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Volunteers

Senior participation in community volunteer service rests on two overlapping and complementary objectives: 

    -    enhancing the health and personal development of participants
    -    alleviating pressing local problems

As, Dr George Vaillant of Harvard Medical school (2001) states “as one ages, remaining connected to life is crucial.” Active involvement in solving community problems can stimulate positive thinking and enhance self image.

RSVP volunteer service enhances the health and longevity of our rapidly growing demographic, older adults. The longer this group remains vital and independent, the less strain is exerted on MediCal and other aging support services across the spectrum of government and non-profit resources.

An experienced senior volunteer requires little training, a benefit to non-profit agencies that are struggling to accomplish their missions. These agencies depend on volunteers to maintain a consistent level of service as resources stagnate or decrease.

Many agencies cannot accomplish their missions without RSVP volunteers. Without volunteers, many nonprofits would have to curtail programs, libraries would be open fewer hours, student achievement would be lowered, and public safety would be reduced.

President Obama recognizes the value of volunteers in easing the problems of our communities. He demonstrated thatt when he signed the landmark Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. This act greatly expands national and community service opportunities aimed at strengthening our nation's communities. RSVP receives major funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal domestic volunteer agency.


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Volunteer Handbook RSVP Volunteer Handbook

The Stations we Serve
We have more than 300 stations currently being served from which you may choose. You will find two lists below for San Luis Obispo County and Northern Santa Barbara County. Please look over the lists, select one or more stations where you have interest and let us "Make a Match" for you.Call us at 544-8740 or 922-9931. We promise a rewarding volunteer experience!


San Luis Obispo - County Wide Stations


Northern Santa Barbara County Stations


Forms (Click the image to open the form)

RSVP Enrollment Form (Excel form you can fill in online, print, sign & fax)

Online Enrollment RSVP Enrollment Form (PDF form you can fill in by hand, print, sign & fax)

RSVP Generic Timesheet.doc

Frequently-Asked Questions

What is RSVP?
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, a program of Senior Volunteer Services, matches the interests of persons age 55 and older with rewarding part time volunteer opportunities for community service at hospitals and local non-profit organizations or government agencies.  San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties RSVP volunteers perform high impact service with County/City Police, Senior Centers, Harvest Bag/Food Banks, Museums/Parks, Libraries, Senior Nutrition Program, Amtrak/Airport, Caring Callers, and health care facilities.

Who can enroll with RSVP?
Persons age 55 and older, who are interested in contributing their time and skills to citizens of their community, can be an RSVP volunteer.  There are no requirements for education, income or experience.  RSVP staff assists volunteers to find fulfilling volunteer assignments, match interests and abilities to local needs, or learn new skills.

When did RSVP begin?
RSVP began in San Luis Obispo County in 1972.  RSVP is a federally funded nonprofit program, receiving additional matching funds from the City and County of San Luis Obispo, and other local communities.

What does it cost?
There is no enrollment fee, no dues, to become an RSVP volunteer.

How much time does RSVP take?
Volunteer schedules and assignments can be flexible to meet the needs of the volunteer and the agency.  There are no mandatory meetings of RSVP itself.

What are the Insurance benefits?
Volunteers on RSVP assignments are protected with:
$1 million personal liability
$25K supplemental personal accident, and
$500K excess auto liability and property damage.

Is mileage reimbursed?
Volunteers in need may request some reimbursement for transportation expenses related to an RSVP volunteer assignment.

Any other benefits?
All active, enrolled volunteers are recognized for their volunteer service at a special event held at least once each year.  Tours are organized at reduced rates for those who want to participate.  A pharmacy prescription discount card is issued.  The most important benefit of all is the difference RSVP volunteers make in the community by contributing their knowledge and skills.

Why are hours reported?
RSVP volunteers must maintain enrollment to validate the insurance benefits.  The hours are also important to let Congress and state legislators know the value and type of contributions from San Luis Obispo County seniors.