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.

RSVP-Gisele 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, RSVPrecognized the 2020 award recipient with a small, socially distanced, outdoor ceremony on Jan.22 in front of the RSVP headquarters at 16 Bartlett Ave.

RSVP Executive Director Jeff Roucoulet said,

“Gisele epitomizes the outstanding community spirit that our 300-plus volunteers represent,. 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, she says, 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,”

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 AmeriCorps 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.

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