April 2018

Archived Newsletters

April 2, 2018
The Administration has proposed to end RSVP and shut down the Corporation. Various members of Congress are working on legislation to turn RSVP into a jobs program.

We need to fight back and defend RSVP and national service.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has written a “Dear Colleague” letter to the Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chair and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee seeking an increase in funding for RSVP and Senior Corps (see letter that follows).

The letter asks that RSVP be funded at $63 million.

The more signatories there are on the letter, the more that Sens. Blunt and Murray know that RSVP and Senior Corps are important to their colleagues. The more support that is demonstrated for senior volunteer programs the more likely it is that funding will be increased. 
We especially want the letter to demonstrate that RSVP, Foster Grandparents, and Senior Companions enjoy bi-partisan support.
Call your Senator urging that he or she sign the Whitehouse letter.

You can call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senators offices.

Deadline for Senators to sign on is COB, Tuesday, April 11.
When you call your Senate offices, you should say that for more information or to sign on they should contact Anna Esten at: anna_esten@whitehouse.senate.gov
The Letter

The Honorable Roy Blunt                
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education
Senate Committee on Appropriations 
United States Senate                         
135 Dirksen Senate Office Building 
Washington, DC 20510                    
The Honorable Patty Murray
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education
Senate Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate
156 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray:

As you consider the Subcommittee’s funding priorities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, we write in support of funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Senior Corps programs. Currently, over 245,000 seniors volunteer their skills and experience through Senior Corps programs, helping address vital community needs across the United States.
Senior Corps supports three volunteer programs for older Americans: the Senior Companion Program, the Foster Grandparent Program, and RSVP. The Senior Companion Program pairs senior volunteers with frail or disabled elderly individuals who are homebound. Volunteers assist with routine chores, transportation to medical appointments, and other activities that enable frail and disabled seniors to continue living in their homes. Over 43,000 seniors are able to live at home because of Senior Companion volunteers, saving the federal government millions of dollars otherwise spent on institutional long-term care.
The Foster Grandparent Program places senior volunteers in schools, youth shelters, and correctional facilities to mentor at-risk and special needs children. The presence of a Foster Grandparent is shown to improve the reading skills, school attendance, and behavior of children served. Nationally, volunteers work with over 189,000 children, providing one-on-one tutoring and emotional support that local organizations and schools may not have the resources to offer. Without Foster Grandparents, many schools and facilities would not be able to afford to pay for the individual attention that these children need in order to keep up with their peers.
The RSVP network connects more than 208,000 seniors to volunteer opportunities with organizations across the country. RSVP ensures that senior volunteers’ skills are best matched to the needs of local organizations and communities. Each year, RSVP volunteers mentor over 78,000 children and provides independent living services for 797,000 elderly individuals and people with disabilities.
Not only do the Senior Corps programs provide a great service to children, seniors, and those in need, they also benefit senior volunteers who stay active and engaged in their communities. Unfortunately, the President’s FY 2019 budget proposes eliminating funding for Senior Corps programs. With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, we need to engage more, not fewer, older adult volunteers to address the health, welfare, education, and other needs that confront communities across the nation.  
We understand the difficult fiscal choices facing our country, but we hope you continue to recognize the important work of Senior Corps and its volunteers. We urge you to maintain current funding levels for the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs, and reverse the 20% funding cut applied to RSVP in FY 2011. We request that you allocate $216.214 million for Senior Corps in the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill—$107.702 million for Foster Grandparents, $45.512 million for Senior Companions, and $63 million for RSVP.  
NARSVPD, Inc. | 1600 Sawtelle Blvd., Ste. 330Los Angeles, CA 90025



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