Texoma Council of Governments
Texoma RSVP is now in its 24th year of addressing community needs. Sponsored by the Texoma
Council of Governments in Sherman, Texas, we are housed within the Department of Area Agency on Aging where we partner with many programs that assist our community.
There are 827 RSVP volunteers tackling critical dilemmas and obstacles, while volunteering at 65 different workstations within the three county area of Cooke, Fannin and Grayson. The senior population is now approaching 21%, and many citizens of our "boomer generation" feel a deep need to assist their community. They do so as they find the right opportunities to volunteer here at Texoma RSVP.
By the end of 2011, Texoma RSVP volunteers had accumulated 127,721 hours. That translates into $2,798,367 in contribution to our community.
With the fiscal restraints we are now undergoing nationally, Texoma RSVP is currently refocusing its direction. This refocus will be accommodated by employing one staff member, that being the program director. We are implementing short term projects that will attract seniors that are looking for intermittent volunteering, cull out stations no longer needed in a particular area, and we will be continuing our long term projects that provide the stable, everyday routine other volunteers are looking for. Our existing signature projects will continue: Fathers Reading Every Day (F.R.E.D.), Senior Volunteers for Childhood Immunizations (S.V.C.I.) and Blossoms of H.O.P.E., a program that supports the local women's abuse shelter, will all remain in effect.
Our program has now implemented the Senior Medicare Patrol program, a Medicare Fraud and Abuse education project. This project commenced the end of August 2011.
We are beginning our Disaster Assistance Response Team with approximately 50 volunteers, in
conjunction with our CERT program. This is a partnership with TCOG's criminal justice department, and will begin in 2013.
Texoma RSVP is also in the planning stages of the Veterans Navigating Veterans program, a mentor-mentored project that bridges existing community services provided to our service men and women coming home. An established veteran within the community will be available to assist those who have served our country in the basics of returning to regular daily living. Our Texas State Veteran's Home voluntary services, the VA Hospital services, established agencies such as the VFW, AMVETS, American Legion and others, as well as our local college will all be linked by our mentor to assist new veterans in developing new skills and provide housing, medical and other assistance.
These new services will address the existing needs within our Texoma region. Under the leadership of the RSVP director and many volunteers to support the community, tough everyday issues can be resolved, and many needs of our citizens will be addressed.