El 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; Literacy Director & 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, currently Linda Burns and Bryan LeRew.
Since 1973, El Dorado Connections/Tri-County RSVP 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; 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:
The local RSVP Program provides opportunities for people 55 and over in Union, Columbia and Ouachita counties 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.
Our 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.
Since 2005, El Dorado Express has offered local and long distance transportation for senior adults to appointments, the airport, or for personal shopping.