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Home  >  Reading and Writing  >  Inspiring Readers
Exploring New Worlds: RSVP Volunteers
By Heather Villars Page 1 of 3   Next ยป

"What are you passionate about?" is the question Christina DeNuptiis gets to ask on a daily basis, as she connects senior citizens with organizations and businesses that need the valuable contributions these seniors are willing to offer: their time and expertise.
Christina DeNuptiis

Christina is the Outreach/Volunteer Coordinator at The South-Central Alaska, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), a sponsored program of Volunteers of America. Because RSVP is an independent entity, Christina gets to look objectively at the different organizations where she helps to place seniors for volunteer work. Which means that she isn't pushing people into volunteer positions that aren't right for them, creating a better volunteer experience for everyone involved. "The biggest part of what I do is get everyone together so we focus on the individual, our senior volunteer." Christina emphasizes that her main goal is to place seniors in volunteer opportunities where they already have experience or an interest in what they'll be doing.

What is the most important thing to know about volunteering according to Christina? "You're making a difference," Christina says, adding, "RSVP volunteers donated 84,000 hours of time in 1999." The magnitude of their contributions to organizations across Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley is striking. For example, RSVP volunteers contribute significantly to supporting literacy.

"It's really easy for people to write a check, but it's harder to actually go out there and volunteer." And that's what Christina's job is all about, helping people connect with meaningful volunteer opportunities that link their desires, hopes, and dreams. "Some people say they don't have enough time to volunteer," she says, "but they need to know that one hour a month can make a difference." Christina characterizes the RSVP volunteers as "unsung heroes" for what they give their communities.

Christina grew up on her parents' homestead on the Kenai Peninsula, went Outside to college, and now lives in Anchorage. She has worked for RSVP for 4 years, and enjoys volunteering as much as possible in her free time.

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