Black Hills State University RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) will celebrate National Volunteer Week April 15 – 21.  Throughout week they will celebrate the countless contributions RSVP volunteers make in their communities each year. 

For almost 40 years, BHSU RSVP volunteers have selflessly been giving their time and skills to Western SD organizations.  Serving eight western South Dakota counties, BHSU RSVP volunteers log well over 60,000 hours of total volunteer time each year.

According to Nancy Wietgrefe, RSVP Executive Director at BHSU, “Chances are, if you’ve ever benefited from the programs of western South Dakota nonprofit organizations, you’ve benefited from the efforts of volunteers.”  

“BHSU RSVP encourages people to take some time this special week to say thank you to the volunteer heroes in their communities.  Volunteers are central to the sustainability of nonprofits. None of us could do it without them,” notes Wietgrefe.

Last year, the Five Counties Thrift Shop in Lemmon brought in over $30,000 to further their mission as a revenue generator for the Five Counties Nursing Home, the Kiwanis Food Pantry in Sturgis, which provides food items for over 300 people every month, and the Belle Fourche Senior Center, which delivers well over 3,000 meals to elderly and disabled community members each year.  Statistics such as these are replicated year after year by hundreds of nonprofits throughout Western South Dakota.  

“What makes these organizations remarkable is that they accomplish these tremendous feats with workforces that are comprised mostly, and sometimes totally, of volunteers.   Often, volunteers are the ones that turn on the lights, stock the shelves, pay the bills, write the grants, file the paperwork, and make sure their organizations fulfill their missions.  Simply put, without volunteers, many of the organizations that we depend on could not exist,” states Wietgrefe.

BHSU RSVP is a nonprofit volunteer coordination agency serving Butte, Custer, Haakon, Harding, Jackson, Lawrence, Meade, and Perkins counties.  For more information, please call 1-877-293-0039.