She started as program coordinator in 2011

    As the New Year rings in, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Red River Valley welcomes Tammy Sykes as the new program director.  Tammy began with RSVP in December 2011, in the role of program coordinator, after serving seven years as Lutheran Social Service caregiver support coordinator in the region.     

    RSVP (a sister program of Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion) is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and is Minnesota’s largest volunteer network, engaging seniors and baby boomers in meaningful opportunities to serve their communities in an impactful manner.   

    “Impact” is the new focus word among RSVP programs. New and improved Federal grant guidelines mandate that senior volunteer opportunities be geared toward producing measureable results.  The CNCS Strategic Plan indicates six Focus Areas which will guide RSVP programming: Healthy Futures, Education, Economic Opportunity, Disaster Preparedness, Veterans and Military Families, and Environmental Stewardship.   

    This is good news for RSVP of the Red River Valley, as many of their current programs already offer appealing opportunities which create significant impact among communities, such as Bone Builders, HandyMan, Groceries to Go, Reading Buddies, Home Delivered Meals, Transportation, and Food Shelves.     

    “The people in our rural, northwest Minnesota area, are the heart and soul of keeping their communities thriving!  They take care of each other, and give, without expecting anything in return!”  Sykes says.     

    Expansion of these existing programs, as well as developing new and creative volunteer opportunities, throughout the seven-county region, will be the New Year’s Resolution for RSVP staff and its Advisory Board members.   

    If your own New Year’s goals include using your talents and life experiences, to make a difference for someone in need, contact Tammy at 281-8289, or email:   

    RSVP is sponsored and housed by the University of Minnesota Crookston, and supported by the United Way of Crookston and Thief River Falls.