In 1966, twenty-three men and women joined a new CSS project founded on a simple yet revolutionary idea—that the skills and experience of older adults represented a great, untapped resource in helping to meet critical needs in New York City’s communities.
CSS launched Project SERVE on Staten Island, and by 1969, SERVE was providing assistance across New York State. SERVE continued to grow, becoming CSS’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), which Congress supported nationally—and which is now one of the largest volunteer networks in the nation for people aged 55 and over.
Today in New York City, nearly 3,000 trained RSVP volunteers continue to make an impact at community-based agencies such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, soup kitchens, libraries, and so much more. Last year, CSS RSVP volunteers provided more than 400,000 hours of service to the community.
In this milestone year, we send our deepest thanks all the volunteers, past and present, who make our city a better place.