A BIG thank you to the United Way of Crookston for their ongoing support of RSVP volunteers and services!

    “Loneliness is the new smoking,” according to recent research efforts.  Smoking 15 cigarettes per day is found to be the same as feeling lonely.  Lonely people are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those with deeper social connections.  Additionally, loneliness also increases inflammation in the body which can contribute to heart disease and other chronic health issues.

    The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is grateful to the United Way of Crookston for supporting efforts that minimize isolation and loneliness!  RSVP aims to connect people age 55 and older in meaningful opportunities of service, which also increases social connections.  Volunteers benefit in physical, emotional and mental ways while serving those in need.

    While many of RSVP programs aim to meet physical needs, such as exercise, food security, nutrition, aging in place/independence, etc., it is increasingly evident that mental and emotional needs are met as well by the service of volunteers. One hundred percent of March 2020 client surveys, returned from Groceries to Go and Handyman clients, as well as our senior exercise class participants, Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL), indicate that the programs increased their feelings of support and socialization.

    Connecting community needs of educational enhancement are among other supports promoted by the United Way.  RSVP Reading Buddy volunteers are active within elementary classrooms, providing intergenerational literacy growth for struggling young readers.  In every classroom where Reading Buddy volunteers serve, 100% of students meet grade level standards!

    Thank you, United Way of Crookston and all those who give, for exemplifying unified giving and service among our community!