Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Center of Essex and Hudson Counties (RSVP), Sponsored by Jewish Family Service of MetroWest, matches volunteers with many local causes. RSVP is America’s largest volunteer network for people 55+. Volunteers choose where to serve, how much time to give, and whether they will share skills they already have or develop new ones.

With over 55 volunteer stations to choose from, RSVP can find a volunteer opportunity for anyone. Some examples of where volunteers may lend their expertise include but are not limited to: community gardening, helping victims of domestic violence through Rachel Coalition, addressing food insecurity, friendly visiting with isolated seniors and working with children.

Stephanie Grove, a Licensed Social Worker, is the Director of the RSVP Center of Essex and Hudson Counties. She prides herself on finding engaging volunteer opportunities for older adults in Essex and Hudson Counties together with the Hudson County Program Manager, Alexandra Nagy.

“The grant from the National and Community Services Corporation is a big win for JFS and a big win for the community,” said Reuben D. Rotman, Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest. “Through the RSVP Center of Essex and Hudson Counties, the agency can create a network of volunteers who are engaged in gratifying work while sharing valuable skills and expertise with the community.”

There are many benefits to volunteering through RSVP. Volunteers feel great about helping others in their neighborhoods. They participate in meaningful, challenging and interesting opportunities. They are exposed to new people and make new friends. RSVP provides any and all training necessary, which enables volunteers to learn new skills. Volunteers also receive free supplemental accident, liability and automobile insurance while traveling to and from assignments. Of course volunteering is highly correlated with greater health and happiness. Finally, RSVP hosts an annual recognition event each year. On April 17, RSVP hosted its event at Daughters of Israel in West Orange. In addition to a fine meal, volunteers had the opportunity to win raffle prizes, enjoyed live music, received goodie bags and were able to meet other volunteers.

Like other long-standing social service agencies, JFS MetroWest has its roots in mid-19th century volunteer-led efforts that were organized around caring for orphans and the elderly, and helping new immigrants to function within society through direct service. Since that time, JFS MetroWest has continued to use trained volunteers as an effective and efficient means of extending the reach of social work professionals. Recently, JFS has placed renewed emphasis on volunteerism and has established a new committee of the board to ensure a satisfying experience for volunteers and appropriate recognition.

For more information on how to get involved please contact Stephanie Grove at 973-637-1766 or [email protected]

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