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August and September

RSVP News & Opportunities

“Thank You for Being a Friend” 

If we could serenade you with this classic song by Andrew Gold, we would! Thank you, thank you, to our wonderful volunteers! To those who are serving faithfully with a volunteer station, those who join us for Welcome Wednesday events, and those who participate in our group service projects out in the community, we would not be here without you and your faithful service.   

In June, nine of our volunteers jumped in to support the English Empowerment Center during their volunteer recognition ceremony. Supporting our partner organizations by allowing their volunteers to take a night off to be recognized is one way that we assist with our Volunteer Stations, and you all made this happen! 

In July, eight volunteers worked on sensory bins for CRi in an effort to help them reach their goal of having a sensory bin for each of their clients. Fifteen volunteers gathered at our Welcome Wednesday to pack care packages for PRS, Inc. to distribute to their front-line workers. And, ten volunteers have committed to helping United Community distribute food on Saturday, July 29! 

You all are making a difference every day in your communities, and we are honored to be a part of this process. Keep your eyes open for upcoming Monday Memos with project dates and details for August and September!  

A Balanced Diet is a Cookie in

Both Hands!  

Who says you have to wait for the holiday season to start swapping cookies? Grab your buddies, bake some cookies, and join us for our summer cookie exchange! This is an opportunity for you to invite friends or family members who may be interested in joining the ranks of RSVP to see what we are all about.

We will have an informal presentation explaining the RSVP program, fellowship with each other, and, of course, cookies! This event will take place during our Welcome Wednesday time on August 16 from 1-3 p.m.  

If you need some summer cookie inspiration, check out this link!  

Can We Count on You?   

Some of you may remember the Providence Rec Center beautification project we did in May of this year. Well, our friends at Fairfax County Park Authority are asking for our help again! 

National Public Lands Day is on Saturday, September 23. A group of RSVP volunteers is needed at Providence Rec Center, and if response is good, an additional group will be coordinated for a project at Cub Run Rec Center as well.

We need a commitment of at least ten volunteers at each project to be successful. Projects would take place in the morning for 2-3 hours.

Please email Karen at [email protected] by August 1 to indicate your interest in serving on National Public Lands Day, and please specify which location you are able to serve.  

Northern Virginia Senior Olympics:

To compete or not compete … or to volunteer!  

Registration for the 2023 Northern Virginia Senior Olympics has opened online at www.nvso.us. Check out Volunteers - NVSO to volunteer!  

Over 70 events from track and field to croquet and bocce, to swimming and pickleball are on the two-week schedule beginning Saturday, September 9 and closing Sunday, September 24. “There are also more than 10 indoor events such as ten-pin bowling, canasta, crossword puzzles, Mexican train dominoes and more.,” said Herb Levitan, NVSO chair. 

“We encourage folks 50 years of age and older who live in one of our sponsoring jurisdictions to check out the full list of events on our website,” said Levitan. “There are also great photos, rules for each event, results from last year and the place to register to participate in this year’s events."

After each event, gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded. Most events are played in five- or ten-year age groups and by gender. The registration fee is $20 for unlimited events. There are five events that require an additional fee: ten-pin bowling, disc golf, cycling, 9-hole 3-par golf, and orienteering. Members of the general public are welcome to observe those participating. For more information, email, [email protected]

VolunteerFest 2023 needs YOU

VolunteerFest, a Volunteer Fairfax signature event, brings Fairfax County residents of all ages together for a county-wide day-of-service event. On Saturday, October 21, Volunteer Fairfax will host approximately 20 service activities with nonprofit partners and government agencies throughout Fairfax County, in mission areas ranging from emergency preparedness to hunger mitigation, school garden and grounds clean-up, animal welfare, and supporting community-led fall festival and Halloween activities. 

With so much happening in one day at various locations, we need support from volunteers who are willing to serve as leaders alongside project staff in the field. Interested in learning more about this opportunity? Email Karen at [email protected].

What’s Happening in the 703?  

RSVP has several upcoming outreach events where we are registered and excited to promote RSVP. We are scheduled to connect with potential volunteers through the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Transition Center virtual recruitment and placement fair in late August, the Burke Centre Festival the weekend of September 9-10, and the Venture into Volunteering Fair/Beacon 50+ Expo at Springfield Town Center on October 14.  

The RSVP team is really putting ourselves out there! You can help with outreach initiatives by 1) providing information about other upcoming events where an RSVP presence would be beneficial, or 2) distributing RSVP brochures to local libraries and senior centers. Please email Karen at [email protected] if interested.

Ready Fairfax: Four Realistic Actions  

Did you know that there are four key actions that you and your neighbors can take to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies, including natural and human-caused disasters?

