WestArk RSVP is sponsored locally by Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center, a community mental health provider for an eight county area. WACGC's sponsorship provides employment structure for RSVP staff, program supervision, program funding, accounting oversight, IT support and use of the RSVP Center.
We are very fortunate to be housed in the RSVP Center on the corner of North 13th Street and Grand Avenue in Fort Smith. This 2,700-square-foot, free-standing building is handicapped accessible and has meeting space available which will accommodate up to 50 people at a time (or 30 seated at tables). The building has a full kitchen, three restrooms, three offices, a large meeting room and a computer lab. Ample space is available to host volunteer trainings and recognition events. The RSVP Center is provided by our sponsor, Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center, Inc. The RSVP office in Rogers, Arkansas is located at 114 North 34th Street, just off Walnut Road. This facility is rented and provides 2,000 square feet of space.
WestArk RSVP is staffed with four full-time positions. Susan Reehl has served as Executive Program Director since June of 2000. Trish Walker is the Director of Volunteer Services and has been with RSVP since February of 2003. Both have extensive backgrounds in non-profits management and are Certified Volunteer Managers. Both work out of the Fort Smith RSVP Center. Rachel Holmes and Delyce Palik are the Volunteer Coordinators for WestArk RSVP in Rogers, AR. Rachel has been with RSVP since September 2018 and Delyce has been with RSVP since September 2019.
Since 1974, WestArk RSVP has been partially funded by a federal grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Continuation of the federal CNCS grant from year to year has always been contingent upon grant compliance. The State of Arkansas, Department of Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services also financially support WestArk RSVP. Additional support is received from donors and grants which support specific programs such as the TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly) which has been funded with a grant from the IRS and a Community Block Development Grant from the City of Fort Smith.
From July 2016 through June 2017, WestArk RSVP members volunteered more than 147,000 hours of service. The number of volunteer hours is a testament to RSVP member's generosity. There are many ways to look at statistics-consider this: RSVP provided the equivalent of 71 full-time workers-free of charge- who worked for the betterment of our community. Using Independent Sector's value of volunteer time - $24.14 per hour, RSVP members' volunteer service for 2016/17 is equal to just over $3.5 million! That generous donation was a big boost to the "quality of place" we hear so much about from our community leaders.
Want to get involved? Call us at 479-783-4155 in Fort Smith, or 479-636-0578 in Rogers! We look forward to hearing from you!