Time, talents of volunteers are immensely appreciated

By Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

National Volunteer Week, which begins Sunday, is designed to recognize all volunteers and celebrate the spirit of service in a community.

RSVP of the Flint Hills, a volunteer center with over more than 350 individuals age 55 and older, is celebrating 40 years in Manhattan and surrounding communities.

The RSVP Volunteer Center is focused on meeting the needs of the community while helping individuals 55 and older stay active, healthy, involved and making a difference.  Volunteers serve a diverse range of non-profit organizations, public agencies and faith-based groups. Among other activities, they mentor youth, deliver meals to the homebound, provide trans-portation to medical appoint-ments, lead exercise and nutri-tion education classes, provide financial literacy education, assist with blood drives and lend their business skills to com-munity groups that provide needed social services.

In 2013, 356 volunteers served and recorded 35,694 volunteer hours. The volunteers’ invest-ment of time, money, compassion and talent brings big returns to our area. Each volunteer job has a specifically assigned wage value. These wages are com-pared to the median value wage from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The value wage for 2013 volunteer hours served is $380,096.72.

The RSVP Board of Directors and staff are especially grateful for these volunteers who con-tribute their time and talents to improve the quality of life in our area. We know first-hand the selfless nature of people who give with no expectation of being paid for their time.

However, volunteers will tell you that they are well paid. Their reward is not money, but is, instead, the satisfaction of helping others, active involve-ment in the community and the friendships they form through volunteer work.

We need more individuals to step up and invest in our community through volunteer work. The RSVP Volunteer Center will soon introduce op-portunities and referrals for people between the ages of 16 and 54. Please call us at 776-7787 to find an opportunity that is suited for you. The reward will be great!

We offer a very special thank-you to all the RSVP volunteers who give so unselfishly and to the agencies in which we serve!

Lori Bishop, Executive Director
RSVP Volunteer Center
433 Houston St.

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