Join the Fun and Be a Volunteer

- City of El Paso's Foster Grandparent Program -

If you know someone over the age of 60 who is looking for something meaningful to do everyday, the City of El Paso's 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 Texas and boasts 143 Foster Grandparents. Aside from the training provided by the program, the low-income volunteers receive a tax-exempt stipend, annual physical examination, transportation reimbursement and recognition for their good work.

Eligibility Requirements:

To learn more about becoming a volunteer, contact the Foster Grandparent Program Office at 541-4372.

- City of El Paso's Project FOCUS Program -

Project FOCUS Senior Peer Counseling Program is made up of trained volunteers 60 years and over that provide counseling to their peers. Volunteers are provided with an initial 12-session training which includes: Getting To Know You/Getting To Know Yourself; ABS's of Counseling; Developing Communication 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.

Volunteers not only learn for their benefit, but they are trained to be a source of help for others. Each trained volunteer will also have supervision by a licensed professional counselor.

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 also been featured in 20/20 and 60 Minutes and has become the model for delivery of counseling services to older adults.

If you are interested in becoming a Senior Peer Counselor or if you need more information about the program, please contact Nancy Melendez-Forbes at 541-4372.

- City of El Paso's Project RSVP Program -

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) exists to provide enrichment in the lives of older adults through significant community service. Volunteers serve in a variety of sites from Canutillo to Fabens. Seniors from ages 55+ volunteer in various sites such as schools, community centers, nursing homes, law enforcement agencies, museums, libraries and others.

Volunteers serve over 115 different volunteer sites enhancing the life for many individuals in our community. Over 200,000 hours have been volunteered since January 2006 to date.

RSVP hosts several events throughout the year. In February, the Volunteer Coordinator Training was held, which provides guidance, information, and instruction to enhance the quality of services and support provided to senior volunteers at their agencies. The Annual Pinning Ceremony was held during Volunteer Week in April to welcome all new volunteers that have joined RSVP within the last year. The RSVP Annual Volunteer Recognition Banquet will be held in September of this year to recognize volunteers for their accomplishments as committed volunteers to the City of El Paso.

RSVP partners annually with businesses and agencies through projects identified as beneficial to local seniors and children. A major project of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is hosting the Gift Giving Tree at City Hall. This event aids in collecting gifts to donate to needy children and seniors of modest means.

Volunteering not only makes one feel good, but it makes a huge difference in the life of another.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or if you need more information about the program, please call 541-4374.