Last updated: June 01. 2013 1:19PM - 280 Views
Staff Report

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The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is a non-profit organization that recruits, places and supports older citizens in Yadkin, Surry, and Davie counties.

Gilda Pruitt is the director for the three counties. She recently moved offices and is now based out of the Yadkin County Senior Center next to Lila Swaim Park in Jonesville.

Pruitt said the program’s objective it to “engage persons 55 and older in volunteer service to meet critical community needs and to provide a high quality experience that will enrich the lives of volunteers.”

Pruitt said RSVP met those goals by matching recruited seniors with service providers whose missions are compatible with the volunteers.

Current projects include: tutoring in the schools, Head Start, senior centers, the Homebound Meals program, food pantries, the library, medical transportation for veterans, friendly visitation, knitting for Hospice, and telephone reassurance.

With more than 300 volunteers in the tri-county area, the program is able to provide necessary social services to those in the community every day, said Pruitt. She also adds that she could always use more volunteers.

Pruitt said volunteers can choose where and when to serve. RSVP has a volunteer program specialist and director who can help select an opportunity that fits conveniently into the volunteer’s schedule. She said this allows volunteers to get the most out of their experience.

Volunteer positions are available to anyone 55 or older, with an emphasis placed on volunteers bringing friends to share in the experience.

“RSVP is a link between the resources of older adults and the need for the community,” Pruitt said. RSVP provides volunteers with technical support, limited insurance coverage, limited mileage reimbursement (when funds are available), and recognition for their contributions, she said.

Volunteers are given a per-service orientation, on-the-job training from the placement agency or organization, and supplement insurance while on duty, Pruitt added. The insurance overview is Excess Accident Medical Insurance, Excess Automobile Liability Insurance, and Excess Volunteer Liability Insurance.

Pruitt said that many people never volunteer because they simply were not asked to. She said RSVP was a very important program and a very rewarding one.

“It’s a passion I’ve got, to serve people. It’s a passion to know that at the end of the day this job has made a difference in someone’s life who was less fortunate.”

For more information, call Director Gilda Pruitt at 336-526-1087, Surry Program Specialist Shirley Nichols at 336-786-6155 ext. 232, or Davie Program Specialist Gloria Womack at 336-753-8270.

To reach Taylor Pardue, call 336-835-1485, or email him at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.

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