November 14, 2017

Contact: Lindsay Bennett-Jacobs,, 413-387-4558 x2

RSVP of the Pioneer Valley awarded expansion grant to provide services to Hampden County

HCG is pleased to announce that RSVP of the Pioneer Valley was awarded a competitive $110,000 Senior Corps expansion grant. Fifty grants were given out nationwide, and HCG received the only one in Massachusetts.

Formerly RSVP of Hampshire & Franklin Counties, RSVP will now be known as RSVP of the Pioneer Valley to fully reflect its expanded service area. RSVP began serving Hampshire County in 1973, later expanded into Franklin County in 1999, and through this grant now serves Hampden County as well.   

“We are thrilled to be able to serve Hampden County,” says Lindsay Bennett-Jacobs, director, RSVP of the Pioneer Valley. “We are looking forward to working with many new partner organizations and helping them find the volunteers they need to expand their community impact.”

RSVP volunteers are part of a network of 600+ community-minded people 55 and over. RSVP staff connect individual volunteers with service opportunities, which allow them to maximize their skill sets. They are matched with the community programs that will benefit the most from their expertise. RSVP’s one-on-one approach to connecting volunteers gives them the opportunity to make a profound impact on the organizations they serve, and allows them to help their communities grow and prosper.

“RSVP has connected me with a wide variety of opportunities that work for me,” says Joyce Muka, a volunteer at VA Western Central MA Healthcare System and the Easthampton Council on Aging. “It has been a wonderful experience for me, because I know I am making a difference in all of the organizations I serve.”

As part of the expansion, RSVP is recruiting Hampden County partner organizations who are seeking volunteers who want to make an impact in their community. In addition to official partner organizations, RSVP assists dozens of organizations each year by publicizing opportunities, recruiting volunteers for one-time short-term projects, and providing volunteer management support. 

“We have such a need for this rewarding program in Hampden County,” says Gary Donnelly, of WestMass Elder Care, Inc. “Our community has already seen a tremendous difference since partnering with RSVP.”

RSVP is hiring an additional staff member to connect volunteers with meaningful opportunities to serve in Hampden County. The volunteer coordinator will be responsible for managing the recruitment, retention, and recognition of senior volunteers, primarily in Hampden County, with a special emphasis on Spanish-speaking volunteers and programs.

About us


RSVP of the Pioneer Valley, a program of HCG, coordinates over 600 volunteers, age 55 and over, providing critical support to more than 50 area nonprofit organizations and enriching community life throughout our region. RSVP is a Senior Corps program funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service and is locally sponsored and funded by HCG. To learn more about RSVP and the many volunteer opportunities available, call 413-387-4558 or visit