RSVP Volunteers Celebrated at Recognition Breakfast
The RSVP Advisory Council hosted a Valentine-themed RSVP Volunteer Recognition Breakfast on Thursday, Feb 16.
The Grand Hall at the Senior Enrichment Center was festooned with red hearts, sweet treats, shimmery bows and high-flying balloons that declared "We love our Volunteers" to the 135 guests attending.
Once a year, RSVP, the Moore County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, hosts a recognition event, celebrating RSVP volunteers' high achievements and faithful volunteer service to the families and individuals of Moore County.
RSVP volunteers are 55 years of age or better and are actively investing their expertise, time, talents and treasures in Moore County. RSVP matches volunteers with more than 40 local community partners and nonprofits, offering hundreds of individual volunteer opportunities. RSVP volunteers served an estimated 64,000 hours of volunteer service in 2011.
The impact of what RSVP volunteers contribute is priceless, but independent sector reports determine that approximately $1.3 million worth of value was invested by RSVP volunteers last year.
The morning's program began with a welcome from RSVP Director Shiela Klein and Advisory Council Chairman Bryan Rainbow. A buffet breakfast, prepared by the chef from St. Joseph of the Pines and staff, set the stage for the morning's proceedings.
St. Joseph of the Pines was the spotlight sponsor of this year's breakfast, and Anita Holt, president and CEO, was the morning's keynote speaker. Holt recognized and applauded the efforts of RSVP volunteers. Holt also shared St. Joseph of the Pines' like-spirited mission for local outreach, overcoming the challenges of homelessness and helplessness in our communities and their pledge to incorporate volunteer engagement.
Ellen King, marketing director, Susie Buchanan, director of community relations, and Lynne Drinkwater, community relations coordinator from St. Joseph of the Pines, completed the program with an invitation to reside, volunteer and ride with SJP as "Together We Can Do Moore."
A fully equipped semi truck brings medical, educational, benefits services, food and clothing to residents in rural parts of Moore County, Carthage and Robbins. These individuals have no or limited access to these critical services.
This mobile unit brings together RSVP community partners, St. Joseph of the Pines, the Moore Free Care Clinic, the Coalition for Human Care and Sandhills Community College in a cutting edge way that enables them to maximize services by synergistically combining their efforts and expertise.
Introducing the semi, parked at the Senior Enrichment Center, and this new way to volunteer, was a major part of the event and RSVP volunteers enjoyed touring the unit.
Following a reminder in song by Bryan Rainbow and accompanist Elaine Owens, RSVP's "Unforgettable" volunteers were congratulated for years of volunteer service: Ernie Hanford, 24 years; Virginia Heerema, 18 years; Gert Strine, 16 years; Dick Strine, 15 years; and John Heerema, 14 years.
RSVP's goal is to acknowledge, recognize and honor dedicated and indispensable volunteers and each year awards the RSVP Unsung Hero Award to someone who is faithful to the volunteer assignment he or she has undertaken, who rarely misses a scheduled day and who often stands behind and holds up the leader's hands. An everyday hero who should not be overlooked, serving quietly, unnoticed by chance or choice; yet who exemplifies the heart and mission of an RSVP volunteer.
Beulah Librandi is the 2012 RSVP Unsung Hero and was honored for her dedicated, faithful and loving volunteer service with BackPack Pals.
Many Moore County merchants and business owners also expressed their appreciation for RSVP volunteers by donating door prizes.
In closing, Klein thanked volunteers for their outstanding contributions in making life better for so many families and individuals in Moore County and challenged them to make an even greater impact in 2013.
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