Senior Friendship Centers in Sarasota honored those who have served our country in the military with a special celebration following the Veterans’ Day Parade in downtown Sarasota on Nov. 11. One of the highlights of the event was the announcement of new veterans initiatives through the RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) of Sarasota County, which is sponsored through Senior Friendship Centers.
Keynote speaker was Dr. G. Kurt Peihler, new Director of Florida State University’s Institute on World War II and the Human Experience. The Institute is collecting and preserving the memories of the men and women who participated in the military branches, as well as service with Merchant Marines, Red Cross, USO, and workers and volunteers on the Home Front during the WWII era and the immediate post-war period.
The Institute is one of the nation’s largest repositories on World War II with more than 6,000 collections and growing. In 2001 Tom Brokaw donated to the institute countless items sent to him while writing his three books on The Greatest Generation.
The Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Home Schooled Troop Color Guard presented the colors. Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell read a proclamation by the City of Sarasota, and SFC President and CEO Robert Carter welcomed the audience. The grand finale was a rousing performance by the Sarasota Military Academy Drumline led by Michael Finley.
See photos here.
New RSVP Work Initiatives
Festivities will kick off a new work area of RSVP (Retired and Seniors Volunteer Program) of Sarasota at Senior Friendship Centers. It focuses on recruitment, training and placement of volunteers in three veterans outreach programs, primarily in the area of caregiving. Volunteers will now be able to:
… Serve as group leaders in support groups for veterans, organizing meetings, creating agendas, recruiting new members for discussion groups and reaching out to other community and faith-based organizations to develop new groups and train new group leaders.
… Work with SFC’s Caregiver Resource Center offering assistance to veterans who are caregivers or families who are caregivers for veterans, by helping with daily activities and developing group educational programming.
… Serve as group leaders for veterans participating in Powerful Tools for Caregivers a six-week educational program teaching tools to deal with life situations and self-care for caregivers.
RSVP Sarasota also has areas of service in Health Care, Senior Nutrition, Job Development, Childhood Obesity, and Community Need.
For more information on the RSVP program in Sarasota County, contact Vicki Copeland at 941.556.3274.