Jim Sánchez/ Conexión San Ángelo

SAN ANGELO – West Texas RSVP’s motto is “A neighbor’s independence depends on you!” This nonprofit volunteer program has been doing it locally for the past 34 years for its neighbors, specifically seniors within the community. 

Conexión interviewed Dolores Schwertner, RSVP Director and Teresa Covey, RSVP Program Assistant about one of its programs which is currently in need of volunteer drivers—Faith In Action.

“There are so many frail, elderly citizens who either don’t have family here to take them to medical appointments or they can’t drive anymore so the alternative is not good,” said Covey.

RSVP has noticed a slight decrease in drivers, thus the need to reach out to churches, the public and others to recruit volunteers for its faith-based, FIA program.

“There’s various reasons for the decrease in drivers such as the weather, vacation time, health situation, etc.” said Covey.

Also, as the elderly population has grown and continues to spread the word about the program, Schwertner mentioned that FIA has not been able to keep up with the calls for rides with the lack of drivers on hand.

“We can’t take on additional rides unless we recruit additional volunteers,” said Dolores.

Currently RSVP has 50 clients but the FIA program has only 20 plus volunteer drivers; Schwertner stated the focus is on recruiting volunteers who are 55-years-old or older to drive. Drivers are covered under RSVP’s insurance.

 

West Texas RSVP was presented with the Vision Award by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services for its’ successful Faith In Action Program. In 2016, FIA program transported clients to 500 medical appointments.

“It takes a special kind of volunteer for this program, but when they do it, they are really making a difference,” said Schwertner.

An hour or two of your time is a priceless benefit to ensure vulnerable seniors have transportation to their medical appointments. 

FMI, to volunteer as a driver for the FIA program, call Schwertner at 325-223-6388; or Covey, 325-223-6387.

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