RSVP ANNUAL REPORT
                                     July 2008 – June 2009

The RSVP Volunteer Program – a City of Pittsfield Department, completed its 38th year of
operation in June 2009. Located in the Athenaeum on Bartlett Avenue in Pittsfield, RSVP
recruits, trains, and matches senior volunteers (persons age 55+) with challenging and needed
community service assignments throughout Berkshire County. The greatest concentration of
volunteers serves in the greater Pittsfield area.


   Corporation for National Service (Federal Grant)                  $49,380.00
   City of Pittsfield                                                 63,890.00
                                                   TOTAL            $113,270.00

Fundraising and in-kind donations augment the RSVP budget for miscellaneous unanticipated
expenses projected at approximately $10,000 annually in the RSVP Revolving Fund Account.
This account included the printing of the RSVP Senior Resource Calendar (approximately
$5,000.00), and a new amount in escrow for the Senior Leader 2009-10 stipends from the Paul
Gould Scholarship Fund. This fund, established in July 2008, has raised over $6,000. Also
important to note is that RSVP‟s primary fundraiser (James Taylor Raffle) generated $2,500 in
2008 AND ANTICIPATED $2,500.00 IN ‟09 - ‟10.

RSVP staffing consisted of 3 Full Time employees (Director, Administrative Assistant, and
Volunteer Coordinator), 1 F/T VISTA Volunteer, whose term ended 11/08 1 Foster Grandparent
Coordinator, 1 P/T BerkshireWorks intern and 1 P/T SCSEP Aide. **Of the 7 positions listed, 3
are paid approximately ½ of their salary amounts by the City and the remaining salary costs are
absorbed through Federal funding. In addition to the paid positions, RSVP has 15 Senior
Volunteers who provide weekly clerical and reception assistance in the RSVP main office, and 14
volunteer drivers, who provide free daily transportation for Pittsfield elders on the RSVP van.

Normalyn Powers – RSVP Director
Sheila Pia – Administrative Director
Jen Ruel – Volunteer Coordinator
Janice Robinson – Foster Grandparent Program Coordinator
Nicole Fecteau – Vista Volunteer
Michael Twining – SCSEP
Keith Dewey – Berkshire Works Intern
Julie Pelletier – Senior Leader
Joe Mullen – Senior Leader

Office Volunteers – Henry Bailey, Olympia Bello, Barbara Griffith, Shirley Hallett,
Jackie Dellert, Karen Methven, Janet Monterosso, David Pierce, Jen Shapp, Ernie Sutton,
Dee Sweener, Jane Vittone, Jackie Weatherwax, Trude Willey & Randy Winters

Drivers –
Margaret Callahan, Rick Carlson, Marianne Dastoli, Don Duda, Fran Dwyer, Graham Cichiengo,
Lou Giovanetti, Marj Gordon, Nick Hubacker, Stewart Keith, Evio Menia, Harry Methven,
Terry O‟Brien, Julie Pelletier, Ed Plummer, Frank Thoubboron, David Wesley, and
Don Westbrook.

Director - (2) Corporation for National Service meetings in Washington, D.C; (2) National
Senior Corps Association Board Meetings, Washington, D.C; (1) CNS State conference in New
Marlboro, (4) New England Council of RSVP Directors in New Hampshire, Rhode Island,
Vermont and Massachusetts; (6) MARSVPD – Massachusetts Association of RSVP Directors
meetings in Worcester, Ma. and (5) Volunteer Administrative Association meetings in Albany,
N.Y. Volunteer Coordinator –Website training (8/08/08), PPR Webinar training (11/20/08), CNS
State Conference in New Marlboro (6/04/09). Administrative Assistant - Managing Multiple
Priority Projects, & Deadlines, (11/19/08), Crowne Plaza, Pittsfield, MA.

464 Senior Volunteers served as RSVP volunteers
78 Volunteer Stations (agencies with fully executed Memorandum of Understanding). New
Stations added FY 09 include Barrington Stage Company, Center for Ecological Technology,
Crosby Elementary School, Literacy Volunteers of Berkshire County, Volunteers in Medicine and
Williams Elementary School. See attached Addendum A comprehensive Station List.
38,103 Volunteer Hours were performed during this period.
$724,338.00 - The Value of Volunteer Service gifted to Berkshire County. (Estimated at $19.01
per hour as set by National Independent Sector Figures)

Transportation Services provided by RSVP
               Round trip rides – 2,371
               Volunteer transportation to work assignments - 606
               Medical Appointments – 815
               Road to Recovery Cancer Treatment Rides – 707 one way rides
               Social trips – 950 (Senior Center, Jewish Community Center Meal Site, nursing
home visits, etc.)

