For more than 30 years, the Senior Corps has linked over 450,000 older Americans (ages 55 and older) to volunteer opportunities in their communities. Its three main programs: the Foster Grandparent Program, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Senior Companion Program, are a vehicle for interested older Americans to find challenging, rewarding, and significant service right in their own backyards.

Foster Grandparents Program volunteers devote their service to children with special or exceptional needs. Across the country, Foster Grandparents, who are 60 years of age or older, are offering emotional support to child victims of abuse and neglect, tutoring children who lag behind in reading, mentoring troubled teenagers and young mothers, and caring for premature infants and children with physical disabilities and severe illnesses. Foster Grandparents:

  • Serve children directly: one-on-one, hands-on service
  • Serve 20 hours a week - usually 4 hours a day Monday through Friday
  • Receive modest tax free stipends to offset the cost of volunteering, reimbursement for transportation and some meals during service
  • Receive pre-service and monthly training sessions an annual physical

Senior Companions reach out to adults, who need extra assistance to live independently in their own homes or communities. Senior Companions are 60 years of age or older and assist their adult clients with in basic but essential ways: they provide companionship and friendship to isolated frail senior, assist with simple chores, provide transportation, and add richness to their clients' lives. Senior Companions serve frail older adults and their caregivers, adults with disabilities, and those with terminal illnesses. Senior Companions:

  • Serve adult clients directly: one-on-one, hands-on service
  • Serve 20 hours a week - usually 4 hours a day Monday through Friday
  • Receive modest tax free stipends to offset the cost of volunteering
  • Receive reimbursement for transportation, some meals during service, an annual physical and accident and liability insurance while on duty

Retired and Senior Volunteers (RSVP) volunteers, age 55 years of age or older, provide hundreds of community services. They tutor children in reading and math, help to build houses, help get children immunized, model parenting skills to teen parents, participate in neighborhood watch programs, plan community gardens, deliver meals, offer disaster relief to victims of natural disasters, and help community organizations operate more efficiently. RSVP matches the personal interests and skills of older Americans with opportunities to help solve community problems. RSVP volunteers:

  • Choose to serve from a few to over 40 hours a week
  • Members receive supplemental insurance while on duty and on-the-job training.
  • Receive on-the job training and pre-service orientation

For information contact the Corporation for National Service - Missouri Program Office, 801 Walnut St., Suite 504, Kansas City, MO 64106-2009, phone 816 374-6300, or visit the Senior Corps website at www.seniorcorps.org