RSVP of the Red River Valley

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Red River Valley connects volunteers age 55 and over with service opportunities in their communities that match their skills and availability. From building houses to immunizing children, from enhancing the capacity of non-profit organizations to improving and protecting the environment, RSVP volunteers put their unique talents to work to make a difference.

Why volunteer?

Why volunteer?

Why Volunteer?

RSVP Volunteers performing a skitPerhaps the first and biggest benefit people get from volunteering is the satisfaction of incorporating service into their lives and making a difference in their community and country. The intangible benefits alone—such as pride, satisfaction and accomplishment—are worthwhile reasons to serve.

RSVP benefits the community, the organization, and the volunteer. Think of what you can do when you give your time to help your community:

Help your community
Know that you are giving your time, talent, wisdom, and experience to your community and neighbors who need you.

Help yourself
Through service, you can add to the quality and health of your life. Research indicates that volunteers enjoy better health, make new friendships, stay active and involved in the community, and learn new skills.

Make a difference
Be part of a national movement to transform America through the involvement of its citizens.

Save money for the organizations you serve
By donating your time and skills, you help make funds go farther for organizations that address critical needs in your community.

What is RSVP?

What is RSVP?

RSVP connects volunteers age 55 and over with service opportunities in their communities that match their skills and availability. From building houses tutoring children, from enhancing the capacity of non-profit organizations to improving and protecting the environment, RSVP volunteers put their unique talents to work to make a difference.

For 40 years, RSVP has matched problems to be solved with people willing to help. Today, more than 500,000 seniors participate in RSVP, making it one of the largest volunteer efforts in the nation. You can be a part of this family of caring volunteers that is solving problems and bringing our communities together.

A map of RSVPs service area

RSVP of the Red River Valley

Are you...

  • 55 years or older?
  • exploring community volunteering?
  • a nonprofit or public agency in search of volunteers?

If so...

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) can help.

RSVP is a national program, locally sponsored in your community, that is available to you, free of charge.

RSVP offers men and women, age 55 and over, volunteer opportunities that fit their interests, skills and schedules.

Together we can explore your interests and find a community need that will use your natural talents wisely. RSVP has the volunteer's best interests in mind when researching community volunteer needs.

Only nonprofit and public agencies or organizations and healthcare facilities are eligible to become RSVP volunteer sites. Each site is given the opportunity to attend trainings to expand their skills in developing and managing a strong, healthy volunteer program.

Priorities are Important

RSVP Volunteers working in the elementary schoolsNationwide, many volunteers are responding to community needs that support:

  • children and youth
  • the environment
  • public safety
  • health and human service needs

Your priorities will guide your choices about where you invest your valuable time and talents.


RSVP provides free supplemental insurance when volunteering, limited reimbursement of transportation and meal expenses, and an annual recognition banquet.

Nontangible Benefits

  • RSVP going through a Bone Builders classMeeting new people
  • Feeling of contributing and giving of oneself and one's skills
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence in one's abilities
  • Renewing past acquaintances
  • Getting out into the community
  • Feeling a part of a greater cause
  • Learning new things and new skills

Volunteers often find that they receive more than they give. The quality of life is enriched by active participation in community service. But most of all, the community benefits because of the volunteers' willingness to share their most valuable possessions, their time and their talents.

Get Involved!

We look forward to hearing from you about your decision to get involved

RSVP volunteers make a difference in their communities...they are a part of the solution to community problems.

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of the Red River Valley, sponsored by the University of Minnesota, Crookston, is provided funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Minnesota Board on Aging, the counties of Pennington, Red Lake, Polk, and Norman, the University of Minnesota, along with Crookston and Thief River Falls United Way.

2013 Advisory Council Members 

Polk County

Polk County

Polk County

Red Lake County

Pennington County

Roseau County

Polk County Commissioner

Polk County

East Polk County

Polk County Commissioner

Marshall County

Kittson County

Marshall County

Polk County

Pennington County

Norman County

Polk County

Signature Programs

Signature Programs

RSVP Bone Builders

RSVP Bone Builders is an exercise program that relies upon weight training to protect against fractures caused by osteoporosis by increasing muscular strength and bone density. Classes are taught by trained RSVP volunteer instructors and are held twice a week at various sites throughout the region. Classes are free to all participants. Benefits include increased bone density and muscle strength, improved balance, increased flexibility, increased energy and mobility, increased sense of well-being and socialization.

