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Retired and Senior Volunteer Program’s SOS project to help elderly Oxford residents

By John Davis

Oxford Park Commission

A light at the house doesn’t have to be out for months any longer. The individuals that make up the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program are here to change that scenario thanks to Project SOS, which stands for Serving our Seniors.

Light bulbs that need to be replaced or window screens that should be taken out and disposed of are just some of the small tasks the SOS project will be able to address. Nearly 30 percent of the 40 million elderly people live alone and almost four out of five of the elderly living in the country are women.

Arledia Bennett, the Director of RSVP, proposed the idea for the program and was awarded a grant from Lafayette Oxford Foundation for Tomorrow to help fund the small projects that so many desperately need.

Besides turning in a new light bulb, Bennett said volunteers can flip mattresses, hang pictures on the wall, replace shower curtains and even provide non-slip pads for rugs. Door locks can be changed out and peepholes can be installed as well. Seniors who need smoke detectors in their homes can also get those through SOS, who will fill out the forms and turn them into the proper fire department.

“Our goal is to help modify homes and improve the quality of life for our senior citizens and disabled individuals by providing assessments, repair and referral services that can help extend the time during which elderly and disabled individuals can remain safe, secure and independent in their homes,” Bennett said.

Volunteers that are wishing to serve handymen or women and want to take part in Project SOS should contact RSVP at rsvp@oxfordms.net or by calling 232-2377.