For more than 43 years The Nevada Rural Counties Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has been serving the rural counties of Nevada with community volunteer opportunities. In 1973 RSVP was established as a self-sponsored non-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation, and began the first RSVP rural program as a satellite of Washoe County RSVP. In 1974 – a 5 Rural Counties RSVP program was launched by a grant to the Carson River Basin Council of Governments as sponsor; and by 1988 – a 15 Rural Counties RSVP grant was given by ACTION to the City of Carson City as sponsor. In 1993, the sponsorship for the 15 Nevada Rural Counties under a non-profit agency, Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program, Inc. was awarded by ACTION. This same year, the Older American Volunteer Program (OVAP) was re-authorized as National Senior Volunteer Corps by the National and Community Trust Act.
RSVP is currently a part of the national Senior Corps funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency in Washington D.C.
For more than four decades, RSVP has successfully secured additional funding through the solicitation of individual, corporate and foundation support and grants to grow the base of philanthropic support and increase public awareness of RSVP and its mission – which has enabled thousands of seniors to remain at home and out of costly institutions. The result has been millions of dollars in savings to taxpayers for long-term care, and it enabled these seniors to live out their lives with dignity in their own homes where they are the happiest and healthiest and still a part of their community.
Its early roots which began in service to the state’s five rural counties, has grown – with strong program and financial management to include 15 of the 17 counties in Nevada: Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing, Storey, Washoe and White Pine. The total population of these rural counties is 327,830, of which 31% are seniors 55 years of age and older, 26% of whom are living under the published federal poverty guidelines according to the Nevada State Demographers Office.
RSVP’s mission is to help frail, homebound, and low-income seniors remain independent by providing high quality programs which allow them to stay in their homes with dignity. Additionally, RSVP coordinates a volunteer network of seniors who use their skills and talents to provide support to community agencies and address community needs through service.
Last year over 1,000 RSVP volunteers in rural Nevada provided more than 94,000 hours of volunteer service to more than 9,200 clients including 100 public and non-profit community agencies, and Nevada’s elderly population. RSVP has played a vital, social services leadership role in the communities we serve. RSVP continues to expand its role to assist not only low-income and homebound seniors and Veterans in our service areas, but serving all persons in need to enhance the quality of life for all citizens.