Southern New Hampshire Services, Inc.
Toll-Free 1.800.322.1073
(603) 668-8010

Volunteer Services

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program

“Put Your Experience to Work” and choose how and where to serve. The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program engages people 55 and better how to apply the skills and wisdom they have acquired throughout their lives and how they can channel it to make a difference in the lives of others. National Service is at the forefront of the Corporation for National and Community Service who guides the efforts of RSVP to ensure volunteer work contributes to real and lasting change in the community. In 2013 490 RSVP volunteers provided over 85,000 hours of service to the community.

Our program has been enhanced and the energy has been directed into six focus areas Healthy Futures, Education, Disaster Services, Economic Opportunity, Environmental Stewardship and Veterans and Military Families plus Community Involvement Programs.

As our participation in the community is transformed to meet the growing needs of our focus areas, more new and different opportunities will be offered.

Signature programs offered by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program include:

Thresholds and Decisions

This critical thinking and decision-making course has a twenty-five year history in the Northeast. It is presented to inmates in county jails by trained RSVP volunteers who meet one-on-one in weekly one-hour sessions with selected inmates for twelve weeks. These sessions are supported by a weekly two-hour group session that reinforces the five steps of good decision-making. The recidivism rate of graduates of the Thresholds and Decisions Program is 14%, compared to the recidivism rate of the general inmate population, which is over 60%. 20 RSVP volunteers served as counselors, teachers and mentors in the program in 2013

For more information, contact Lyn Collins at lcollins@snhs.org or call 634-1169.

The Pen Pal Program

RSVP’s award-winning Pen Pal Program partners third grade students with caring RSVP seniors who, through an exchange of letters, foster an interest in reading and writing to improve language, written communication and social skills. This unique partnership promotes nurturing relationships that share experiential wisdom and encourage the child’s growth into a confident, responsible and caring individual. The Pen Pal Program started in Nashua in 2004; it is now active with 3 schools in Manchester and 1 school in Nashua. 70 volunteers and 75 children were involved during the 2013 school year.

RSVP Bone Builders

The RSVP Bone Builders Program relies upon weight training and balance exercises to protect against fractures caused by osteoporosis by increasing muscular strength, balance and bone density. Balance exercises aimed at preventing falls and fractures are key components of the program. Volunteer Trainers are qualified by attending a one-day, all-day workshop conducted by experienced instructors. Volunteer Trainers are often former participants and some actually suffer from osteoporosis. Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association show that elderly women who participated in a weight-training program twice weekly for a year gained an average of 1% of bone density. Participants also reported increased strength, better balance, more energy and feelings of well-being. Participants meet twice a week for a minimum of six months. Bone Builders started in Nashua in 2010 at Davidson Landing; the program has expanded to include additional sites in Nashua and Manchester and involves 15 active volunteer leaders.

See schedule below:

RSVP Bone Builders

Davidson Landing II
145 Ledge St.
Nashua, NH
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 – 11:15 am
(class started April 14, 2010)

Wagner Court
101 Burke St.
Nashua, NH
Monday and Wednesdays from 2-3:15pm
(class started Jan. 10, 2011)

Hallsville Court
870 Hayward St.
Manchester, NH
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-5:15 pm
(class started  June 14, 2011)

Streeter Shores
76 Temple Street
Nashua, NH
Tuesdays and Fridays from 10-11:15 am

Catholic Medical Center – Wellness  Center
100 McGregor Street
Manchester, NH
Thursdays from 5:30-6:30pm
(class starts Thursday, May 24, 2012)

Nashua Senior Activity Center
70 Temple Street
Nashua, NH
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 2:00-3:00pm
(class started February 5, 2013)

For more information on how to become a participant or a group leader contact: Dee Martin by phone at  603-668-8010  x6022 or email at jsanders@snhs.org or Nicholas Copadis at (603) 598-9421, email rsvp@snhs.org.

RSVP Fixit Corps

The RSVP Fixit Corps provides minor home maintenance and repair for seniors 60 years or older and disabled citizens living in their own homes in Hillsborough County. Qualified volunteers who have experience in the construction trades or general maintenance provide the skills necessary to complete the repairs. Clients are responsible for the materials needed to complete the repair; an affordable donation is encouraged to allow the program to continue offering services to others. In 2013, RSVP Fixit Corps 25 active volunteers served 275 households.

For more information contact: Dee Martin by phone at  603-668-8010  x6022 or email at jsanders@snhs.org or Nicholas Copadis at (603) 598-9421, email rsvp@snhs.org.

Seniors Count Neighbors Care

Seniors Count is a Manchester community initiative that collaborates with local organizations to raise awareness, leverage resources and coordinate services for at-risk elderly members of the community. SNHS, is a Seniors Count collaborating partner, and receives funds to support Seniors Count Neighbors Care, as an ongoing project that assists frail and at-risk indigent women in Manchester.

The goal of the Friendly Visitor program is to allow the women to remain in their homes living independently for as long as possible. Individual volunteers are matched with program participants and offer services such as running errands, performing light household tasks, or just visiting to provide a social connection to the community.

As the program has grown, Seniors Count Neighbors Care has collaborated with the community service groups of the seven Manchester colleges as well as local youth groups who provide a corps of volunteers for both short and long-term opportunities, including the Fall/Spring Clean Ups and the annual Home Safety Survey. The Mary Gale Foundation funds Seniors Count Neighbors Care. In 2013 209 volunteers served 380 seniors with 1,960 hours of service.

For more information, contact Heather LaTourette at 634-1169 or hlatourette@snhs.org.

CATCH Healthy Habits

Southern New Hampshire Services, in conjunction with the OASIS Institute implemented the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) Healthy Habits Program in Manchester in 2011. This unique inter-generational program engages adults 50 and older to educate children in kindergarten through grade 5 about nutrition and fitness. The program addresses adult and childhood obesity by providing educational sessions on healthy eating and physical activity. The CATCH program runs in after school, summer and other recreational programs. Volunteer teams of 3-5 adults present a series of lessons that involve a healthy snack, health education lesson, and fun physical activities. In 2013 the program grew to involve 140 children and 22 volunteers who provided 800 hours of service.

For more information or to volunteer in this ground breaking program, please contact Elise Jordan at 603-634-1169 or by email at ejordan@snhs.org. Help us make a difference in our community.