Opportunities to Volunteer

Are you 18+ and want to volunteer?


Getting to doctor's appointments, events, classes and activities or even grocery shopping may become a hassle when you don't have the ability to drive yourself around town. Our Volunteer Transportation Program provides an alternative ride option for older adults for these reasons.

Here's how it works:

  • Email us at sanfordmobility@unr.edu and we'll get you started.
  • Volunteers are asked to come to a one-time in-person orientation, we will discuss the specifics of providing transportation to older adults within your own vehicle.
  • Volunteers must be over the age of 18, have a valid Nevada driver's license and a valid form of car insurance and registration. Volunteers must be able to pass a background check.
  • Once volunteers are in our system, they will have access to an online database to review upcoming rides and select those that work with your schedule.

Volunteer benefits include: mileage reimbursement, supplemental insurance and recognition of your contributions.

For clients

To qualify, participants must be at least 60 years of age, allow us to visit them in their home to conduct an assessment and fill out paperwork and be able to get to the vehicle on their own.

We ask that you give us two weeks' notice for every ride that you request so that we have ample time to secure a volunteer for you.

Senior Outreach Services

The Senior Outreach Services (SOS) program, founded in 2002, provides support to Washoe County’s most vulnerable elders through trained volunteers that help seniors “Age in Place,” and allow them to stay in their homes as long as possible. These seniors are 60 years and older, home-bound, low income, and in need of a friend. Many are isolated and may have no immediate family or other support system — yet all are deserving of dignity and respect. Volunteers meet the essential needs of these seniors while engaging in meaningful service that enriches their own lives.

What to Expect as a Volunteer

As an SOS volunteer you can help a needy senior be as independent as possible by:

  • Offering companionship and emotional support by visiting once a week and keeping phone contact
  • Providing support by driving clients to doctor’s offices, collecting prescription medication from pharmacies, assisting with grocery shopping and taking them on outings
  • Sharing a skill, playing board games, assisting their clients with reading, especially those with limited vision
  • Helping seniors who need a little extra help with other essential day-to-day needs
  • Being an advocate for your clients and the eyes and ears of the program

What volunteers do not do:

  • Assist with housekeeping, laundry, or personal care
  • Take responsibility for money management
  • Administer medicine

If you have the desire to volunteer your time to assist seniors in our community for two or more hours each week, please call (775) 784-1807, or email sanfordvolunteers@unr.edu.

The program is funded by the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD), and the Jean Sanford Endowment. The Sanford Center for Aging, University of Nevada, Reno sponsors Senior Outreach Services while the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Washoe County recruits and enrolls interested volunteers. Mileage reimbursement for volunteers is funded by a special grant from Regional Transportation Commission.

Senior Outreach Services operates its programs and services without regard to race, color, and national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Any person who believes s/he has been aggrieved by any unlawful discriminatory practice under Title VI may file a complaint with the UNR Equal Opportunity/Title IX Office.

For more information on the UNR Equal Opportunity/Title IX Office civil rights program, and the procedures to file a complaint, contact UNR Equal Opportunity/Title IX Office at (775) 784-1547; email mdoucettperry@unr.edu; or visit our office located at UNR Continuing Education Building, Room 206, 1041 N. Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89503. For more information, visit our website at https://www.unr.edu/equal-opportunity-title-ix.

Are you 55+ and want to volunteer?

The Sanford Center for Aging is an AmeriCorps Seniors grantee and receives funding through their RSVP program, which pairs Americans aged 55 and older with organizations making change in our community.

AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers who serve in our RSVP program choose how, where, and when they want to serve, with commitments ranging from a few hours to 40 hours per week. We will help you find a service opportunity you are passionate about. With RSVP you can use the skills and talents you've learned over the years, or develop new ones while serving in a variety of volunteer activities in your community. AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers themselves report better health and longevity having served their community.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Providing companionship and support to vulnerable older adults
  • Distributing free medical equipment, supplies, and prescription assistance to Nevadans in need
  • Facilitating wellness programs online or in person
  • Providing social support to older adults online or over the phone
  • Advocating for community safety
  • Promoting art and culture
  • Providing transportation to older adults in the community
  • Strengthening our community in other ways

Volunteer Benefits

  • As an AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer with Washoe County RSVP, you'll forge new relationships with people in your community and make a significant difference in the lives of others.
  • You will serve with a nationally recognized network of community volunteers.
  • Your volunteer efforts will be recognized by our community.
  • You can request mileage reimbursement and will receive other tangible benefits.