About El Dorado Connections
Our SponsorEl Dorado Connections is a volunteer center sponsored by South Arkansas Regional Health Center (a community mental health provider for Union, Columbia, Ouachita, Dallas, Nevada and Calhoun Counties). SARHC provides employment structure for staff, program supervision, accounting oversight, and IT support. SARHC also provides our office space.
El Dorado Connections is staffed with three full time positions: Director, Julia Amis; Administrative Assistant, Dara Stanfill; and Volunteer Manager, Cheryl Splawn. Between three positions, we have over 30 years of nonprofit experience. El Dorado Express, our transportation program for persons 60 and older, has two part time drivers.
FundingSince 1973, El Dorado Connections has been partially funded by a federal grant from the Corporation of National and Community Service. This is a year-to-year grant cycle. Other sources of funding are: Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Arkansas; the Department of Human Services, Division on Aging; Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol ;Arkansas Literacy Councils; SHARE Foundation; Union County Community Foundation; and contributions and donations from private individuals. Funders change from year to year.
Not only do we serve as a clearinghouse for volunteers, matching volunteers with a much needed service in our community, but we also see ourselves as "senior advocates". The staff and a trained group of volunteers assist with:
- Enrollment in Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and troubleshooting problems
- Educating the public and reporting Medicare fraud and abuse
- AARP's SMART Driving Class (Participants receive a discount on auto insurance)
- VITA/TCE (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) for low income and senior citizens, partnering with CADC
- Are a Social Security offsite location
- Serve as a GED preparation site, partnering with South Arkansas Community College
- Are a site for the Union County Literacy Council providing tutors to help adults learn to read
- Provide continued community educational workshops such as: Volunteer Workshops, Medicare Training and Informational Workshops, and Computer Basic Classes
Tri-County RSVPThe local RSVP Program provides opportunities for people 55 and over to give back to their communities in South Arkansas. Join RSVP and you join nearly 500,000 volunteers across the country who are tackling tough issues in their communities.
CareNetOur CareNet Program began in 1998 with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Our volunteers help keep their elderly neighbors independent by providing transportation to medical appointments and to the grocery store, and by giving a smile and a listening ear to lonely elders.
El Dorado Express
Since 2005, El Dorado Express has offered local and long distance transportation for senior adults to appointments, the airport, or for personal shopping.