Senior Corps Volunteers

Bad news: So many people need assistance. Good news: You can enlist in Senior Corps!

In 2009, President Obama signed the Serve America Act. It assists older adults in sharing their skills, talents and lifetime experiences with members of their communities. Just last year, California’s Senior Corps volunteers:

  • Helped 92,100 older adults maintain their independence at home.
  • Provided 2,051 caregivers with respite care.
  • Tutored more than 1,320 children with special educational needs.
  • Made it possible for over 2,400 community organizations to expand their reach.

The Senior Corps has three service programs: The Retired Seniors Volunteer Program or RSVP, the Foster Grandparent Program and the Senior Companion Program.

RSVP, one of the nation’s largest senior volunteer organizations, has staffed community service providers for 40 years. It matches individual volunteers with nonprofit agencies. RSVP volunteers choose how, when and where they will work. Their time commitments range from just a few hours to full-time each week.

The Foster Grandparent Program, which began in 1965, provides personal support services to children with special needs. Volunteer foster grandparents provide one-on-one assistance in schools, hospitals, drug treatment centers, correctional institutions and child care centers. The Senior Corps funds particular service organizations to provide such volunteers with pre-service orientation and special training. Volunteers must work at least four hours a day for five days a week.

The Senior Companion Program connects senior volunteers with older adults who need assistance with their daily care needs. Companions may help with shopping and light chores, communicating with doctors or just visiting as friends. They may also provide respite care for caregivers.

Ready to volunteer? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a passion that can be pursued through volunteering?
  • How much time can you give?
  • Is there a new skill or knowledge you would like to acquire?
  • What skills would you bring to a nonprofit or volunteer organization?
  • Is there a new skill or knowledge you would like to acquire?

To match your skills, interests and availability with the volunteer opportunity that’s right for you, visit the National & Community Service website by clicking  To check out Senior Corp, go to