View the Bone Builders schedule >>>

Reader's Theater

Reader's Theater consists of a team of RSVP volunteers who go to schools during "I Love to Read" month and read books to children from kindergarten through 4th grade. The books have been turned into script form and each reader assumes a character in the book. Some props and minimal costuming is used.

Reading Buddies

RSVP volunteers are matched with elementary school students who need a little extra help with their reading as well as a little TLC.

RSVP Greeters

If you're an early riser and enjoy kids, you may want to go to your local school on the school day(s) you choose and greet students as they come into the school building. This program has been going on in Crookston for over ten years and is very successful! The administration has nothing but good to say about having the volunteers there. It not only brightens the kids' day, it also makes for more well behaved kids. 

RSVP Handyman Program

The primary focus of the RSVP Handyman Program is to help seniors, age 60 and older remain safely and independently in their own home for as long as practicable. Trained RSVP volunteers will provide minor repairs and safety modifications as well as providing safety assessments and educational materials on falls and fire prevention in the home. The labor is free, but the client pays for all necessary materials.

RSVP Groceries to Go Program

Trained volunteers will grocery shop for seniors age 60+ who are no longer able to shop on their own. In some cases volunteers may take a client grocery shopping. Volunteers may assist in making out a grocery list, shopping and then putting the groceries away. Not only are the volunteers providing a needed service, but also the gift of time and companionship.

If you are interested in one or more of these volunteer opportunities or would like to discuss other opportunities, call us at 218-281-8288.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

General Volunteer Opportunities

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Reader’s Theater
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Volunteer Driver
  • Deliver Meals on Wheels
  • Greeter at the Crookston High School
  • Humane Society (Crookston)
  • Tutor school children
  • Respite Caregiver Support Program
  • Food Shelves
  • UMC Information Desk Volunteer
  • RSVP Bone Builders trainer
  • RSVP Handyman (Crookston, East Grand Forks, Red Lake Falls)
  • RSVP Groceries to Go (Thief River Falls, Crookston, East Grand Forks)

If you are interested in a volunteer position that isn’t listed, RSVP can assist you, just let us know!

Immediate Volunteer Needs

  • Crookston High School is looking for morning greeters during the school year
  • Man the front desk at the Polk County Historical Society museum during the summer months
  • Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging, Warren - Assist Senior Citizens and all Medicare beneficiaries understand: Medicare, Medical Assistance, Medicare Advantage, private health insurance plans, Part D prescription drug plans, drug expenses, help process claims and appeals and be an advocate on behalf of clients. You will receive an initial training on all of these areas as well as Social Service programs, Long Term Care insurance and other areas of concern to seniors. You will also, get quarterly training on new programs and ongoing changes. All of the information that you will learn is great information for your own use and an opportunity to assist our older population
  • Super Sixty After School Program at Highland Elementary School is looking for volunteers to help from 3 to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Volunteers will encourage students to work on homework and provide help in reading or clarifying directions, listen to students read and help students practice math facts.
  • Groceries to Go volunteers are needed in Thief River Falls, Crookston and East Grand Forks. Volunteers grocery shop for seniors age 60+ who are no longer able to shop on their own. Volunteers may also take a senior shopping. 
  • Handyman volunteers are needed in Red Lake Falls, Crookston and East Grand Forks. Handyman volunteers do small home repairs and safety assessments for seniors. Volunteers sign up to do only jobs that they are comfortable with. RSVP encourages "Handyman couples."
  • North Country Food Shelf needs volunteers to greet and assist clients as they shop; help stock shelves, bag produce, and label cans. Assist with general upkeep of the food shelf.

Contact us if you are interested in one or more of these volunteer opportunities.

Department Faculty & Staff

Department Faculty & Staff

Community Program Assistant
(218) 281-8288
(218) 281-8289

RSVP of the Red River Valley

University of Minnesota Crookston

251 Owen Hall

2900 University Ave

Crookston, MN 56716

PHONE: 218-281-8289



M-F 8:00 am - 4:30 pm