Friday, August 28, 2020

Anniversary Reflection

I started my adventure with Dove in the Homeward Bound Program as the Employment and Life Skills Specialist. After my first year, I had the opportunity to advance to Dove’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program as the newest Program Director. My title and job here at Dove continues to evolve. I am now known as the RSVP-SCP Program Director. Dove’s latest services, the Senior Companion Program, offers unique challenges and the ability to help more people in the community we serve with amazing volunteers’ dedicated help. It is an honor that I am a part of this fantastic organization.  Our RSVP and Dove volunteers are the best volunteers; their hearts are as golden as Dove’s 50th anniversary.

As I reflect on Dove’s anniversary, I cannot help but think of the first persons and churches involved in starting Dove so many years ago. Did they envision Dove’s growth? Or how vital Dove services would be to so many different people in our community? Did they think that Dove would have a reach into five counties? The impact Dove has made in the lives of so many is incredible. The fact that Dove is still growing and changing with times is a powerful testimony to the community and people served. Programming has changed from those first years as Dove faces different challenges. They work hard to expand and change the programming to address community issues relevant to today. Honoring yesterday is easy, growing into the future takes talent, vision, and many dedicated volunteers and staff.

September is my favorite month since it is traditionally the month the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program holds the annual RSVP Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. A time where the staff helps celebrate our dedicated volunteers for their hours of service with a luncheon complete with pie, prizes, and the Recognition of Service Excellence R.O.S.E. Awards. This year, our 44th, we had to get creative to celebrate the 300 plus volunteers and are doing so in uniquely different ways but excited to honor all their hard work.

 Dove was needed then, is vital now, and will continue to serve our mission as we carry forward into the next 50 years.

Charlie Gillaspie

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