AmeriCorps Retired & Senior Volunteer Program seeks participants in Alamosa County

ALL the cool kids were there – Kris Steinberg, Marty and Diana Jones, Charlotte Ledonne, Jan Oen and Nancy Harris from Spark the Change, a 55-and-older volunteer organization tied to AmeriCorps – all working alongside others on a Saturday to get the Rio Grande Farm Park ready for another season of planting.

Harris, who also leads the Alamosa Live Music Association, is managing efforts to recruit volunteers in Alamosa County who are 55 and up to help in places like the Rio Grande Farm Park and other organizations that work to address food insecurity.

The effort is tied to Spark the Change Colorado’s Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), a senior volunteer effort through AmeriCorps, which brought the program to seven counties in Colorado in 2021.

Senior volunteers at Farm Park Senior volunteers at Farm Park

Harris is the RSVP coordinator in Alamosa County. As with all beginnings, she’s working overtime to recruit more senior volunteers to help out with preparing meals for the homebound, volunteering as a dining room host at local senior citizen residences, or other tasks that organizations like Area Agency On Aging, San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition, Rio Grande Farm can use volunteer support around.

Alamosa, Huerfano, Las Animas, Montezuma, Park, Jefferson and Broomfield counties all received funding through the AmeriCorps Spark the Change effort to get a Retired & Senior Volunteer Program going.

Senior volunteers Senior volunteers

If you’re Jesus Flores, the Rio Grande Farm Park manager, it’s happy days when volunteers like Jan Oen arrive on a Saturday to help with the chores. Oen is one of Alamosa’s serial volunteers, showing up everywhere to help someone.

She was getting after it on a recent Saturday at the Rio Grande Farm Park, helping uncover strawberry patches to see what remained from winter to spring, picking up trash along the highway, doing anything really that needed to be done.

If you’re of a similar mindset and looking to volunteer and help out in the area of food insecurity, Harris could use your help. To get involved email Nancy Harris at Or visit

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