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RSVP to form new volunteer program after Volunteer Oxford closes doors

For six years, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program worked hand-in-hand with Volunteer Oxford, an organization that helped join those wishing to volunteer their time in the community with opportunities to do so.

However, the federal funding was cut and as of Oct. 31, Volunteer Oxford was forced to close its doors.

“The national days of service and other community events will not go away just because Volunteer Oxford is no longer here,” said RSVP Director Arledia Bennett. “The momentum for days of service and community events such as these is great and needs to continue.”

RSVP is picking up the pieces and making sure volunteers of all ages continue to work together for the betterment of the Oxford and Lafayette County community.

RSVP will be forming Volunteer Connection which will give people who want to volunteer the opportunity to access the same computer software, GiveGab, that was available through Volunteer Oxford. RSVP will hire a part-time staff person to help run events throughout the year that were started by Volunteer Oxford and RSVP like the Sept. 11 Day of Remembrance and Service and the MLK Day of Service programs.

The software allows nonprofits and event managers to post volunteer opportunities for those who want to volunteer in the community to sign up.

“Since RSVP is a national service organization, it will assume the role for the city of Oxford and Lafayette County to keep the community engaged on days of national service, along with the university and the North Mississippi VISTA project,” Bennett said.

RSVP directly serves individuals who are 55 years and older. The new Volunteer Connection will serve children, students and volunteers 55 and younger.

“In the past, the days of service have brought this community together and RSVP wants this to continue as a priority for our community and continue to involve students in our public school, students from Ole Miss as well as our older volunteers,” Bennett said.