The Family Service Agency (FSA) in Santa Barbara County (SBC), CA received $240,000 over three years from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to improve the lives of both children/youth (ages 6-15) and seniors (age 55+) in SBC.
Established in 1971, RSVP engages Americans age 55 and older in citizen service that addresses the nation’s most pressing challenges — everything from fighting the opioid epidemic, reducing crime and reviving cities, connecting veterans to jobs and benefits, preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs, ensuring seniors age independently and with dignity, and helping Americans rebuild their lives following a disaster.
This grant allows FSA to expand RSVP’s presence in SBC, an area previously unserved by Senior Corps RSVP programs. FSA will use this support to incorporate the RSVP into the agency’s existing successful Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) mentoring program that has been operating for more than 30 years.
This program will place 225 RSVP volunteers in outcome assignments over the 3-year project period. The main RSVP volunteer service activity (for 220 RSVP volunteers) will be working as a mentor for children/youth in the BBBS program. Additionally, 5 RSVP volunteers will work as mentor coaches. Activities mentors will engage in include (but are not limited to) educational enrichment activities for their mentees, trips into natural settings (e.g., beach, forest, farms), art activities, homework help and tutoring, and science projects.