RSVP of Berkshire County announces recipient of 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Berkshire County (RSVP) has announced that Pittsfield resident, Gisele Yetz, is the 2020 recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award.

The award announcement would usually be a part of the annual RSVP award recognition luncheon, but the event was not held due to COVID safety restrictions. Instead, RSVP recognized the 2020 award recipient with a small, socially distanced, outdoor ceremony on Jan. 22 in front of the RSVP headquarters at 16 Bartlett Ave.

“Gisele epitomizes the outstanding community spirit that our 300-plus volunteers represent,” said RSVP Executive Director Jeff Roucoulet. “We’re grateful for her dedicated service, her positive attitude, and constant willingness to go above and beyond.”

Yetz has been an RSVP member since 2012. During this time, she has devoted 875 hours of volunteer service, primarily driving the RSVP van on regularly scheduled days, and stepping up to help when last-minute changes occur.

For Yetz, it’s about doing what she can to create a better community. “Kindness goes a long, long way. I always try to spread sunshine every day,” she says.

When not driving, Yetz often works on her own projects, including crocheting, sewing and crafting many items that she donates to those in need. She has also served with the Berkshire Talking Chronicle (104.3 FM), a radio reading service for the blind or visually-impaired, as well as with the Berkshire Athenaeum, Goodwill Industries, Habitat for Humanity, Moments House and has assisted in the city’s Department of Community Development.

RSVP is a national organization funded in part by AmericCorps Seniors. It is sponsored locally by the City of Pittsfield. RSVP provides recruitment, training, and placement of persons 55 years of age and older as volunteers.

RSVP by the numbers:

  • 279 – number of local RSVP volunteers in 2019.
  • 33,168 – total volunteer hours.
  • 50 – number of states in which RSVP is represented.
  • 5,000 – number of host stations served by RSVP agencies.
  • 400,000 – number of RSVP volunteers nationwide.

To learn more about RSVP or to become a volunteer, please call 413-499-9345.