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GRASS VALLEY, Calif. April 4, 2017 – One Source-Empowering Caregivers (OSEC) is recruiting 20 good-hearted people to volunteer to train as Volunteer Care Specialists.

OSEC is a nonprofit organization in Nevada County dedicated to providing free respite care to full-time, in-home caregivers. Volunteer Care Specialists donate just four hours a week to provide non-medical, companionship care to a care recipient so a stressed-out caregiver can take a much-needed break.

“I was a zombie,” recalled Yvon Dockter of Nevada City. Dockter cared for her husband for the year and a half it took for him to succumb to cancer three years ago.

During that time, her friend Donna Raibley would come to the Dockters’ house to relieve Yvon and stay with Craig Dockter while Yvon took badly needed time for herself.

Before he died, Donna and Craig formed a close friendship – and a plan to start a respite program for caregivers.

Craig didn’t live to see Donna throw herself heart and soul into creating One Source-Empowering Caregivers, but Yvon was one of the first people to sign up last year to be trained as a Volunteer Care Specialist.

“I know how much just a few hours means to a caregiver,” she said.

“I am one of the lucky recipients,” caregiver Sasha Conley-Rubey wrote on Facebook April 3. “My volunteer care specialist is amazing!

“I am truly amazed and appreciate that these volunteers are willing to give up their time to provide some relief to full-time caregivers like myself!” she said. “I hope more people will step up and help out!”

“We hope more people step up and help out, too,” said Raibley, who serves as the unpaid executive director of OSEC. “We have caregivers waiting. Some have been caregiving full-time on their own for years. They seriously need some time for themselves.”

Raibley announced OSEC will be holding its second intensive training course over three consecutive Saturdays starting April 22. The free training consists of three six-hour classes (lunches included) covering everything a Volunteer Care Specialist needs to know to take compassionate, non-medical care of a caregiver’s loved one – and to provide emotional and informational support to the caregiver.

“We have room for 20 men – we especially need men – and women who have the time and heart to give a caregiver just four hours of respite care a week,” Raibley said, who continues to be a volunteer care specialist herself.

Although she works 60 hours to 70 hours a week running the organization, Raibley feels she has to lead by example. “I’m not asking anybody to do anything I wouldn’t do.”

OSEC has already trained more than a dozen Volunteer Care Specialists last fall. All the specialists have now been placed in caregiver homes. Reports from the field indicate both the Volunteer Care Specialists and the caregivers are very happy with each other.

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Just as the Volunteer Care Specialists are carefully screened, so are caregiver homes. Raibley, volunteer coordinator Harriet Totten, and the Assessment Care Team of four registered nurses (Cindy Cooper, Diane Miessler, Maggie Cull and Kristen Whitehead) carefully match the personalities and skills of the Volunteer Care Specialists with the personalities and needs of the caregivers.

“We still have a waiting list of caregivers in desperate need of relief,” sighed Raibley in frustration. “As Sasha said, we really need people to step up.”

For more information on One Source-Empowering Caregivers, please call Donna Raibley at 530-205-9514, write draibley@empowercargivings.org or visit http://empoweringcaregivers.org/ .

To show what the training looks like, OSEC has posted this video slideshow of last year’s training: https://www.facebook.com/933913263324663/videos/1252975311418455/

What: Volunteer Care Specialist training

Who: One Source-Empowering Caregivers

Where: 563 Brunswick Road, Suite 11, Grass Valley

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays, April 22 & 29 and May 6

Admission: Free, but an interview, application and acceptance into the program are required

More information: 530-205-9514 or draibley@empoweringcaregivers.org or www.empoweringcaregivers.org/volunteer/