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RSVP offers chance for involvement

Published 9/13/2011 in Local News : United Way

Editor's note: This is the sixth in a series of stories highlighting the 21 agencies to receive United Way's annual campaign funds. The next article will run in Saturday's edition of The Telegram.

By SHAJIA AHMAD

sahmad@gctelegram.com

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Brad Nading/Telegram Louise Buell sorts addressed mailings by town Thursday as she and other RSVP members do a brochure mailing project at Garden City Community College's Student and Community Services Center. RSVP is one of the agencies and organizations that receives funding from the United Way.

Brad Nading/Telegram Louise Buell sorts addressed mailings by town Thursday as she and other RSVP members do a brochure mailing project at Garden City Community College's Student and Community Services Center. RSVP is one of the agencies and organizations that receives funding from the United Way.

After retiring at the age of 65 following more than four decades of teaching, Geneva Behr had a dilemma.

"I thought, when I retired, 'Now what am I going to do?'" she said.

The now 85-year-old former educator who taught in Garden City for nearly three decades said getting involved in the community and offering her time were the solutions to staying active and remaining healthy in her golden years.

Monday afternoon, Behr spent a few hours greeting and helping visitors at the Senior Center of Finney County — a task she said she enjoys.

Behr is just one of many area residents older than 55 who remain active in the community and provide valuable services to various nonprofit, health and other public agencies though the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, one of 21 agencies and programs receiving funds from the Finney County United Way's annual fundraising campaign this year.

Behr said she's enjoyed many activities, including stuffing envelopes, working with kids and interacting with fellow seniors.

"I like to be around people, and there's always something interesting to do," Behr said. "(Volunteering) means everything to me."

This year, the senior volunteer agency that operates out of the Senior Center, 907 N. 10th St., is requesting $10,800 from the Finney County United Way campaign, the same as last year.

The volunteer advocacy and fundraising agency is aiming to raise $550,000 this year for the programs and agencies that benefit the community at large.

RSVP Director Marty Dinkel could not be reached for comment.

Finney County United Way Director Consuelo Sandoval said the funds to RSVP will benefit the operations of the volunteer program, such as software, postage stamps and other materials that assist the jobs the volunteers do.

"It takes money to provide a service, even if you are a volunteer," Sandoval said.

At least 391 RSVP volunteers logged 53,722 hours — more than 2,238 days — of service time between April 1, 2010, and the end of March of this year.

Those hundreds of volunteers filled 192 various job positions at 96 different sites, as well, according to the agency's report to the United Way.

Other United Way agencies that will receive funds for 2012 are Kansas Children's Service League; Santa Fe Trail Council Boy Scouts; Smart Start; Playground Program; Catholic Social Services; Family Crisis Services; Spirit of the Plains, CASA; The Salvation Army; Meals on Wheels; Habitat for Humanity; Garden City Family YMCA; Garden City Chapter of the Red Cross; Miles of Smiles; Russell Child Development Center; Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association; United Methodist Mexican American Ministries; United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Finney and Kearny Counties; Community Day Care; and Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland.

Finney County RSVP

Contact: Marty Dinkel , director

Address: 907 N. 10th St.

Phone: 275-5566

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

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