New executive director takes the helm for Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers

Rita Elsberry is the new executive director of Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers.  - Photo courtesy of IVC
Rita Elsberry is the new executive director of Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of IVC

Rita Elsberry has been hired as the executive director of Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, the organization announced Monday.

Robin Gaphni has also been brought aboard as the nonprofit’s program manager.

“We are delighted and excited to have Rita and Robin as our new staff team” said Dick Goff, the president of the board of directors for Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers.

“They are exceptionally well qualified to fill these positions. We expect they will have key roles in helping IVC meet the growing needs for our volunteer services,” Goff added.

Elsberry, a native and long-time resident of Bainbridge Island, has more than 20 years of experience as a caregiver and supervisor in the health services field, including hospice, and programs that focus on serving needs of elderly and disabled people, most recently with EADS Day Services on Bainbridge and in Bremerton.

She also has served on boards and as an officer of three local nonprofits, including Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers and One Call for All.

Gaphni is a 20-year resident of Bainbridge and has worked the past 15 years as the program manager of Seattle-based Center for Courage and Renewal. She also has experience in volunteer recruiting and training, in development and facilitation of literacy programs and groups, and as a volunteer with many nonprofit organizations.

Gaphni previously served on the board for Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, and recently has been facilitating the grief support group that is sponsored by the nonprofit.

Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers recruits volunteers and connects them with community residents who are elderly, disabled or otherwise vulnerable and need help to maintain their dignity, independence and quality of life.

Volunteer services are all free of charge, and include transportation for health care appointments, shopping and errands, household chores, gardening and pet care, reading to visually impaired persons, delivering flowers, companionship through visits, walks or other interesting activities, and respite care to relieve family caregivers.

Last year IVC volunteers gave more than 7,300 hours of help – a substantial increase over prior years – to almost 200 different care receivers.

Elsberry started work in her new position July 8, and Gaphni will start on Aug. 12.

“It’s an honor to be involved in carrying on the legacy of caring for our neighbors that IVC represents," Elsberry said. "We have an incredible group of dedicated volunteers and I believe Robin and I will make a great team to support them."

"We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Karen Carson, our former program director, who will continue to our caregiver support group,and Kaycie Wood, administrative director, who is retiring on Aug. 7, for the wonderful work they have done over the past eight years,” she said.


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