Regional Access Project Foundation Newsletter
April 2015
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Featured Article


Annual "Volunteer Recruitment Fair"

Set for April 25 at CSUSB Palm Desert


The Riverside County Office on Aging and the Regional Access Project are teaming up to expand an existing volunteer program right here in the desert.


One of the first notable actions to occur as a result of this collaboration is the Volunteer Recruitment Fair planned for Saturday April 25 at the CSUSB  Palm Desert Campus.


If you have always thought you would volunteer if you could just find the organization with the "right fit," this is your opportunity.  Charities, nonprofits and community groups will gather to present to the public their programs and their needs.  You and the charity you most likely will find productive, meaningful service with can meet and greet and explore the possibilities.


The Volunteer Recruitment Fair-dubbed the "First Annual," hinting of things to come.


The Volunteer Recruitment Fair comes as the Office on Aging and RAP have agreed to collaborate on volunteer recruitment and retention-and not just to the senior crowd.  Many younger people would like to volunteer if they were aware of the opportunities.  And those opportunities include a chance to learn new things, possibly leading to a network that could lead to lucrative employment, but, most importantly, an opportunity to experience the satisfaction of helping others.


The April 25 event takes place from 10 a.m.; the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus is located at 37-500 Cook Street, and features an hourly raffle, fun and food.  Call RSVP at 760 771-0501

A Message from RAP CEO


The RAP staff continues to work on Mental Health issues with a focus on youth, in accordance with the RAP Foundation Board's first directive for the new Five-Year Plan. 


Eastern Valley Violence


Recent violence in the eastern Coachella Valley involving young men has many people concerned about the trend, and thinking about ways to reverse it.  In the last two years,  RAP has been the leading force behind the creation of  the "Healing Circles" program aimed at identifying young men who are struggling in school or home life and teaming them up with mentors.  An integral part of Healing Circles are sharing sessions, which help these troubled youths deal with the problems-many of which are  all too common-they are having in their lives. 

The mentors are community leaders who are members of RAICES, the Coachella Valley Rotary, the  Boys and Girls Club of the Coachella Valley  and Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation.  So far a total of 120 boys have attended Healing Circles conducted in Mecca, Thermal, Coachella and Desert Hot Springs.    RAP is exploring potential partnerships to incorporate the Healing Circles into a Coachella Valley Youth Leadership program to increase its services to better address the need for youth intervention programs.


Review of TAP Program


RAP is also taking a hard look at our Technical Assistance Program (TAP) to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses with the goal of ensuring we are meeting the needs of our nonprofit community.  The RAP Board has created a subcommittee of members who will be working with a consultant in the next few months to create a Strategic Plan.  In addition, they plan to prepare a timeline to identify resources that are needed to support our nonprofits in their efforts to be more effective and efficient.   I trust we can count on our community stakeholders to provide us with feedback to help us to improve TAP, and thereby possibly assisting organizations in their various efforts.


First 5 Forum


RAP hosted a "First 5 Riverside" community forum on March 20.   We were pleased to have over 20 service providers attend the meeting to learn more about the next First 5 Strategic Plan and to provide input.  A recurring theme was the need to improve communication between funders and agencies as well as between and among agencies.  There appeared to be strong interest from those present to provide future networking/resource sharing opportunities.  Although we are all busy managing our daily duties and unexpected occurrences, it is extremely important to attend public meetings to provide input in areas of interest to our organizations.  Otherwise, the best decisions may not be made.

Senior Inspiration Awards

Lastly, RAP is proud to sponsor the Annual Senior Inspiration Award luncheon presented by Riverside County Supervisor John J. Benoit.  The April 10th event was attended by 580 people. Congratulations to this year's honorees:  Eleanor Kincannon, Evangelina Garcia, Amalia De La Riva, Sally Simonds, Chuck Lambert, Dick Anderson, Saul Roisentul, Carrie Allan, Marcia Stein, Christine Viau, Edward Coleman.  In addition,  we extend our congratulations and gratitude to Corky Larson and Jean Benson for their many contributions to our community.


Pictured:  Dr. Ann Dew (RAP Board Member), Dr. Efrain Gallardo, Rosemary Ortega (RAP Board Member), and Dr. William Kroonen (RAP Board Member).




Leticia De Lara, CEO