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December and January

RSVP News & Opportunities

With Joy and Gratitude!

Service has the power to change lives! In a day and age where time is a precious commodity, it’s difficult to find the words to properly thank volunteers who give the gift of time and join the movement to transform communities and lives. RSVP volunteers are generous and spread a little joy and kindness to neighbors throughout the year and for this we are grateful. Thank you for your hard work, your teamwork, and your wisdom. May you remember your worth and importance this holiday season and be a joyful giver and receiver of kindness, love, warmth and good tidings.

Happiest of Holidays! 

Making an Impact

In the months of October and November RSVP had over fifty volunteers connected with several different opportunities above and beyond their “typical” volunteer activity. This is amazing! RSVP volunteers are making an impact in their communities every day and we are so thrilled to be able to be a part of the good work taking place. 

A quick list of how RSVP volunteers made an impact over the last two months: 

  1. Participated in and led VolunteerFest projects to make that day of service a success
  2. Packed 100 hospital kits for the American Red Cross 
  3. Stuffed and labeled a mailing of 2100 newsletters for Britepaths 
  4. Packed 3525 Students Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) kits for the Department of Emergency Management and Security (DEMS)  
  5. Created 200 Thanksgiving cards for Meals on Wheels clients 
  6. Beautified Providence Rec Center by painting planters, weeding and trimming bushes 

In 60 days, RSVP volunteers have done SO MUCH GOOD! As volunteers, celebrate this holiday season and New Year by reflecting back on the difference you have made and can continue to make … and invite some friends to join you! 

Hospital Kit Project

This project was only possible because of Mike Mixon. Mike is one of our RSVP volunteer leaders and spends his weeks volunteering with the American Red Cross. A few months ago, we asked our volunteer leaders to help connect us with projects our volunteers could do to support the organizations they serve, and Mike stepped up to the challenge. He coordinated the Hospital Kit project and funded half of the supplies, and RSVP is grateful.

RSVP is funded by a federal grant and our budget is very limited. This means that, while we have many hands willing to do good work, we do not have a lot of money for supplies to implement all the group service projects we wish we could. Because of Mike’s $450 donation, we were able to bring this project to fruition. With Mike’s generosity and many helping hands, 100 Hospital Kits were made full of welcome necessities for patients, in one short afternoon.

We are SO thankful for faithful volunteers that come and do the work, but we are also thankful for folks who are able to fund some of these projects that ultimately allow our volunteers to have work to do. Thank you, Mike. Together we make a difference!  

Keeping a Thanksgiving Mindset Throughout the Holidays

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, and research (and common sense) suggests that being grateful can actually lift our spirits. Why do random acts of kindness increase a person’s happiness? Because kindness can promote gratitude. When you are kind to others in need, that awareness then heightens the sense of your own good fortune.  

Continue to promote gratitude throughout the holiday season and consider the joy of spreading random acts of kindness and bringing light and positivity to the world, one gesture at a time. Call your local school district and offer to pay a child’s school lunch debt. When out and about, offer grace, kindness, and patience to retail workers and let them know they are doing a great job. You might even offer to let someone cut in front of you in the line at a store. In the community at large, bring baked goods to a senior center or attend a memorial service for a veteran.  

Volunteer Fairfax offers recommendations for how you can care for your community with the Annual Holiday Guide. Filled with timely suggestions, this holiday volunteer guide will get you started with some creative ideas for giving and volunteering.

Remember, “No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted,” (Aesop). Make it your goal to leave a positive impact on everyone you meet – whether it be a smile or a changed heart. 

Martin Luther King, Jr.,

National Day of Service

The Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday is an official day of service and celebrates the civil rights leader’s life and legacy. Volunteer Fairfax is excited again to host Give Together, a family-friendly volunteer event on Monday, January 15, 2024. Give Together seeks to raise the next generation of volunteers by introducing children (ages 5-12) to thoughtful, engaging, and age-appropriate service projects.

Volunteer Fairfax works with several local nonprofit partners across a range of mission areas including food insecurity, animal welfare, environmental sustainability and stewardship, and elder care to develop Give Together service projects. Participants have the unique opportunity to learn about nonprofits while completing small, actionable projects and serving in community with others. Families are supported by teen leaders who help run the projects and support several unique teen “step-up” projects. Youth earn passport stamps as they work through various projects and participate in a reflection on MLK, Jr.’s legacy of service.