Thanks to an informative ‘Bee’ Better presentation on July 17 by Access and Functional Needs Planning Specialist, Carly Mullinax, from Fairfax County’s Department of Emergency Management and Security, RSVP volunteers are more prepared and empowered to take care of themselves during a local emergency.

Ready Fairfax asks you and your neighbors to take four actions: 1) stay informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses; 2) make an emergency plan; 3) build an emergency kit; and 4) get involved in your community by taking action to prepare for emergencies.  

Fairfax County offers a variety of resources to help all of us to be as prepared as possible and support local efforts – see links below to some important resources. Be ready and resilient!  

Community Emergency Response Guide

Fairfax Alerts

Fairfax County Community Connect

OEM Volunteer Corps

Happiness Happens on

Hometown Adventures

The Society of Happy People (It’s a real thing!) is celebrating the 23rd Happiness Happens Month in August. According to the Society’s website, “Practical happiness principle one is happiness is personal, and there’s nothing more personal than the places in your hometown that make you happy.” The Society encourages everyone to take at least one hometown adventure to celebrate happiness, social connections, and community.  

Since 1938, the Harvard Study on Adult Development has been investigating what makes human beings flourish. The Harvard Study has found a strong association between happiness and close relationships like spouses, family, friends, and social connections. “Personal connection creates mental and emotional stimulation, which are mood boosters, while isolation is a mood buster,” says Robert Waldinger, Ph.D., the study’s current director. The study suggests that if you need to broaden your social life, try volunteering because the odds are you will meet other like-minded people, create a sense of purpose, boost your own happiness, and decrease feelings of loneliness.


Did you know that one of the focus areas of our RSVP AmeriCorps grant prioritizes providing companionship to older adult neighbors in our community so that those we serve might be better equipped to experience increased feelings of happiness and decreased feelings of loneliness? Imagine what it would look like if RSVP volunteers extended their volunteer service and committed to increasing their own happiness while also impacting the happiness of more neighbors – win, win for everyone!  

The more we give the happier we feel and during August and September, be sure to watch your Monday Memos from Karen to find ways that you can participate in some hometown adventures through RSVP to be a smile starter and spread more cheer to others.

Volunteer Fairfax has a new CEO!

As you know, RSVP performs our work under the auspices of Volunteer Fairfax. We share their quarters, they support us financially, and we are proudly a program not just of AmeriCorps, but of Volunteer Fairfax.  

We’re all delighted to introduce our new Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Williamson. She comes to us from the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, where she was Vice President and Senior Director of Workforce and Member Engagement for the Chamber and their Foundation. She has strong relationships with the nonprofits and agencies served by RSVP, and we are excited to work with Jennifer as RSVP grows and strengthens to better serve you – our wonderful volunteers – and our communities.  

Jennifer is a lifelong Fairfax County resident with deep ties to Northern Virginia. As she says, “I feel a strong affinity for your mission of encouraging and facilitating volunteerism in the region.” And, a fun fact, Jennifer’s favorite form of volunteerism is collecting trash from our waterways from her kayak!  

Welcome, Jennifer!

Monday Memo: Read You Loud and Clear  

Thank you for all your feedback in response to the Monday Memo communication tool we piloted over the last two months. The consensus was that this communication was clear, easy to read, and shared helpful information regarding upcoming opportunities to volunteer with RSVP.


Our Volunteer Stations also appreciated our ability to share information with our volunteer base in a timely manner. Because of the positive responses, we will continue to send out Monday Memos for the foreseeable future.


If you’re not receiving these weekly emails, or other periodic emails from RSVP team members, you might consider checking your junk/spam email folder to see if they are landing there by mistake. The team reaches out by email using three main email addresses to communicate important dates and updates, to share birthday wishes, and for other necessary engagement needs. We hope that our messages are landing where they can be viewed so that you can stay engaged. 


Be sure to add the following email addresses to your "safe sender" list.

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]


If you need help in learning how to do so, email Karen at [email protected].

Oops, We Did it Again! 

RSVP has changed our address again, but not our actual location. Fairfax County has changed the name of Lee Jackson Memorial Highway to the plain, simple (and memorable?) Route 50. Please use that address for anything you need to mail us. And if you haven’t visited our wonderful new office space, Google Maps will bring you here if you type in 12015 Route 50. Give it a try! We’d love to see you at one of our Welcome Wednesdays.

RSVP-Northern Virginia 

12015 Route 50, Suite 225 

Fairfax, VA 22033 

RSVP Virtual 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:    

RSVP-Northern Virginia is sponsored by Volunteer Fairfax

and is a program of AmeriCorps Seniors.