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High Country RSVP keeps seniors hopping

Lorena Nadon, a 78-year-old retiree, has found solace in her volunteer work.

“It’s kept me going,” said Nadon, who has volunteered with High Country Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, or High Country RSVP, for 13 years. “My husband died about four years ago and it’s something for me to fall back on. It’s been a great thing for me.”

When she’s not exercising at the Hot Springs Pool with her Swimmin’ Women group, Nadon can be found volunteering at senior lunches and making greeting cards for High Country RSVP. She also volunteers in Colorado Mountain College’s Senior Programs office as a dispatcher once a week.



“I like getting together and seeing the people here,” said the mother of eight and grandmother of 18 ” whose ages range from 30 to 2. “The people at Senior Programs are a wonderful group of people.”

Nadon is one of nearly 500 volunteers for High Country RSVP, which started in 1973. The locally- and federally-funded program offers seniors 55 and older the chance to get out and make a difference, said Kate Somsel-Longmore, the program’s director.



“The purpose of the program is to provide a network of opportunities for people to give back to their community,” Somsel-Longmore said. “For example, retired teachers can work with tutoring kids, as we’re involved with Literacy Outreach. We have a former CEO who helps with taxes, because we offer a free tax service.”

Somsel-Longmore said seniors can also volunteer to help with mailings for non-profit groups and for Health Riders, a program out of Parachute.

“Health Riders provide transportation for people who are receiving radiation treatments in Grand Junction,” she said. “They provide the transportation and the support.”

Many High Country RSVP volunteers not only offer time to help with activities such as meal delivery and daily lunch preparation, but they also recruit other volunteers.

“Ada Wagstrom has recruited a lot of people, just through her calling other volunteers for their hours,” Somsel-Longmore said. “She’s great.”

Somsel-Longmore said volunteers also get involved through recruitment at assisted living residences.

“A lot of people go into assisted living and think their lives are over, but that’s not true,” she said. “It helps your sense of well-being and independence.”

Nadon, who worked at the For You Shoppe in Glenwood Springs before retirement and has lived in Glenwood Springs since 1949, agreed.

“Just getting out of the house and being around people helps,” she said. “There are so many benefits to volunteering.”

Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518

aclark@postindependent.com


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