BRATTLEBORO -- A non-profit group that helps organizations find senior volunteers has shut its Brattleboro office down temporarily as it restructures.
Green Mountain RSVP & Volunteer Center has moved out of its Western Avenue office, and has also temporarily closed its office in Springfield.
RSVP had a change in sponsorship and is now being managed by Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging, or SVCOA. SVCOA Executive Director Sandy Conrad said the Western Avenue location was going to be put up for sale, and as the group changes its mission it seemed like a good time to close the office and look for a new home in Brattleboro.
"We plan to reopen," she said. "Everything will stay the same. We really need to have an office in Brattleboro."
Green Mountain RSVP maintains a list of more than 1,000 seniors around Windham, Bennington and Windsor counties who are willing to volunteer their time. The volunteers have been leading exercise classes, reading to children, and working as literacy tutors. Each year RSVP volunteers work in more than 200 schools, institutions and municipalities around the three counties.
Since taking over RSVP, Conrad said she plans to re-focus RSVP's mission to concentrate on transportation issues for seniors. She hopes to find seniors who drive and would be willing to drive other seniors around Windham County
Conrad said a grant from the Corporation for National & Community Service will fund operations at RSVP for at least three years. SVCOA took over as the lead sponsor for RSVP on April 1.
Conrad said RSVP is hiring a new volunteer coordinator for Brattleboro, and she also said the group hopes to re-open its Springfield soon as well.
"We want to focus on transportation issues, and on reducing the social isolation seniors sometimes feel," Conrad said. "Everything else will stay the same. We hope to have a new coordinator and hope for the same number of volunteers that we have had."
For more information about the Brattleboro location call 800-642-5119 or check the SVCOA web site at www.svcoa.org.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 279.