Heart of Texas RSVP
Mobilizing Volunteers
Strengthening Communities

Texas Senior Corps
(05/30/2012)  Thanks in part to Heart of Texas RSVP Volunteers, Sunset Programs Raise $1 Million for Residents

Since the day they opened their doors in 1954, Lutheran Sunset Ministries has always had volunteers.

The Sunset Auxiliary hosts three major fundraising activities, which include the Pot O' Gold Thrift Store, the Annual Benefit Quilt Auction and the Chow Down and Fashion Show. Two of those fundraisers, the Pot O' Gold Thrift Store and the Annual Benefit Quilt Auction have raised more than $1 million in donations in the past 20 years, and it is known to be the result of having such a wonderful staff of volunteers as well as being
a part of a very giving community.

"The volunteer program has become a big part of our development at Sunset," Helen Morris, community relations marketing director and care specialist at Sunset Ministries,
said. The Auxiliary opened formally, 10 years ago, and at that time they opened up a thrift store on campus. The thrift store, known as the Pot O' Gold, is now in their third location and has been growing every year.

"At the beginning, if we made $300 we were tickled to death," Mary Ann Jordet, a Sunset Ministries volunteer, said. "Now, we expect about $1500 in a day."

Pot O' Gold has raised more than $400,000 in the 10 years it has been open. "It's been so fun," Marilyn Whitworth, a founding Pot O' Gold committee member, said.
"What a challenge. You wouldn't think that in this small community that it could be so big! I've always said this about Pot O' Gold, but if it wasn't for the generosity of this community, we wouldn't be here."

Volunteers believe that the Pot O' Gold is a ministry within a ministry. They are able to build donation packages for programs such as Church Under the Bridge and other
groups will disburse clothing items and other household goods to the homeless or families in need.

"Being the Pot O' Gold coordinator is probably the most rewarding and the most frustrating thing I've ever done in my life," Pam Hubbard, Pot O' Gold coordinator, said. "Physically it's tiring, but the reward side of it ... The reward in knowing what you give back to the community, the service you provide to the community, you can't even put words around it."

At Pot O' Gold they have 25 to 30 volunteers that gather to sort through donations. The volunteers not only come to work each Thursday they are open, but during the week as well.

Highlights are listed in chronological order.
Heart of Texas RSVP
Director: Susan Copeland
1400 College Drive
Waco TX 76708
Tel: 254-299-8577
Fax: 254-299-8578
Email: scopeland@mclennan.edu
Web Address: www.hotrsvp.org
Serving Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone, and McLennan Counties
(10/18/2011) Heart of Texas RSVP is excited about a wonderful opportunity that a volunteer intern created for the program. As a school project for her Public Relations Class, the student had to create a fund raising project that provided marketing opportunities. She had to develop everything from news articles, signage, plan a budget and several other requirements.
This creative intern approached a very large, double Haunted House owner and asked if volunteers could provide concessions to the participants and they agreed. She organized volunteers to work the "Houses", arranged publicity, shopped for supplies, and actually worked the events and supervised the many folks helping
The project is at the half-way mark for nights open and so far this has been successful and down-right fun! House managers report that approximately 10-15 THOUSAND people will attend by Halloween night and Heart of Texas RSVP is being allowed to keep 100% of the profits from the concession stands. The Advisory Council has participated every night and their goal is to raise $8,000. The project has had more volunteers step forward than can be used to staff the stands.
And the "plus" has been the great opportunity to tell folks about RSVP and promote volunteerism!  It's a win-win!

(09/20/2012) The doors to the Richland Mall opened early on Friday Sept. 14th for the 18th Annual Senior Source Health and Information Fair assisted by Heart of Texas RSVP.  The fair featured free health services, health screenings, and health information booths.

The rainy weather did not stop local residents, seniors, and caregivers from storming the mall-not for the latest fashions, but for their health. Booths were arranged throughout the mall, each offering unique health services and health information. Organizations, such as Friends for Life and Caritas, rely on the health fair to find new volunteers for their programs.

Scott and White Healthcare, this year's title sponsor, has been a part of the health fair for many years.

"This is the biggest thing in Waco," said Scott and White representative Laura Cruz-Smith.  "This is the biggest it's going to get. It's a good venue."

A Scott and White doctor stood happily for hours answering questions, while Brazos Eye Surgery of Texas, who is spending its fourth year at the health fair, offers free eye tests. Others, such as Odyssey Hospice, are joining the health fair for the first time.

Seniors walk the mall stopping at some of the more than 70 booths.

"I already know my hearing's bad," joked an elderly woman as she walks into the free hearing tests conducted by Melody Martin Hearing Aids. A senior man was overhead exclaiming, "My blood pressure is perfect."

The health fair brings the community together and provides vital information to the health and wellbeing of residents and seniors.

Local resident Brian Kim said, "I saved a lot of money coming here and left with my hearing checked, my blood pressure, my eyes checked and a bag of information."

More than 5,000 people walked through the health fair, saving money and countless hours in waiting rooms and doctor's offices.