Foster Grandparent Program will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015.
The Senior Companion Program provides transportation, non-medical assistance and companionship to elderly and disabled individuals to enable them to remain living in their own homes. The Senior Companion Program is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.