RSVP Equipment Acquisitions

         13 Arbor Day Tree Plaques
         30 Bridge Flower Boxes (Pontoosuc Lake / Holmes Road)
         2 Fans
         TV/DVD Combo
         RSVP Volunteer Reporter Software
         1 Dell Computer

         Used Computer for VISTA, Yarn/Material
         $125 Audio Books – John Powers
         $300 – 2 Printers – Rick Carlson
         $500 worth of flowering plants from Jaescke‟s Flower Center
         $240 worth of flowers from Jodie‟s Florist
         $1,500 for gifts & services for the James Taylor Raffle
         12 Birthday Cakes from Karen Auge and DeVanny Condron for monthly
         volunteer birthdays.

RSVP is mandated to have an active Advisory Board.

                  The 2008 – 2009 Board Roster was as follows:

   Mayor James Ruberto                                 Harry Methven - Secretary
   Carl Allen                                          Lew Markham
   Dan Allen                                           Lorraine Moresi
   Sandy Alfonso                                       Andy Perenick
   Jen Coppola                                         Jamie Pollard
   Paul Dufour                                         Ed Plummer - Treasurer
   Barbara Emanuel                                     Jean Ryan – Immediate Past President
   Gail Kerwood - Vice President                       Arthur Stein – President
   Bertha Lawrence                                     David Yon

   The 18 member RSVP Advisory Board meets each month September to June. Each
   member serves on designated committees, with additional committee responsibilities
   including Arbor Day Celebration, Nominating, Finance, Fundraising, Strategic Planning,
   Parade, Recruitment Committees, Bylaw Revision, Goals and Objectives Development,
   and the Annual RSVP Volunteer Recognition Event. The RSVP Board is directly
   responsible for the growth of RSVP during the past year. The Board Manual was
   completely revised to incorporate yearly changes. A Board orientation for new members
   was conducted in August 2008. 5 new members for FY „10 were confirmed to begin
   their terms in 9/2009.
   Rosemarie Gould, Charlene Murray, Frank Thoubboron and 2 more to be confirmed by
   September 2009.
   Each year RSVP develops a master plan for program operation for the upcoming 12
   months. These goals and objectives are formatted to the Programming for Impact design
   as mandated by the Corporation for National Service, and responds to the compelling
   community needs in our geographic location for Pittsfield and Berkshire County. Input
   regarding selection of goals is obtained from the RSVP Advisory Board – specifically the
   Strategic Planning Committee, surveys to community agencies, staff and station
   suggestions, volunteers and our sponsor. At the conclusion of the year, performance
   measures are assessed with notation that each goal has been achieved, partially achieved
   &/or not achieved. Please refer to Addendum B for Goal Achievement.
   Year II of the RSVP 3 year Strategic Plan was completed with successful
   accomplishment of all goals. Year III will commence July 1, 2009.

RSVP has undertaken many new projects as well as the continuation of ongoing needed
projects during 2008-2009. A new exciting project will commence in FY‟10 – Mentoring
Children of Prisoners. A national initiative funded by the Federal Government,
volunteers will be matched with children of incarcerated parents and meet weekly for 1
year. RSVP will generate $900 per match and anticipates registering 10 -15 volunteers
for the program.
RSVP actively participated in all 3rd Thursday and Live On the Lake events as well, to
foster project visibility and recruit new volunteers at public gatherings.

                           MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  The following projects and activities highlight RSVP’s accomplishments for FY 09:

Friends Read Youth Literacy Project – 2008-2009 marked the 9th year of the Friends
Read project in 3 local schools. 30 RSVP volunteers served as reading partners with 76
at-risk elementary students. Documented results indicate an increase in reading level
mastery, improved self esteem and a positive attitude towards reading.

Pittsfield Visitors Center – PVC is operational, year-round by RSVP volunteers who
serve as greeters and visitor information specialists. 36 RSVP Volunteers performed 2664
hours and over 12,370 tourists visited this 6 day per week site this past year. RSVP
volunteers also conduct the Pittsfield Walking Tour each Saturday (June to October).

VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) In November 2007, RSVP submitted a
Grant to the Corporation of National Service to secure a full-time VISTA volunteer to
assist with local projects. We recruited a skilled young woman, who began her year of
service working on the Friends Read Youth Literacy project at City Schools (Capeless
and Conte) and an after school program at CYC, and coordinating the publication of the
2009 Senior Resource Calendar which was distributed free to thousands of Senior
Citizens. Also included in the VISTA work plan was the recruitment of Baby Boomers
and conducting a 7 week American Sign Language course for the public. The VISTA
project has been successful for the past 9+ years. However, in November 2008, RSVP
was notified that our VISTA future slots were eliminated due to Federal cutbacks in this
economic downturn.

2009 Senior Resource Calendar – RSVP developed, designed, and distributed 10,000
free copies of the 12th edition of the Calendar to elderly residents and service providers
through out Berkshire County. Approximately $7,000 was raised in ad sales to support
this educational project, including printing and distribution costs.

Senior Leaders – For the 1st time in July 08, RSVP established 2 $500 scholarships per
year as stipends for 2 volunteers who take on higher level project coordination. Funds for
their unique positions were donated to RSVP from friends and family in memory of Mr.
Paul Gould – RSVP Volunteer and Board member to the Paul Gould Scholarship Fund. 2
Senior Leaders were chosen through an application process to oversee 2 RSVP signature
projects (Jr. Achievement, and County Wide Volunteer Fair.) Their terms will end in
October 2009; and 2 new Senior Leaders for „09-„10 shall be recruited and serve as
Coordinators for the Children of Prisoners Project and the 2010 Senior Resource

PALS Project – 30+ volunteers have been trained to serve as friendly visitors at 4 local
nursing homes providing companionship to residents who have little interaction with the
community or family. Volunteers visit once per week, engage in communication, read,
send cards, take residents for walks, gift home made lap robes & establish friendships.
Arbor Day Celebration – The annual Arbor Day event was held at Onota Lake in April
2009. RSVP participated on the planning committee, assisted with designing the event
program and provided the refreshments. A tree was planted in honor of outstanding
RSVP volunteer Beverly Mazurkiewicz.
Pittsfield Art Show – During the summer of 2008, RSVP staff and volunteers served in
various capacities assisting with the event, including mass mailings to artists, erecting
scores of tents, serving as artist relief support, and selling merchandise.
City Hall Ambassador Project – RSVP continues to man the designated desk in the
lobby of Pittsfield City Hall five days per week 9 am to 3 pm. Volunteers serve to greet
visitors to City Hall and provide information and directions to meetings and City
department services. RSVP also coordinates the used book sale at the desk that generates
funds for local charities.
RSVP Van Transportation - 2,371 round trip van rides were provided free to elderly
Pittsfield residents to their volunteer assignments, medical appointments, and social
outings. A driver training was held to insure safety for our passengers and adherence to
transportation policies. This project is conducted through daily dispatch services by
RSVP staff, volunteer drivers, and a cost free ½ time Senior Employment Aide from
Elder Services 5 days per week throughout the year.
Big E Bus Trip – A mini grant of $850.00 was awarded from the Eastern States
Exposition to RSVP to provide free bus transportation and admittance tickets for 57
Senior Volunteers to the BIG E Fair in September 2008 as acknowledgement for their
invaluable community service in Berkshire County.
Foster Grandparent Program - RSVP sponsors the FGP program in Berkshire County
and has 20 active volunteers who serve in Pittsfield and North Adams providing 20 hours
per week per volunteer to work with at-risk children in various school settings. This
program is completing its 7th year of operation and is paid entirely through Federal
American Cancer Society – This RSVP signature project includes Road to Recovery
Cancer Treatment Transportation, Bosom Buddy Bags for Breast Cancer Patients, Relay
for Life and Daffodil Day Fundraisers and “Paint the Town Pink” event. These five
projects are coordinated for the American Cancer Society and prove to be an essential
link to supporting cancer patients with cancer awareness advocacy, transportation
education and fundraising. 200 Bosom Buddy bags were hand made and distributed to
women who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer following their surgery.
Approximately 707 rides were provided free to patients receiving radiation and
chemotherapy. Volunteers assisted with the 2008 Relay for Life at Onota Lake which
raised over $350,000 and RSVP volunteers worked diligently on the annual Daffodil
Days flower fundraiser compiling bouquet bundles which raised funds for education and
prevention efforts. *RSVP was awarded the American Cancer Society‟s Community
Partnership Award in 2007.

