Local seniors can learn more about volunteer opportunities at a special event on Friday.

RSVP of Crawford, Marion and Morrow Counties, a local nonprofit serving seniors 55 and older, will host a Volunteer Fair from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bucyrus Public Library, 200 E. Mansfield St. .

“This is a retired senior volunteer program,” said Erin Miller, program coordinator. “We recruit and place people aged 55+ into volunteer opportunities locally, within the community. … We have different options in Crawford County and my other counties.”

For example, the organization recruits volunteers for mentorship programs in local school districts, Miller said. It works with the Bucyrus Backpack Program, food pantries and other non-profit organizations that address food insecurity in the region. It also recruits drivers for Crawford County Aging Meals on Wheels Council program.

Sometimes people who are already volunteers sign up for the program because it offers additional accident and liability insurance, she said. It pays mileage for volunteers who drive their own cars, such as people who deliver for Meals on Wheels.

“There are only small advantages,” Miller said. “We do a recce once a year, a catered lunch. We bring everyone in and thank them for the work they’ve done and bring everyone together and celebrate all their hard work over the past year. “

However, it especially gives seniors the opportunity to be productive.

“It keeps them out, it gets them moving, it keeps them socialized instead of sitting at home feeling like they’re no good to anybody,” Miller said. “There are health benefits all around – physically and mentally – to keeping older people engaged and moving.”

RSVP is a national program, a division of AmeriCorps, she said. It is partially funded by the federal government and also uses local grants.

The volunteer fair will give seniors a chance to “see what’s available, the things they could do to keep themselves busy and hook up in that way,” she said.

The event will also include door prizes and refreshments.

“Just walk in and see new faces and see what you can do to give back,” Miller said.

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