Social Services Programs Offer Seniors an Outlet to Give Back to the Community

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

April 23 thru the 29th marks National Volunteer Week and it is indeed cause for celebration. The City of El Paso has many volunteers to recognize and thank for the incredible support received. The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program will celebrate on April 28 by hosting our annual Volunteer Pinning Ceremony to welcome new senior volunteers to the program. This year approximately 200 new volunteers have joined the greater RSVP family of volunteers age 55 and over. The ceremony is intended to express appreciation for the commitment that volunteers have made toward addressing the needs of our community.
Volunteers will be awarded their first year pin which recognizes them as a part of a greater national movement of volunteers 55 and over throughout the United States. So if you haven't already -- thank a volunteer!

New volunteers welcomed into RSVP program recognizing her 25 years of volunteer service
New volunteers welcomed into RSVP program recognizing her 25 years of volunteer service
  Mayor Cook with Beatrice Andrade
Mayor Cook with Beatrice Andrade

Foster Grandparent Program

If you know someone over the age of 60 who is looking for something meaningful to do every day, the City of El Paso Foster Grandparent Program might be the ticket. The program trains Foster Grandparents to work with special or exceptional children. The Grandparents spend 20 hours a week making a difference in the life of a child. The program pairs the Foster Grandparent with two children who benefit from the extra attention that can only be provided by a person with a seasoned life experience and with the patience to work with special needs children.

The Foster Grandparent Program is the largest in Teas and boasts 143 Foster Grandparents. Besides the training provided by the program, the low-income volunteers receive a tax-exempt stipend, annual physical examination, transportation reimbursement and recognition of their good work.

To learn more about the program, please contact the program office at 541-4372.

Project FOCUS

Project FOCUS Senior Peer Counseling Program has contracted with Centro San Vicente and the El Paso MHMR Center to train volunteers 60 years and over to provide counseling to their peers. Volunteers are provided with an initial 12-session intensive training and will have supervision by licensed professional counselors. In addition, Peer Counselors will continue to receive trainings on a bi-monthly basis. Peer Counselor training includes: Getting to Know You/Getting To Know Yourself; ABC's of Counseling; Developing Communications Skills; Counseling Intervention I, II, and III; Death and Dying; Grief and Loss; Depression, Suicide and Loneliness; About Your Body - Alcoholism, Medication Use and Abuse; Taking Care of Yourself, Getting to Know yourself/Getting to know Yourself Better, Community Resources and Referrals. The model for Senior Peer- Counseling was developed by the Center for Healthy Aging over 20 years ago and has been replicated throughout the United States, Denmark and Hong Kong. The program has been featured in 20/20 and 60 minutes and has become the model for delivery of counseling services to older adults.

Anyone interested in becoming a Senior Peer Counselor may call Nancy Melendez-Forbes at 541-4372.