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RSVP News & Opportunities

- February and March 2024 -

Recollection Recognitions! 

As we look back over the last two months, we want to shout a huge “THANK YOU!” to our volunteers. You didn’t stop serving over the holidays and it was greatly appreciated. Here’s a little recap of what you accomplished in December and January.

  • Packed 100 hospital kits for The Red Cross,  
  • Completed a 2000-piece mailing for Britepaths, 
  • Prepared 750 letters for Volunteer Fairfax’s annual appeal, 
  • Stuffed 140 protein packs for Cornestones’ Embry Rucker Shelter, 
  • Wrote and mailed 280 personalized holiday cards for the Angel Card Project, 
  • Crafted 350 valentine cards for older Fairfax County residents; and,  
  • Supported Volunteer Fairfax’s “Give Together” event by prepping supplies and leading teens in the management of event projects. 

Wow, you certainly make an impact! Keep your eyes out for our Monday Memos promoting upcoming RSVP service projects. We hope to see you soon. 

“Celebrate Good Times, Come On” 

Save the date – Friday, March 29 – for our traditional annual Volunteer Recognition Celebration. We’ll ring out the old grant year and ring in the new with a get-together in our Fairfax office, featuring delicious appetizers, bubbly for a toast, appreciation gifts, and fellowship. Stay tuned for more information in the Monday Memos.  

Time for a Change?

As we get ready to begin a new three-year grant cycle with AmeriCorps Seniors, we'd like to check in with each of you. Some of our focus areas will be shifting in April, and we want to make sure that what you’re doing continues to work for you, and for RSVP. In an upcoming Monday Memo, we’ll ask you to confirm your contact information, tell us how you currently volunteer or would like to volunteer, and give any other feedback on the RSVP program. Please participate, and we’ll listen. Making sure your volunteerism is fulfilling and impactful matters to RSVP! 

New Grant Cycle:

Opening Doors and Increasing Impact  

In a recent newsletter, we gave an overview of the process that RSVP goes through to apply for AmeriCorps Seniors federal grant funding. After a lengthy application review and editing period over the last few months, we hope to be awarded grant funding for a new three-year grant cycle starting April 1. Fingers and toes crossed that we’ll get good news in March!  

Because we're starting a new grant cycle, we were able to tweak our program goals and work plans to open new doors for volunteers and increase the impact that RSVP volunteer service has throughout the NoVa area. The basic tenets of the program are unchanged, and you can expect the same high-quality matchmaking and engagement opportunities. However, there will be some shifts and additions you need to know about. Most significantly, we’ve expanded our focus areas to include volunteer stations and positions that support disaster services (preparation and response), and capacity building (volunteer management, resource development, and donations management). 

Be sure to read upcoming Monday Memos for dates and times when you can join a Zoom call to learn more about the new grant year. 

These are exciting times to be an RSVP volunteer! Statistically, there’s been a seven percent decrease nationally in volunteerism over the last several years for all age groups; however, the contributions of older adults remain relatively resilient. And, the good news is that the share of total volunteer hours accounted for by the 65-plus population soared from 18.5% in 2002 to 28.6% in 2021. Watch out America – older adults are committed to volunteerism and RSVP volunteers are leading the way!   

New Volunteer Station:

Welcome to The Lamb Center  

RSVP excitedly welcomes The Lamb Center as our newest volunteer station. The Lamb Center is a daytime drop-in shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness in Fairfax. The center provides a variety of free services including breakfast, lunch, showers, laundry services, Bible studies, case management, AA meetings, a nurse practitioner clinic, dental clinic, and much more.  

The Lamb Center envisions a community where every individual is personally known, cherished, and has a place to call home. The core values of Christianity are central to the services they provide. Volunteers, together with staff, board members and supporters, provide fellowship, support, empowerment, and learning to each guest they serve.  

In coordination with The Lamb Center staff, who manage volunteer services for their more than 250 regular volunteers, we have defined several volunteer opportunities that should be a good fit for volunteers drawn to this organization’s mission and services. Volunteers are needed in areas such as front desk, kitchen/food service, laundry, clothing closet, and food donation pick up.  

Contact RSVP Volunteer Specialist, Karen Coon ([email protected]), if you'd like to get involved. 

Aging Matters Podcast: Volunteerism

Central to American Experience  

Research shows that volunteering improves physical and mental health and lowers rates of depression, anxiety, and isolation. In Northern Virginia, more than 140 older adults who volunteer with RSVP experience these and other benefits of being volunteers.  

Recently our Program Manager, Stacey Iden, was interviewed for the podcast Aging Matters to discuss older adults and volunteerism. The podcast host, Cheryl Beverdorf, talks with experts on timely topics affecting the lives of older adults and their loved ones.  

Through the interview, Stacey provided insight on formal and informal volunteerism. Helping a family member or a neighbor is also an act of volunteerism, Stacey said, and needs to be recognized as such. She also provided information about volunteer opportunities with local community organizations and AmeriCorps Seniors. Even with their busy lives or having to work late in life, older adults are getting more involved in helping their communities.  

To listen to the interview in full, access one of these platforms: Apple Podcast

Spotify, or Mixcloud.

Volunteer Fairfax is 50! 

In 2024, Volunteer Fairfax is celebrating a major milestone – we’ve hit the ripe old age (especially for a nonprofit) of 50. A couple more years and we can join RSVP. 😉 

Here’s a quick snapshot of VF’s history:


  • Founded in 1974 by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to refer individuals to local volunteer opportunities 
  • Grew from one to three volunteer staff and developed relationships with dozens of area nonprofits  


  • Launched the Alternative Community Service (ACS) Program to assist residents referred by the court system in performing volunteerism as a form of restitution 
  • Hosted the first Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards 
  • Started VolunteerFest to bring together residents in a single day of service 


  • Launched the Emergency Response Program and was designated the County’s co-lead agency for volunteer and donation management in times of emergency 
  • Started the Volunteer Management Training Program 
  • Started Give Together, a community-wide day of service for families, to coincide with the MLK, Jr. birthday holiday 
  • 2012: Started administering the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP-NV) for AmeriCorps Seniors  


  • Activated for COVID response and pivoted our energies to emergency operations as the co-lead for volunteer and donations management during the pandemic 
  • Launched the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plus (DEI+) Workgroup to address inequities internally and with external volunteer engagements  
  • Formed the Task Force on Disability Inclusion in Volunteering (DIVTF) to uncover and promote volunteer opportunities for persons with disabilities 
  • Started convening annual Community Conversations on Social Justice and Racial Equity 


As we move forward with a great team, fabulous volunteers, and wonderful partners, we can only believe that the best is yet to come!

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RSVP-Northern Virginia is sponsored by Volunteer Fairfax

and is a program of AmeriCorps Seniors.