Janice Ayres: Volunteers make a huge difference in Nevada | NevadaAppeal.com

Janice Ayres: Volunteers make a huge difference in Nevada

Janice Ayres

“Everybody can be great … because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Every Sunday, the Nevada Appeal runs a column advertising for volunteers for numerous worthwhile organizations. To date at least 100 persons have responded to this column, with the largest response being for Western Nevada College, which is not surprising since they have so many interesting opportunities to offer. However, we have had responses for every opening that has been published.

RSVP is grateful, especially for those who have volunteered to drive seniors who can no longer drive to medical appointments, etc. RSVP has its own vans so that volunteers need not use their personal vehicles unless they wish.

RSVP keeps meticulous records so that when we hold our volunteer recognition events we can properly recognize your contributions. For volunteers over 55 years old, RSVP can pay out-of-pocket expenses up to $20 per month, and we also carry five kinds of volunteer insurance (liability, workmen’s comp., etc.). When you sign up with RSVP you become a member of one big happy family, and helping others is a sure thing to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

A recent article on volunteering said that the United States must include volunteers if it intends to build a better future. Here is an excerpt from that article: “Our country faces no shortage of challenges, and many people look to government to solve environmental, educational, health, poverty and other problems. But none of them can be solved by government alone. In fact, none can be solved without the committed efforts of the American people.”

Look at Nevada. It is at the bottom of the financial barrel. However, because of dedicated volunteers, many programs are surviving and still delivering the services so vital to many persons in need. As an example, RSVP provides rides to Reno for low-income seniors who can’t drive anymore, but need medical treatments not available in Carson City. Without volunteer drivers it would be impossible for seniors to get to Reno as no one else provides this at no cost.

Click on http://www.nevadarural

rsvp.org to learn more about the many programs that RSVP offers or call us at 687-4680, ext.6. Our email is branded@rsvp.carson-city.nv.us.

In these tough times we all need to pull together more than ever before to help those who are the most vulnerable, our seniors. RSVP is doing its best to do just that.

• Janice Ayres is executive director of Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program.