Registration will open in early December and young people are encouraged to come with an adult to participate. As an RSVP volunteer, invite youngsters to the event to experience service in action. If you don’t have young family members and grandkids nearby, consider inviting a young neighbor and family to attend with you.

Stay tuned for additional details in upcoming Monday Memos. Together, let’s bridge the generations and engage with our community to create constructive action!

Introducing Patricia

From the desk of Patricia, RSVP's newest team member.

Some of you have already met me, and to those who still haven’t, nice to meet you! It will be a pleasure to be with you during our Welcome Wednesday events and other projects in which you may be involved.

I am from Brazil and have been in the States for a little over three years. I am an experienced communications specialist with a bachelor's degree in journalism. Back in Brazil, I worked in the nonprofit world, as well as with the healthcare and agriculture sectors. I was an editor for a local newspaper and volunteered at a radio station.

I grew up in a very small town, so I am the kind of person who really likes to meet and interact with new people, and my dream was always to explore the world and see how things are outside of my little bubble of less than five thousand inhabitants. When I was younger, I wanted to change the world. Now I know I can’t change the world, but all of us can change someone else’s world with an act of generosity.

Being part of RSVP and Volunteer Fairfax makes me happy because I know we are all working for a better community, and my job is also to show people the amazing job RSVP volunteers do, giving their time and using their skills to help others. You will frequently see me taking pictures during our events, so I can do my best to share and inspire other people to come with us and change someone else’s world. 

Thank you,  


Social Media and Online Interests Survey

Dear Volunteer, 

Keeping you informed about our latest news and sharing your work with potential new volunteers is important. For that, we encourage your participation in a short survey to understand how you use the internet and social media. Are you on any social media platforms, and if so, how do you use them? 

Your participation is very important to us and will help to define better ways to communicate, not just with you but with other people interested in being part of our mission. This survey takes less than 5 minutes. Help us know how we can improve and grow our volunteer community. 


ACS Spotlight

RSVP doesn’t stand alone at Volunteer Fairfax (VF); rather, it's one of several outstanding programs under the VF umbrella. In this article, we spotlight Alternative Community Service, or ACS.

When people are charged with an offense like driving under the influence, or reckless driving, they can sometimes use volunteer service in their community to lessen or avert potential jail time or a hefty penalty fee. Nonviolent pre-trial offenders are referred to ACS by the court, their attorney, or their probation officer because VF has the infrastructure to place them in appropriate volunteer settings with vetted organizations, work with the organization and client to address any problems, and report the completion of their hours to the referring agency. ACS is fee-based; clients pay a small amount for the service, which further invests them in their own success.   

ACS volunteers can be a terrific help to the nonprofits they serve:  He was a delight. Really a team player and a hard worker. I hope he considers volunteering with us again from time to time. (Oak Marr Park)

Volunteers appreciate the help they receive from ACS’s Program Coordinator, Penny Franklin: Thank you so much for helping me with this, I really appreciated it. Because of you I learned a lot and met such an amazing group of people. Once again, I will always be thankful to you for this. (Jasleen)

And, it can change lives: She is absolutely wonderful. One of the best volunteers I have ever managed, always taking initiative and incredibly hard working. As she came close to completing her hours, we offered her a position with us. It was a great decision, and she has fit right in. (Homeward Trails Animal Rescue)

Go, ACS!  

Elder Justice Corner

(Provided by AmeriCorps Seniors and Federal Trade Commission)

During Medicare's open enrollment period, there is an increased risk of scams targeting beneficiaries. Scammers impersonate Medicare agents or providers to obtain sensitive information.  

What You Should Know: 

  • Scammers often look official and pretend to be from or connected to Medicare or to a business you know. 
  • Scammers might provide personal info, but their goal is to steal money, Medicare details, or your identity. 
  • Never share your personal information with unsolicited contacts by phone, text, email, or in-person visits.  
  • The real Medicare does not ask for your Medicare, social security, or financial account numbers. 
  • Compare plans and make changes at medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. 
  • Use your State Health Insurance Assistance Program for counseling on Medicare. 

RSVP Information Sessions for NEW AmeriCorps Seniors Volunteers

Is there a friend, neighbor, or family member, age 55+, with whom we can share the impact that RSVP volunteers have on the community and encourage their participation with us?

Be sure to promote the next new volunteer information sessions scheduled as follows:  

Facebook  Instagram  Web

RSVP-Northern Virginia is sponsored by Volunteer Fairfax

and is a program of AmeriCorps Seniors.