COAD Gets Federal Grants for Senior Volunteer Program

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The Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD) has been awarded three federal grants to operate the Retired Volunteer Senior Program (RSVP) in 13 different counties.

The grants are from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

According to COAD’s website, RSVP provides a wide range of possible volunteer options. The program matches the personal interests and skills of older Americans (age 55 and older) with opportunities to help solve community problems. Volunteers choose how and where they want to serve, ranging from a few hours each month to more than 40 hours per week.

The counties to be served are Athens, Hocking, Vinton, Gallia, Meigs, Jackson, Ross, Lawrence, Pike, Scioto, with Knox, Holmes and Coshocton being added to COAD’s portfolio. COAD has operated RSVP in 10 counties since 2009 and currently has more than 750 volunteers serving in food pantries, libraries, shelters, senior centers and other nonprofits.

Total federal support for these counties will be $312,414 with additional funding coming from the state of Ohio and other local sources, making the entire program funding $517,948.

“We are pleased to have landed these contracts through a competitive process at the federal level. With the addition of Knox, Holmes and Coschocton counties we will have over 1,000 senior volunteers performing more than 100,000 hours of service for community nonprofits. That service will be worth more than $2,140,000 to those communities being helped,” said Gary Goosman, director of senior programs for COAD.

The grants start April 1 and day-to-day supervision and recruitment of volunteers will be handled by COAD staff in Athens, Jackson, Portsmouth, Pomeroy and Mt. Vernon.