Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington D.C.
From Peace Corps Wiki
“Bringing the Experience Home”
We are a volunteer-run organization representing the sizable community of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and groupies who live and work in Washington, DC. We do this through three main activities.
- Holding social events such as happy hours, parties, field trips, and other fun, interest-based activities. Any member may start a club and utilize our network to organize it.
- Helping local nonprofits engaged in community development meet their needs for volunteer assistance by holding regular service projects and partnering toward shared goals.
- Helping our members advance their careers through structured professional development events and by establishing a vibrant, organized network of mentors in various industries.
From time to time, we also engage in events of a symbolic or historic nature, such as marching in a parade or participating in a public ceremony. Membership is open to all who share a passion for community service, professional development, and international engagement.
2012-2013 Mission Statement
"To serve as a resource to RPCVs and friends in the Washington DC area through social events, community service projects, and professional development programs that embody the 3rd Goal and spirit of the Peace Corps."
The Mission Statement is reviewed and may be revised yearly by the Board of Directors.
What We Do
In addition to organizing regular social events for our members, RPCV/W divides its long-term programming into four areas:
RPCV/W is committed to supporting local organizations engaged in community development in the DC area. We are all volunteers at heart, and our members enjoy coming out on a weekend to help out a worthy cause. Keep an eye on our events for our next volunteer day. Service events are organized by our Community Service Director.
Partnership for Peace
Each year, we officially sponsor a grassroots nonprofit that shares our goals and values. In addition to awarding them a cash grant based on the proceeds of our yearly fundraiser, we advertise their events through our social network and help them organize volunteers for their activities. Our Vice President is charged with coordinating and strengthening the PfP program.
We believe that all RPCVs should be able to network freely, and encourage our members to make time for their peers who are looking to climb the ladder. To this end, we host regular networking events in panels, and we are organizing a vibrant network of mentors in dozens of different workplaces who are willing to sit down for coffee with a qualified applicant or someone interested in their work. This program is overseen by our Professional Development Director who acts as our chief networker and job coach.
As our numbers grow, so does our role in the community. RPCV/W is often called upon to plan and participate in major public events. From parades to public-speaking, our services are always in demand. On September 28, 2011, RPCV/W organized a large public event at Arlington National Cemetery to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps, which hosted over 5,000 participants. Since 1984, we have gathered each year to lay flowers at the gravesite of John F. Kennedy in Arlington National Cemetery. We have also march with Peace Corps in Presidential Inauguration and DC's LGBT Capitol Pride Parade.
RPCVs have been coming to DC since the Peace Corps was founded. Many were involved in the Peace Movement of the 1960s and there are several documented instances where RPCVs gathered to protest the war in southeast Asia. They found jobs in the civil and foreign service and set down roots. They began forming groups in the 1970’s, banding together for social solidarity and to support projects abroad. RPCV/W was formed in 1979 as an offshoot of the National Council of Returned Volunteers, which is now known as the National Peace Corps Association. RPCVs in DC banded together to do service projects, network, and commemorate special events such as Peace Corps anniversaries. RPCV/W was formally incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 1991. As the years passed, a diverse, multi-generational community of RPCVs came into being, with new members arriving every week.
There are an estimated 5,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers living in the Washington, DC Metro area. Over 1,000 are active, dues-paying members of RPCV/W.
According to a 2012 survey, most of RPCV/W's members join to network, make friends, and to become familiar with the DC Peace Corps Community. 83% attended at least one event throughout the year. 85% receive the weekly email newsletter. Most reported making friends, participating in events, and getting involved with local volunteer projects. Others reported getting jobs, finding mentors, and even meeting their significant other through the network.
The median age of RPCV/W's membership is 32, and over half possess an advanced degree. They work in international development and the nonprofit sector primarily. 74% are female and 29% are male. Columbia Heights is their neighborhood of choice. There are also large concentrations in Shaw, Bloomingdale, and Eastern Market.
Membership in RPCV/W is open to all. First year is always free. Member dues have remained $15 per year since 1986.
- Members are eligible for discounts to special events.
- Members are granted access to our online directory to search for and contact other members.
- Members can register for and attend restricted "Members Only" events.
- Members can access and freely network in our private Linkedin Group.
- Members may submit news items, including fundraisers and events, to our weekly newsletter.
- Members may post fundraisers or small events requiring payment in our Facebook Group, which serves as the public forum of our organization.
- Members may participate in sub-committees called by the Board of Directors and lead Board-sanctioned events.
- Members shape the organization by organizing clubs, electing the Board of Directors, and assuming leadership roles.