The Retired Senior and Volunteer Program (RSVP) is a program developed primarily to support volunteers 55 and older for various community endeavors. RSVP is currently serving the counties of: McDowell, Raleigh, Wyoming and Mingo.
When Ms. Caceres started with the program in June, 2003 there were only 2 volunteers. The program in July 2009 has over 260 volunteers 55 and older and 115 volunteers under the age of 55. CSM now has 17 Neighborhood Watch (NW) groups and 10 designated stations for telephone reassurance calls. Tamarack currently has 10 volunteers. RSVP and Tamarack are working together to recruit volunteers for the "Roving Ambassador" position. This is a great opportunity for someone who enjoys walking for exercise. You can volunteer once a month or how ever much you would like to greet visitors as they walk in the door, give directions and act as a tour guide. We also have volunteers that help with ticket distribution on Sundays or office work. There are 12 designated emergency disaster shelters within McDowell County and one in Raleigh. We are still working to develop shelters for Raleigh, Wyoming and Mingo. Seven of these shelters are stocked and fully operational if the need arises and 4 of these are designated missions and have groups that also use it in the summer time to perform work within their communities. We are working closely with the American Red Cross to help stock and get these shelters operational with the volunteers trained and ready.
RSVP has currently added a companionship outreach program to its list. This program recruits volunteers to make home visits to the elderly, sick or shut-ins. Volunteers have the opportunity to also work with Hospice or make visits to veteran centers. If you would like to be a volunteer contact the following RSVP staff at
304-436-6800 ext. 231.
During the past grant year, RSVP volunteers gave over 83,300 hours and the Neighborhood Watch groups conducted over 14,517 patrols.
The Council of the Southern Mountains is honored to have Ms Barbara Caceres as Director for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). Ms. Caceres is a native of McDowell County and attended the first Head Start program sponsored by the Council in 1965. Ms. Caceres has worked for the Council for over eight years and in the RSVP since 2003 as the Coordinator then Director. Ms. Caceres has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bluefield State College.
Ms. Caceres supervises the programs in four southern West Virginia counties under RSVP which includes 17 Neighborhood Watch Groups. In addition, she works with volunteers to establish and maintain emergency disaster shelters throughout the catchment area.
For more information about any of the programs under the auspices of the Corporation for National and Community Service sponsored by the Council of the Southern Mountains or to volunteer, please call Barbara Caceres, RSVP Director at 304-436-6800 ext. 231.
Copyright 2012 Council of the Southern Mountains. All rights reserved.