Dear Editor,

The end of an era

Success on one hand can lead to failure on the other. Soon the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) will face that dilemma in Mineral County with its Transportation Program. What is the problem you ask? Lack of volunteers is the answers.

You see, the program cannot continue to function with a small number of drivers spending 3, 4 and yes, even 5 days on the road; driving people to other communities for medical services that are not available here in Hawthorne. The system worked very well for a long time, but success overtook the function.

When MJ took over as the Coordinator for Mineral County, he inherited a small clientele with predictable needs. The county had a bus at the Senior Center that traveled to Fallon or Reno weekly. COVID 19 brought a halt to that service. RSVP picked up that load. At the same time, MJ became better at attracting customers and not just in Hawthorne. We gained passengers in Mina, Yerington, Silver Springs, and Gabbs because there was no one else to serve the needs of those communities.

The DAV van is a 10 passenger vehicle, but COVID has limited the number of passengers to three per trip. That Van only operates two times a week going to Reno and once a week to Fallon. There are far more veterans than there are seats, so those people sign up for RSVP. Did I mention the two of the three drivers for the DAV are also two of the three Reno/Carson City drivers for RSVP?

Health issues and job burnout are taking their toll. But no one else will volunteer. Soon the service will become severely limited; the other drivers will become overloaded; seniors will have to fend for themselves.

Charlie Morris,
(775) 224-2810 RSVP
Volunteer Driv