The Community Relations’ department mission is to enhance the quality of life of the individuals served by Rio Grande State Center (RGSC) through solicitation of funds, resources, public education and volunteerism, beyond what is available from RGSC.
With the help of the previous Volunteer Services Council, a 501c(3) organization, which existed over 41 years and dissolved August 2, 2008, the Community Relations Department has accomplished the following with the support of the Community:
- Provided seasonal and birthday parties, activities, dances and other special events for the individuals served by RGSC's Mental Retardation Program.
- Assisted in daily programming through volunteers and funding.
- Hosting the Annual Fiesta Ranchera fundraising event, a Western Gala.
- Built the swimming pool for enjoyment of our consumers.
- Built the Pavilion Building for the enjoyment of our consumers.
- Built the on-campus Nature Walk, a natural hike and bike trail.
- Built the Menton Murray Sr., Clubhouse for the enjoyment of our retired consumers.
- Built patio awnings for the enjoyment of our consumers.
- New landscaping areas
- Built horticultural greenhouse for the mental health patients
- Provided fresh paint and decorations for lobby and dormitory rooms.
- Purchased one 10-passenger golf cart and one 6-passenger golf cart for use by residents of Mental Retardation Vocational Services.
- Refurbishing all living quarters with new items
- Supporting Public Awareness of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.
The Community Relations Department accepts donations of cash, new in-kind goods and services that benefit the individuals served by RGSC.
Here is a list of items that are always needed:
- Gift Cards/Certificates
- Event Tickets
- Movie Tickets
- Arts and Crafts Supplies
- Colognes and Perfumes
- Cosmetics/Grooming Items
- Twin fitted bedding
- Clothing and Accessories
- Small Radios/Headphones
- Plants and flowers
- Holiday Decorations
- TV's and Electronics
- CDs/VHS/DVDs (rated G, PG, PG-13)
- Board Games/Books/Puzzles
- Journals/Stationery/Photo Albums
Join our Volunteer Team!
Volunteers have been a prime force behind better treatment for the mentally ill, individuals with cognitive disabilities, and for those needing primary health care. They encourage public concern for better facilities. They have built chapels, swimming pools and campgrounds to enhance the lives of people living throughout Texas. Most importantly, they have established a tradition of caring and healthful concern for those who are less fortunate. You have the opportunity to become a part of that tradition. We hope that you will join us.
Here is a list of some volunteer opportunities:
- Provide one-on-one relationships with residents
- Serve as a Patient Advocate on facility committees
- Clerical/Mail outs
- Assist in recreational activities
- Assist with letter writing
- Speak to groups about the services offered by RGSC
- Co-facilitate hymn songs, spirituality groups, religious classes
- Participate in worship services
- Birthday Buddy
- Student Credit/Internship
- Garden at the Nature Walk
- Holiday Decorating
- Assist with monthly DJ fun days
- Provide live music for parties, group performances – dance programs, choir programs, etc.
- Help process and distribute magazines to the units
- Help with processing clothes in the clothing bank
The Community Relations staff are here to help you find your own special way of helping the individuals served by Rio Grande State Center/ South Texas Health Care System. For more information on volunteering, making a contribution or to arrange for a speaking engagement, please email Terri Lievanos or call (956) 364-8430 or (956) 364-8000 to learn more about how you can help.