The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), is a not for profit volunteer program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, locally sponsored by Salt Lake County Aging Services. RSVP helps volunteers age 55 and older find volunteer opportunities with non-profit organizations throughout Salt Lake County.
Seventy-nine year old Edna Mae Rose is an RSVP volunteer at the Family Support Center. She has volunteered in their crisis nursery for the past two and a half years, giving 543 hours in the last twelve months. The mission of the Family Support Center is to protect children, strengthen families and prevent child abuse.
When various stressors are present, children often become targets for their parents’ misdirected frustration, anger, and worry. Instead of acting out on their children, parents can take them to the safe, nurturing care of the Family Support Center Crisis Nursery.
These children need positive role models, an understanding of their self-worth and their place in the world. Edna helps to meet critical emotional needs through individual attention and mentoring. This is where Edna shines, she helps children to overcome and cope with whatever form of crisis their family currently faces. She provides a safe haven of caring for these children. She is often seen reading to the children, singing with them and telling stories, always lifting the hearts of the children, struggling parents and staff. “We enjoy sharing each day with Edna and look forward with excitement to the peace and joy she brings with her”, says Family Support Center Assistant Nursery Director, Melissa McKendrick
Edna has provided loving care to more than 300 children in the past year. She is a constant reminder of the great things in life and always extends herself to serve others and share joy. Her life is full of experiences and lessons which she shares with true compassion and hope. Her smile is bright and her eyes full of love. Indeed, each interaction with Edna provides a multitude of opportunities to go forth a better person.
She cares deeply for the youth and believes if they know someone cares enough to give them a chance they will excel in their own right, and someday, maybe give back to someone else that needs a kind heart and a helping hand. She truly has a heart of gold.