SCSEP (Senior Employment Program) – RSVP obtained a 20 per week intern from
Elder Services who coordinated the RSVP Transportation Service for one year. At no
cost to RSVP, this wonderful resource assisted us greatly with passenger requests, driver
schedules, monthly statistics and vehicle maintenance.

RSVP Annual Recognition Dinner – RSVP held a volunteer recognition dinner for 300
volunteers and community guests at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in May 2009. The Mayor
presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Ellie Persip. The RSVP Community
Partner Award was given to Barrington Stage.

Volunteer Birthdays –RSVP celebrates all volunteers with a monthly Birthday party as
our way to recognize them on a personal level for their valuable contribution to the
community. Flowers, a specially designed card, balloons, games and Birthday Cake are
part of the festivities held each month. Approximately 20 volunteers attend each month.
DeVanny Condron donates the cake and refreshments. This continues to be an extremely
popular event with the volunteers who often times have no family or friends to celebrate

Sonsini Animal Shelter – RSVP volunteers serve as friends to animals at the City
Shelter, working as dog walkers, feeders and other supports to staff.

Berkshire Athenaeum – RSVP volunteers serve at the Library Book Sales 3 times per
year, that generates funds for the Friends of the Library, who in turn, replace used books,
purchase new editions, buy equipment and furniture, and maintain pace with programs
and project expansion. The library raised $22,500 in 08-09 book sale projects.
Volunteers also work on the Books on Wheels program to bring reading materials to
homebound and residents of local nursing homes.

Junior Achievement – RSVP recruits and trains teams of volunteers to conduct
elementary school workshops for 5 week sessions focused on career opportunities,
sharing life experiences, how to become an informed consumer, the value of team work,
and the difference between wants and needs. In 2008, RSVP Volunteer Julie Pelletier,
who serves as our Senior Leader, was awarded the Jr. Achievement‟s 2008 Volunteer of
the Year at a ceremony in Springfield. 1042 children were served this past year.

The Berkshire County Volunteer Fair – This 1st time county wide recruitment project
is planned for October 2009. Initiated in 2008, a RSVP Senior Leader was recruited to
coordinate, plan and conduct all aspects of this unique and much needed community

National Senior Corps Association – RSVP Director Normalyn Powers serves on the
National Board of Directors as Treasurer, following her Co Presidency of NSCA during
its founding year, which she was instrumental in establishing, in 2007. The Berkshire
County RSVP Director is also an active member of the Massachusetts Association of
RSVP Directors, the New England Council of RSVP Directors and the Volunteer
Administration Association of the Capital Region. She has previously served as
President of all these Associations.

The above projects are examples of some of RSVP’s community service projects.
Additionally, RSVP actively coordinates Books on Wheels, projects at Berkshire
Medical Center, Read Across America Day, the RSVP Craft Class, and the
James Taylor Raffle, projects for Downtown Pittsfield, collection of used printer
cartridges for recycling, WBRK radio shows to promote RSVP, revitalizing the
RSVP newsletter; a focus on Baby Boomer recruitment (for which we recruited
100 new volunteers in 08-09), CORI (Criminal Offense Record Investigation)
verification for each volunteer, establishment of the ASSOCIATE Volunteer
program for those ‘under the age of 55’ (of which we registered 50+ volunteers
in the past 2 years) updating of the RSVP Website and printing of the new RSVP
brochures. It is obvious that RSVP continues to address community need and
remains focused on adult volunteer service that addresses community need with
proven results.

RSVP volunteers performed amazing and needed assignment tasks during the year
culminating in documentable accomplishments in FY ’09. The volunteer spirit and
the outstanding contributions of adult residents 55 years and above in Berkshire
County remains a strong, valuable and dependable resource to solving community
problems, RSVP prides itself in the delivery of personal/customer friendly and
quality response to the volunteers who make our program shine!

Respectfully submitted,

Normalyn Powers
RSVP Director


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