High Country RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program)
Leading With Experience
The Mission of RSVP is to enrich the lives of men and women age 55 and older through meaningful volunteer
opportunities that use their skills, abilities, and life experiences in service to their communities.
RSVP utilizes senior volunteers to meet community needs and furthermore help seniors, persons with disabilities, and low income persons through our direct service programs: SHIP/Medicare Counseling; Federal and State Income Tax Preparation; Helping Hands for Seniors Handyman Program; Continuing Educations Classes for Older Adults/Seniors; and Senior Navigator Program.
National Senior Corps Program
RSVP is a national Senior Corps program, along with Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions. Senior Corps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that supports service and volunteering programs to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement. RSVP is America’s largest volunteer network for people age 55 and over. High Country RSVP has 200 volunteers who volunteer over 30,000 hours of service each year. As a national program, RSVP is partially funded by the Corporation for National Service. When joining the program, you become part of a national movement of hundreds of thousands of volunteers striving to help others nationwide.
Sponsored Program of CMC
High Country RSVP has been a sponsored program of Colorado Mountain College (CMC) since 1978. Our partnership with CMC allows RSVP to create better futures through outreach opportunities and classes for life-long learners; and grow community partnerships with volunteer and educational resources.
Since the restructuring of the Senior Programs in 2008, RSVP has remained a sponsored program of CMC under the Lifelong Learning Objective and the Community and Economic Development part of the Strategic Plan. RSVP’s mission continues to align with and advances the mission of the CMC Foundation’s mission, which is to “to promote the general welfare, development, growth, and well–being of Colorado Mountain Junior College District”.
What We Do
RSVP’s professional Volunteer Manager enrolls volunteers age 55 and older and places them with nonprofit agencies that meet identified critical community needs in six focus areas in Garfield County. RSVP volunteers contribute to the general welfare of our communities by serving meals to seniors at the Senior Nutrition meal sites, delivering Meals on Wheels, stocking and distributing food at local food banks, teaching educational classes, and stocking bookshelves in local libraries, and providing handyman services.
Six Focus Area:
In 1973 a group of seniors in Garfield County saw the need for an organized group of senior volunteers and started High Country RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program). These forward thinking long-time community advocates began and operated RSVP from a small office in the basement of the Historic Hotel Colorado.
One of the first steps made by this group was the development of the Garfield County Council on Aging in 1974. That Council in turn focused their efforts on the creation of what is today called the Senior Transportation Program and which was initially operated by RSVP volunteers. The Council on Aging raised their own funds to support program operations for both programs and hired a program director and driver.
As the program and its needs grew, the Garfield County Council on Aging members asked Colorado Mountain College (CMC) for their support as a community service for the senior citizens and taxpayers of Garfield County. Support and sponsorship was granted by the CMC Board of Trustees in late 1978.
The third foundational block of Senior Programs, the Senior Nutrition Program, was started as a pilot project in Glenwood Springs in the basement of the Methodist Church in 1978 and also moved under the CMC Senior Program umbrella in late 1978. These three programs became known as Senior Programs and remained housed with the CMC Continuing Education Office at the Hotel Colorado until 1981 when a new college building on Blake Avenue was dedicated to serve Glenwood Springs. Within this new building were the Offices of Senior Programs, which comprised of the Nutrition and Transportation Programs, and RSVP.
In 2008, after much discussion and many focus groups, Senior Programs was brought under the auspices of the Department of Human Services and RSVP was kept as a sponsored program of CMC. Today RSVP remains a sponsored program of CMC under the Community and Economic Development part of the Strategic Plan and Lifelong Learning objective.