Triton College-based volunteer organization looking for more members

A volunteer organization sponsored by Triton College is seeking more volunteers with service on their minds.

The RSVP Volunteer Program of West Suburban Cook and Southern DuPage Counties is looking for volunteers to help in the community. RSVP is a national volunteer program for individuals who are 55 years old and older.

The group works with nonprofit organizations, reporting back to state and federal organizations on the impact they’re making.

One of the areas where members of RSVP are needed is at West Suburban PADS, a transitional housing and homeless shelter located in Maywood.

Joyce and Thomas Jurek of River Grove have been members of RSVP for 14 years, volunteering their time at Nuevos Horizontes, an extension of Triton that helps people improve their English language skills.

Joyce Thomas, 79, said being a member of RSVP and volunteering for Nuevos, which was once located in Melrose Park but is now located on Triton’s campus, has been very fulfilling. She and her husband would volunteer twice a week to help non-native speakers with their English language conversation skills.

“We met for an hour-and-a-half or two,” she said. “We have a good following, and promote conversation and help with their English.”

She and her husband have worked with people from China, Switzerland, Cambodia, Mexico and many others who needed to improve their English skills.

“We find it extremely interesting and rewarding,” she said.

She said anyone wanting to volunteer under RSVP should have patience.

“You have to be very flexible,” she said. “You learn from them as much as they’ve learned from you.”

There are perks to being involved in RSVP, she said.

“It keeps you young,” she said. “You’re not thinking of yourself, you’re doing something for someone else.”

For more information on volunteering, call Triton College’s RSVP office at 708-456-0300 ext. 3835 or 3603.

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