RSVP has received additional funding for transportation services from the Nevada Department of Transportation which enables the organization to expand Senior Transportation Services in our rural communities and place two vans in Lincoln and White Pine Counties for rural seniors who are no longer able to drive themselves with escorted door-to-door services for critical care trips to medical, dental, vision appts., essential shopping, socialization opportunities, and many other basic services.  Volunteers are able to provide transportation services at no charge throughout Carson City and Nevada’s rural communities, as well as the ability to drive long distances, to access essential services in urban areas which provide the services they desperately need to maintain quality of life and independence.  Volunteers utilizing their own vehicles receive mileage reimbursement at $0.40 per mile and donations are gratefully accepted. No one is turned away because of an inability to contribute.

The Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program, Inc. (RSVP) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that has been serving the 15 rural counties of Nevada for over 43 years.  RSVP meets essential community needs through its innovative approach to providing independent living services to the homebound elderly and 24/7 caregivers and their loved-ones.  Utilizing senior citizen volunteers who are trained to deliver a comprehensive and life-saving support system ensures that Nevada’s frail and homebound elderly are assisted with direct care, in-home services, and a safety-net of services through independent living programs that allow them to continue to live independently and at home with dignity.

“Lack of transportation is the number one deterrent to senior and disabled clients accessing lifesaving goods and services.  This grant will allow RSVP to continue to serve rural areas where people may be isolated due to where they live or because they are otherwise faced with lack of transportation.  We are also able to help even more people now and can provide persons with disabilities aged 18 and older with free escorted transportation services provided by volunteers.” said Susan Haas, Executive Director and CEO of RSVP.  “We need more drivers to help us to deliver these services, and we provide mileage reimbursement or offer our vans (when available) to transport those in need.  I encourage volunteers to come forward and help fill the gaps for seniors, veterans and disabled persons who just need a little help to get to their doctor’s appointments.  If you can volunteer a couple of hours a week or even once a month, you will be providing a tremendous service to your community,” said Haas.

RSVP’s Veterans “Volunteers In Partnership” (VIP) Program is a dedicated program which offers support and assistance to Veterans in need, recruits Veterans to volunteer to help other seniors and Veterans, provides suicide prevention and awareness support, and trips to VA Centers.  All veterans are encouraged to call if they need assistance or can volunteer to help other veterans and seniors get to their critical appointments. This assistance helps to allay the terrible fear that they will not be able to remain in their own homes where their possessions, family, and memories all help improve their quality of life.

Isolated homebound elderly, veterans and disabled persons are more vulnerable to depression which can easily lead to suicide.  In fact, the elder suicide rate in Nevada is nearly three times the national average according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who report that elderly Americans continue to remain the population at highest risk for suicide.

Help us get the word out about RSVP’s lifesaving transportation services!  For a list of volunteer opportunities, or for information about qualifying for RSVP services, contact Sandy Severance, RSVP HCP & Veteran’s VIP Program Director @ 775-687-4680 x 6. Visit our website at www.nevadaruralrsvp.org.