Letter: Rapp@Home is getting ready to launch

Many people have asked us if Rapp@Home is still around. And we are glad to report that Rapp@Home is alive and well. You haven’t heard much from us in the last few months because we have been preoccupied with the sausage-making of creating a nonprofit organization. It is a messy process with lots of deliberation, but we think we are close to being able to launch Rapp@Home in the community.

As you may know, the organization is based on the Village concept of neighbors helping neighbors. Ours will be a rather unique “Village,” as the rural situation of Rappahannock is not duplicated in the vast majority of existing Villages. That presents certain challenges, but we also have particular advantages: the intimacy of our special place and the deep commitment to community service long-present here.

As many of you all know, Rapp@Home received a planning grant from the Fauquier Health Foundation of $39,800 in June this year.

We used part of those funds to hire a part-time coordinator, Ken Gray, who has had experience with start-up nonprofits. I think you will be pleased with his efforts. Ken can be reached at 540-937-HOME (4663) or drop by the Kramer Building and meet him! (His office hours are 9 to 5 Tuesday and noon to 5 Wednesday-Thursday.)

We have also formed a board of directors, who are:

  • Sharon Pierce, chair
  • Patty Hardee, vice-chair and communications chair
  • Ed Eager, treasurer and chair of finance
  • Eve Brooks, secretary and grant/contract chair
  • Danny Wilson, liaison with Aging Together
  • Emery Lazar, transportation liaison
  • Heidi Lesinski, membership

We have established a checking account under our name, now that we have an employer identification number (EIN). The state approved our articles of incorporation and we have submitted our application to the IRS for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

With those structural and administrative details checked off the to-do list, we can focus our full attention on creating the organization we have envisioned all along for Rappahannock County. We’ll be finalizing plans for:

  • Rapp@Home’s membership structure, attendant activities, and services and dues, with a specific effort to develop subsidies for less economically advantaged residents.
  • A volunteer outreach and training plan for each key service.
  • A timeline for rolling out services and activities and developing each new activity.
  • A three-year budget and fundraising plan.
  • An improved website.
  • Software to handle membership and services enrollment (ridesharing and other activities) and dues collection.
  • A database of service providers, including senior services, in collaboration with Aging Together.
  • Outreach materials and a workshop series.

We have targeted January for the debut of what we call our concierge services — more about that in upcoming communications — and the workshop series.

We appreciate your patience and continued interest in Rapp@Home. We’ll be putting out frequent progress reports.

As always, we certainly welcome and invite your active participation! We generally hold board meetings the first and third Thursday at 1 p.m. in the board room upstairs in the Kramer Building. Feel free to attend, join the discussion and help us get this exciting organization off the ground. Of course, if you have interest or expertise in any of the activities outlined above, please contact Ken or a board member. We can always use more willing hands and active minds! Please share this information with anyone that you think may have an interest in Rapp@Home and encourage them to join our list.

Thank you again for your support,

Sharon Pierce and the Rapp@Home board

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