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RSVP offers help with household tasks.

Seniors and the homebound residing on the Peninsula and in the South Bay may request free assistance with household tasks through the REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program (RSVP) during the week of May 4-8. RSVP is offered each year in the month of May by REALTORS® and affiliates from the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) and neighboring REALTOR® associations to qualified seniors who cannot perform certain household tasks due to physical or financial constraints. The deadline for seniors to apply for this free assistance is March 20.

“RSVP is our way of thanking our seniors for all they have done for our communities. Through RSVP, REALTORS® and affiliates can make the difference between a senior remaining independent as a homeowner or renter, or having to give up that independence to some form of caregiving and dependence on strangers,” said Eileen Giorgi, SILVAR’s RSVP Committee chair.

During RSVP Week, teams of REALTORS® and affiliates (professionals who provide industry-related services) will visit senior households and perform various cleaning and maintenance tasks free of charge. Seniors can request to have light bulbs replaced, furnace filters changed, windows cleaned, mattresses turned, new smoke detector batteries installed, and other light housekeeping tasks. Last year approximately 180 volunteers from SILVAR assisted 123 senior households.

The annual community service program was adopted by SILVAR as an official association community outreach project in 2001. The program has since expanded to include members of the San Mateo County, Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County Associations of REALTORS®.

Seniors residing in the communities of Atherton, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Woodside, Portola Valley, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Monte Sereno and Los Gatos may apply for this free service by contacting the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® at (408) 200-0100 for information and an application. Seniors may also visit to download an application and submit to SILVAR before the March 20 deadline.


RSVPlogoforwebSILVAR’s REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program (RSVP) will take place this year the week of May 6 -10. Volunteers are needed for this special community outreach program. This year, each district has set aside special days to help seniors in their community:

Cupertino/Sunnyvale District:
Wednesday, May 8
Los Altos/Mountain View District:
Wednesday, May 8
Los Gatos/Saratoga District:
Thursday, May 9

Menlo Park/Atherton District:
Wednesday & Thursday, May 8-9
Palo Alto District:
Wednesday & Thursday, May 8-9

SILVAR REALTOR® and affiliate members are encouraged to volunteer their time and skills to help the elderly and the homebound in their respective communities. During RSVP week, RSVP volunteers visit the homes of seniors who are physically and financially challenged and provide free assistance with household tasks like replacing light bulbs, changing furnace filters, washing windows, turning over mattresses, changing smoke detector batteries and other similar household tasks.

RSVP has expanded on the Peninsula and in the South Bay, with volunteers from the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) and the Santa Cruz County Association of REALTORS® joining SILVAR and SAMCAR members in this worthwhile outreach project. Last year, 386 volunteers helped 284 seniors in the Bay Area. A total of 213 volunteers from SILVAR helped 148 seniors in SILVAR’s five districts. RSVP t-shirts worn by volunteers from the four Associations are sponsored by MLSListings Inc.

“We are really proud that every year our members have stepped up to help the seniors in their community. We hope more members will be able to volunteer for this worthwhile project this year,” said Eileen Giorgi, SILVAR’s RSVP Committee Chair.

Volunteer now by clicking on the link below, completing the volunteer application and faxing it to SILVAR at (408) 200-0101. You may also call SILVAR at (408) 200-0100 and ask that an application be mailed to you. The deadline to volunteer is Friday, March 15. Applications from seniors requesting help are also due on March 15.




How many men does it take to put a lace curtain? “Never enough!” according to (left to right) Bob Conway, Dave Barca, Doss Welsh and Peter Kitch. In the end, the men just couldn’t figure it out without the help of the homeowner and the women RSVP volunteers!

For more than a decade REALTORS® and affiliates from SILVAR have assisted seniors and the homebound with household tasks, through SILVAR’s REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program (RSVP). Washing windows, installing smoke detector batteries, flipping mattresses, light vacuuming, dusting, replacing light bulbs, changing furnace filters and trimming bushes can mean a lot of work, especially when agents have to take time from their busy schedules. Yet each year, the RSVP volunteers all say they take away more than what they give from this experience.

“I’ve been pretty lucky so far, so I felt I needed to do something to give back to the community,” Jeffrey Dean explained why he decided to volunteer for RSVP for the first time this year.

Longtime RSVP volunteer and Cupertino/Sunnyvale District’s RSVP chair Sue Bose said, “I believe when people grow old, many are afraid or shy to ask for help, even from their children, who live close by. The small tasks we do for them helps keep them safe and comfortable, and enables them to live a better and longer life.”

The seniors are always grateful for the help they receive from the volunteers.”It’s so very kind of you to help us,” said an 82-year-old Los Altos man and his 83-year-old wife to the team of Beth Tompkins, Joe Velasco, Michael Bleier and Christine Moore. They washed the couple’s outside screens and windows.

“We hate to admit that we’re getting old and can no longer do all this work,” said the husband.

“There’s no way I can do all this work by myself,” exclaimed an 83-year-old Los Gatos resident, as the team of C.T. Harris, Ryan Iwanaga and Wendy Lannon Potts flipped her mattress, placed bricks under her bed in order to elevate it, repaired a set of window blinds, replaced her smoke detector batteries and furnace filter, which was loacted in a dark cellar.

Longtime RSVP volunteers Rick White, Sherry Hagen and Scott Holt helped a 76-year-old woman and her 80-year-old husband by washing screens and windows and trimming bushes. The wife, who was in a wheelchair, recently had a stroke and then fell and broke her hip. They have no children.

“It’s frustrating not being able to do things and we guessed it was time to break down and ask for help,” she said. “My husband tries to do everything and he’s running himself down.”

An elderly Menlo Park homeowner, who is single and lives alone with no family nearby, called the volunteers “my angels.” “You are an answer to my prayers, a gift from heaven. I am so overwhelmed,” she told the team of David Barca, Mandy Safka, Kathy Hearn Bosse and Jim Taggart. They washed her curtains, screens and windows, fixed her front porch and installed new smoke detector batteries in her home. They were later joined by Bob Conway, Doss Welsh and Peter Kitch.

“I wish we could do more for them. I wish we could help even more seniors,” said Barca. “You learn so much through conversations with them, and, you end up getting attached to them, as well.

Barca initiated RSVP with other REALTORS® in 2001. The program was launched by SILVAR as an official community outreach project in 2002, and has expanded to include volunteers from the San Mateo County Association of REALTORS®, the Fresno Association of REALTORS®, Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® and Santa Cruz County Association of REALTORS®. Barca hopes to expand RSVP to all AORs in the state.

SILVAR RSVP Chair Eileen Giorgi thanked this year’s volunteers and chairs for their fine work this year. SILVAR’s 2012 RSVP district chairs include Sue Bose (Cupertino/Sunnyvale), Mary Kay Groth (Los Gatos/Saratoga District), David Kim and Suzanne O’Brien (Los Altos/Mountain View), Jeff Beltramo (Palo Alto District), and Barca (Menlo Park/Atherton).

“We really receive more than we give,” said Giorgi. “Thank you to all our volunteers and chairs who gave up their time this week to give back to the community. We all realize how important this program is to our seniors.”


March 2023


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