Posted on April 5, 2016
Published by: El Dorado News Times, 5:00 A.M.
Today is recognized as Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service and El Dorado Mayor Frank Hash joined mayors across the country in a nationwide bipartisan initiative to highlight the impact of national service in tackling local problems.
More than 175 Senior Corps Retired Senior Volunteer Program, RSVP, volunteers serve in Union County providing vital support to over 25 community and non-profit organizations. The Mayor and County Day of Recognition for National Service recognizes the positive impact of national service in the counties, thanks those who serve and encourages citizens to give back to the community.
This day is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties and Cities of Service. CNCS annually engages millions of Americans in service at more than 50,000 locations through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and other programs.
RSVP, which was launched in the spring of 1971, is an outgrowth of efforts by private groups, gerontologists and government agencies to address the needs of retired people in America. It is America’s largest volunteer network for people age 55 and older and nearly 500,000 people participate every year.
A tri-county RSVP for Union County, Columbia County and Ouachita County was created in 1973. With the South Arkansas Regional Health Center as a sponsor, RSVP had 184 volunteers last years with over 58,000 hours of community service.
“Anyone can volunteer with RSVP as long as they are 55 or older,” Julia Amis, director of tri-county RSVP, said. “We are always looking for volunteers.”
Amis said that RSVP volunteers participate in aging in place programs, independent living programs, provide transportation, prepare and serve meals and inform people about Medicare.
“We try to get the word out about Medicare fraud and abuse to those who may not know,” Amis said. “We pass out as much information as we can and try to help.”
Another program that RSVP is involved in is healthy futures; the volunteers visit local food pantries and help with stocking and sorting and a soup for senior drive is also held. RSVP also has an education program where volunteers can read to first and second grade students every week to help these students with their reading levels.
For more information about RSVP, visit www.eldoradoconnections.com/RSVP or contact Amis at (870) 864-7080.