“Volunteers Helping Neighbors In Need” provided the foundation for CREST to be born in 1997. Focused on the needs of caregivers and receivers, the faith based founders envisioned Care Teams of Volunteers to provide needed services…hence the official name Caregiver Response Effort & Service Team was soon shortened to CREST.
Originally serving the immediate Fairmont Area, it soon became apparent the need for CREST services existed throughout Martin County and in 2003 the Board of Directors voted to expand into all corners of the county.
CREST services also expanded during these years as new needs were discovered. Providing transportation to medical appointments and light housekeeping chores have been the heart of the program since the beginning. House and yard maintenance, snow shoveling and longer transportation trips have been added as CREST continued to react to the needs of their neighbors.
Caregiver Support has recently been added to the list of CREST services. Specialized needs of caregivers, such as the areas of dementia and Alzheimer’s, have led to classes for family and caregivers. As always, CREST works in cooperation, whenever possible, with other organizations in providing wrap-around services.
Funding for CREST activities began and continues with support from local churches. As needs increased so did the need for outside funding, the first being a Rose Grant from the Robert Wood Foundation. Soon other grants were secured and contribution opportunities opened to all of the county. The Annual Appeal, events, contributions from county churches, along with small and larger grants provide a stable financial base for operations.
CREST staff has also grown since it first hired Rob Stauter in 1999 as the Director. An Area Coordinator position was added in western Martin County and in 2015 an Associate Director position was added to meet the ever increasing opportunities for services. The Caregiver Support Coordinator position was also added in 2015.
With an active and committed Volunteer Board of Directors CREST continues to explore ways to better meet the needs of caregivers and care receivers in our neighborhoods. The original premise of “Volunteers Helping Neighbors In Need” continues to be the guiding beacon for CREST as we move into the future.