FARMINGTON С The Retired Senior Volunteer Program is returning to Davis County after one year’s absence.
The program organizes hundreds of seniors in myriad volunteer efforts and is expected to be up and running at the start of 2013.
The county has received $262,000 to operate the program for 18 months, into the summer of 2014, said Sally Kershisnik, senior services director for the Davis County Health Department. The federal grant was the second highest in the nation.
For at least a decade, the volunteer program operated under the Utah Volunteers of America nonprofit group in Salt Lake City. Faced with deep budget cuts, that agency closed the Davis County program.
At one time, about 400 volunteers served at nearly 60 stations across the county.
Many volunteers have continued their service.
“We hope to expand the program from about 300 volunteers currently to maybe 500 to 600,” Kershisnik said.
A full-time program coordinator will be housed at the North Davis Senior Activity Center in Clearfield. However, volunteer stations will be scattered throughout the county.
“We need to reestablish those old stations first and hope to expand the number of stations,” she said.
Antelope Island had the highest number of volunteers before the shutdown. They worked at stations ranging from the visitor center to historic Fielding Garr Ranch.
Other stations were in place at both Lakeview and Davis Hospitals, as well as at many local elementary schools. Many seniors also volunteer at the three senior activity centers, especially in the Meals on Wheels program.
New stations could bring more volunteer opportunities to the county’s Animal Control facility in Fruit Heights, for example.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for people to make use of their talents, to choose where they want to volunteer,” Kershisnik said.
She has fond memories of her own parents working as volunteers to help close Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming each autumn.
For more information check out the Oct 18 edition of Davis Clipper.