RSVP, a Realtor Service Volunteer Program, is an annual community volunteer program supported and sponsored by the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors. The nuts and bolts of the program is to provide household assistance like cleaning up neglected landscaping, washing windows, cleaning gutters, replacing smoke detector batteries, flipping mattresses and moving furniture for seniors or the home-bound who cannot do by themselves.
All the applicants need do is complete an application. The requested tasks are reviewed with the homeowner and a team is assigned to do the work. This year I spent most of the morning in Mountain View cleaning up the front and back yard by trimming an overgrown hedge and pulling weeds. We managed to fill over 6 large trash bags with debris. We also organized the homeowner’s garage.
I first volunteered for RSVP in 2001, the inaugural year of the program. After my first experience with the program, I vowed never to volunteer again. You see in year one, I spent 4 hours peeling and scraping Ivy off the the roof and side of a south Los Altos home, only to see that home listed for sale within two weeks. It appeared to me that I was used to help prepare the home for sale. In the early years of RSVP, agents got their clients to sign up for the program as a cheap way to prepare the home for sale. Slimy buggers!
I came back this year after I was told that there were safeguards in place to limit realtor solicitations. I’m sure there was some solicitation, but hopefully not as blatant as it was in 2001.
This year 105 RSVP volunteers provided services to 55 local residents.