RSVP (Twin Cities Metro Area)

Office Location:  Volunteers of America-Minnesota, 7625 Metro Blvd., Edina, MN 55439
Days/Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Participants: Persons age 55 and older
Contact: Kelly O'Brien, Director
Program Phone: 952-945-4160
Email: kobrien@voamn.org
    
Volunteers of America of Minnesota sponsors RSVP, which identifies volunteer opportunities for its members, who are age 55 and over, that meet their individual skills, interests, schedule and geographic availability.  In addition to RSVP member benefits, members see their involvement is an investment in themselves, the future, their community and the causes they feel passionate about.

There is a broad range of areas where individuals can make a difference, including improving literacy, teaching the English language, reducing hunger, improving the environment, and a variety of intergenerational programs working with youth.
 
Our staff can provide prospective RSVP members with the tools, resources and connections they need to make an investment in themselves, their community and their passions. To explore RSVP options, call us.

Literacy
Teachers and children in our schools face an increasing number of obstacles to achieving success.  Providing children with the attention and support they need in order to learn allows them to develop the confidence and skills to succeed in school and in life.  Research has shown that our literacy programs boost student academic performance, help schools become more successful, strengthen ties between these institutions and surrounding neighborhoods, and enhance the well being of the volunteers in the process. Contact us today to learn how you can impact student success.
 
English Language
One in five adults in Minnesota are functionally illiterate.  On average, an illiterate adult earns 42 percent less than a high school graduate.  An average of 50 people are waiting for an open English as a Second Language (ESL) class at any given time.  ESL tutors change lives and empower people to become self-sufficient. Find out how to change a life by becoming an ESL tutor.

Reducing Hunger
The number of people seeking emergency food assistance is rising.  In Minnesota, 380 thousand people are food insecure, hungry or at risk of hunger and more than 1.5 million people visit a food shelf in a year.  Almost 45 percent of those who benefit from food shelves are children.  An estimated 1 in 10 children in Minnesota live in poverty.  Two out of five seniors will fall below the poverty line at some point between the ages of 60 and 90.  Of the 87 thousand  Minnesota seniors that qualify for assistance through the Commodity Food Program, only 14 thousand can receive assistance because of funding limits.  Even mild nutritional deprivation in children can impede cognitive development and impair their capacities over a lifetime.  For older adults, the nearly 1 out of 3 that are at high risk for malnutrition face possible heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

RSVP can connect you with a neighborhood organization where you can be a part of the solution to reduce hunger.
 
Environment
As Minnesotans, we pride ourselves in our abundance of lakes, prairies and woodlands.  For centuries, our environment has provided local people with sources of food, recreation and beauty.  Sadly, many of these natural resources are in danger.  Numerous threats to the health of our environment include toxic run-offs, pesticides, non-native invasive species and litter.  Many of our lakes can no longer support edible fish, let alone drinkable water.  And yet there is good news – we have the power to reverse the damage!

RSVP has numerous opportunities to help restore our environmental.  Find out how to be a part of the solution.

Intergenerational Programs Working with Youth
Telefriends
Help children improve their reading skills by sharing a good book over the phone.  Books are provided to both student and volunteer.  This is a great way to serve your community without leaving home!  Contact us today to learn how you can impact student success by calling 952-945-4160.
One-time Volunteer Opportunities
If you enjoy variety and flexibility, one-time events offer an opportunity to volunteer as your schedule permits, for the causes and events you choose.  This is a great opportunity to get together for a good cause and meet new people.  Information on one-time special event volunteer opportunities is sent out to interested people via email on a weekly basis.  If you would like to be added to RSVP’s distribution list, call us today.

RSVP Member Benefits  
Personalized Assistance
RSVP staff will work with you to identify a volunteer opportunity that will meet your individual needs.  We will match your skills, interests, schedule and geographic availability with a volunteer position that is right for you.  We will continue to be available to provide ongoing information and support as your volunteer needs evolve.

Supplemental Insurance
As an RSVP member, you will be covered by supplemental insurance when you volunteer.  In the unfortunate event that something happens to you while volunteering, or traveling to or from your volunteer position, the insurance will help cover deductibles and out of pocket expenses related to the accident.  

Be Counted As Part Of A National Movement
Mature adults 55 years and older are giving thousands of hours daily to positively impact the communities they live in.  Your hours will be counted with those of your peers to demonstrate to policy makers and the community the impact of senior volunteerism on a local and national level.  Help send the message that mature adults are making meaningful contributions, solving problems and bringing our communities together.

Semi-Annual Newsletter
Twice yearly the RSVP newsletter will inform you about issues affecting volunteers and provide updates on how volunteers age 55 and over are impacting their communities.     

Annual Recognition Event
RSVP gathers once a year to celebrate your accomplishments.  These events are a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow volunteers and offer RSVP staff an opportunity to honor you and the work that you do.  

Travel Reimbursement
RSVP can reimburse a portion of your volunteer related out-of-pocket transportation expense.

Health Benefits Of Volunteering
  • Increase in self-esteem
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Protection against social isolation
  • Reduction in the impact of stress
  • Strengthening of the immune system                                                      
A 1999 study by the University of Michigan identified health benefits to individuals who volunteered just one hour per week.  The study demonstrates that "people live longer because they volunteer, rather than people volunteer because they're healthier and hence more likely to live longer."
Information for Current Members

Travel Reimbursement
RSVP can provide a limited amount of travel reimbursement to help defray the costs of transportation to and from a volunteer site.  Reimbursement can only be provided to volunteers who are current members, for costs incurred traveling to and from a volunteer site that has a partnership with RSVP.  We are not able to pay for parking.

Travel Reimbursement is calculated and paid quarterly utilizing a method that depletes the allocated funds for the quarter.  It is not possible to reimburse requests received after the due date.  All requests must be submitted by the 15th of the following month.  For example, forms for June's volunteer activity are due not later than July 15th.

You must fill out the hours report and travel reimbursement request form in addition to any other forms your station uses. You and your station supervisor must also sign the form.  Forms without signatures cannot be processed.  Fill out a separate report form for each volunteer station.

If you do not want travel reimbursement, do not include mileage or bus fare on any forms you submit to your station supervisor or to RSVP.

Car
Drivers may claim up to 75 miles per month.  Married couples, or others, who drive together should not both request reimbursement for the same mileage.  The mileage reimbursement rate is calculated each quarter by dividing the quarter's budgeted funds by the number of eligible miles submitted for reimbursement.

Bus or Metro Mobility
For bus fare or Metro Mobility reimbursement, volunteers can claim up to $15 per month.

Signing In and Out Count!

Please sign in and out at your volunteer site each time that you volunteer.  Some sites use their own record-keeping systems to track hours, while others use RSVP timesheets.
  • If you want to remain an active RSVP volunteer, the only way the RSVP office can tell you are active is by receiving your hours.
  • Insurance is paid when accidents occur during travel time to and from the volunteer site and during the volunteer assignment. In order to prove the accident occurred when the individual was volunteering, the volunteer time must be recorded.
RSVP receives federal and state funding.  Therefore, we must submit a detailed report of RSVP volunteer involvement to Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Minnesota Board on Aging. The only way our legislators and communities know the value of the program they are supporting is by the accurate information we provide.
  • In most cases, the station supervisor will forward the monthly hours reports and any reimbursement requests to the RSVP office.
  • Hours should be submitted to the RSVP office by the 15th day of the month after the volunteer served.  For instance, June hours should be submitted by July 15th.  Hours can still be accepted after the due date, reimbursement requests cannot.