For 50 years, The Nevada Rural Counties Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has been serving the rural counties of Nevada with community volunteer opportunities. In 1973, RSVP was established as a self-sponsored non-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation, and began the first RSVP rural program as a satellite of Washoe County RSVP. In 1974 – a 5 Rural Counties RSVP program was launched by a grant to the Carson River Basin Council of Governments as sponsor; and by 1988 – a 15 Rural Counties RSVP grant was given by ACTION to the City of Carson City as sponsor. In 1993, the sponsorship for the 15 Nevada Rural Counties under a non-profit agency, Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program, Inc. was awarded by ACTION. This same year, the Older American Volunteer Program (OVAP) was re-authorized as National Senior Volunteer Corps by the National and Community Trust Act.
RSVP is currently part of Senior Corps, and partially funded under the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that leads service, volunteering, and grant-making efforts in the United States.
For more than four decades, RSVP has successfully secured additional funding through the solicitation of an individual, corporate and foundation support and grants to grow the base of philanthropic support and increase public awareness of RSVP and its mission – which has enabled thousands of seniors to remain at home and out of costly institutions. The result has been millions of dollars in savings to taxpayers for long-term care, and it enabled these seniors to live out their lives with dignity in their own homes where they are the happiest and healthiest and still a part of their community.
Its early roots which began in service to the state’s five rural counties, has grown – with strong program and financial management to include 15 of the 17 counties in Nevada: Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing, Storey, Washoe and White Pine. The total population of these rural counties is 327,830, of which 31% are seniors 55 years of age and older, 26% of whom are living under the published federal poverty guidelines according to the Nevada State Demographers Office.
RSVP’s mission is to provide Lifesaving Volunteer Programs that Help Seniors Maintain Their Dignity, Self-Respect & Independence.
Last year, 290 active RSVP volunteers in rural Nevada provided 62,904.40 hours of volunteer service to Nevada’s elderly population. In 2022, a total of 471,692 miles were driven transporting seniors and adults with disabilities. An average of 217 hours were served per volunteer in 2022
RSVP has played a vital, social services leadership role in the communities we serve and continue to expand our role of assisting seniors and adults with disabilities in our service areas. RSVP will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary of providing lifesaving services in 2023.