COUNCIL OF THE SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS
RETIRED AND SENIOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
RSVP is America’s largest volunteer network for people age 55 and over. There are over 500,000 volunteers across the country who are tackling tough issues in their communities. With RSVP, you choose how and where you want to serve, the amount of time you want to give and you choose whether you want to draw on your skills or develop new ones. You find the opportunity that’s right for you.
In the past year 605 RSVP volunteers serving the counties of McDowell, Raleigh, Wyoming and Mingo, have donated 99,650 volunteer hours. The following is a breakdown of some of the services:
*Volunteers performing telephone reassurance calls, home visits, visits to the veterans hospital and with hospice patients donated 51,137 hours.
*Volunteers at food pantries donated 2,641 hours.
*Volunteers for Tamarack donated 38 hours.
*Volunteers for neighborhood watch groups donated 45,834 hours.
There are also 405 community volunteers under the age of 55, in these 4 local counties, that are organized by RSVP volunteers and help with projects.
Currently, there are 17 Neighborhood Watch groups; 10 calling stations are developed with volunteers making calls to the sick, elderly and shut-ins; 31 volunteers are working with disaster shelters through the American Red Cross, 26 volunteers are collecting and visiting the Veteran Hospital located in Beckley and taking needed supplies to the long-term patients; 8 volunteers are visiting with Hospice patients; and 30 volunteers are working with economic development projects with: Tamarack, Itmann Food Pantry, Town of Anawalt and Council of the Southern Mountains.
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 CSM started the RSVP program in June, 2003 there were only 2 volunteers. Recently, the program has over 600 volunteers 55 and older and 200volunteers 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 304-327-5305.