Senior Corps RSVP Volunteers from N.Y. and N.J. Honored at George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards Celebration
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On September 26, Senior Corps volunteers were honored for their inspirational service to others as part of the second annual The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards, hosted by the Points of Light Foundation. The honorees Milagros Betharte (N.Y.) and Steve Delman and Ava Reinfeld (N.J.) were each featured during the national telecast during Inspiration Spotlight Segments, while many more Senior Corps volunteers have been named to the Inspiration Honor Roll.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has provided new challenges for nonprofits and volunteers across the country, each of these outstanding volunteers have risen to the occasion – stepping up to ensure that those in need receive food and services or transitioning to a virtual model of volunteering.
"These individuals, even in the midst of a national pandemic, made service to their communities a priority," said Deborah Cox-Roush, director of Senior Corps, now known as AmeriCorps Seniors. "As a nation, we should recognize their service because their stories inspire countless more to volunteer and help their neighbors in need.”
Now in their second year, the George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards celebrate the contributions of outstanding individuals who represent the extraordinary traits of the 41st president, including the belief in the power of the human spirit to create positive change. Honorees were selected because of the transformative power and impact of their service.
Those representing Senior Corps include:
- Milagros Betharte
RSVP of Community Service Society of NY
Milagros has been a Senior Corps volunteer with the Community Service Society of New York, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) for over four years. She has mentored young people in the juvenile justice system, helped people with conviction histories read and repair their NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services rap sheets, and tutored math. Thanks to Milagros, more than 35 students passed their High School Equivalency (HSE) exam. When the pandemic hit New York City, Milagros continued her service via Zoom to make sure vulnerable young people had support despite not being able to meet in person. Her dedication and determination are an inspiration.
- Steve Delman and Ava Reinfeld
RSVP Center of Essex & Hudson Counties, New Jersey
Senior Corps RSVP volunteers Steve Delman and Ava Reinfeld have gone above and beyond since the pandemic started, delivering over 109 meals to isolated older adults. These hot meals are delivered twice a week with no physical contact on Tuesdays and Fridays, ensuring that recipients receive regular food deliveries and check-ins. RSVP staff set up a sign-up twice weekly for volunteers to select which clients need deliveries. Steve and Ava wait to sign up for remaining clients, usually serving those who live in more remote areas of the community. They are also longtime volunteers with Jewish Family Services of MetroWest NJ.
For decades, volunteers age 55+ have been serving their communities through AmeriCorps Seniors [Senior Corps] programs, led by AmeriCorps, the federal agency for service, volunteering, and civic engagement. Each year AmeriCorps Seniors [Senior Corps] engages older adults in volunteer service through its Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and RSVP programs, enriching the lives of the volunteers and benefiting their communities.
Beginning on September 29, Senior Corps will now be known as AmeriCorps Seniors, with Senior Corps volunteers referred to as AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers. The Corporation for National and Community Service will now operate under the name “AmeriCorps.”