With very little notice—and no pay—a dedicated group of senior citizens is constantly working to make Sandoval County a better place to live.
Each year, this dedicated group volunteers thousands of hours serving other Sandoval County residents, primarily through one of three programs:
- Retired Senior Volunteer Program
- Senior Companions
- Foster Grandparents.
The Retired Senior Volunteer Program, also known as RSVP, is a national program, and is the country’s largest volunteer network for people age 55 and older. Participants in this program spend anywhere from one hour to more than 40 hours each week working at various worksites within their communities. These sites include senior centers, hospitals, libraries, food pantries, or even government agencies. The Sandoval County RSVP program currently has 220 active volunteers working at 17 sites across the county.
Senior Companion Program volunteers spend time with other seniors who are frail and/or homebound for various reasons. The senior companions spend roughly four hours per week with their clients, helping them to maintain social contact with the community. They take them on errands such as grocery shopping, to pick up prescriptions, get haircuts, or to simply visit with other seniors. Sandoval County currently has eight senior companions serving 23 clients.
Foster Grandparents provide one-on-one tutoring in reading, writing and language skills to elementary school children. The children in the program have been identified by teachers as needing extra help either academically or socially. Over years, students who have received this special attention have demonstrated improved attitudes toward school, which has helped boost their academic performance. Currently, Sandoval County has nine Foster Grandparents volunteering at six elementary schools across the county.
In recognition of these efforts, the Sandoval County Commission has proclaimed April Senior Volunteer Month in Sandoval County.
A formal proclamation was approved at the commission’s regular meeting on March 16, 2017. You can read a copy of the proclamation here.
For more information about the county’s senior volunteer programs, visit this page of the county’s website.