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Six non-profit groups turning to RSVP for volunteer help
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Jan. 31, 2007 - An area volunteer agency is looking for adults ages 55 and over to help six local agencies fill their staffing needs.

Currently, RSVP — the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program — has 188 senior adults who volunteer their time and skills to serve the Hopkins County community through agencies such as the historical museum, quilt guilds, public library and senior citizens center and hospital. Overall, the program assists at 12 locations in Hopkins County.

"Our volunteers work in positions for which they receive no funds for doing the job. They have to be at least 55 and volunteer in a number of roles and locations," said Susan Kahn, Red River Valley RSVP Project Director.

They may assist by tutoring children, helping at health clinics, delivering meals for programs such as Meal-A-Day, distributing food at area food banks, and filling other needs of nonprofit groups and public agencies.

RSVP is funded by a federal grant, a state grant and Lamar County United Way, as well as a Hallmark grant that allows them to afford gifts and door prizes. The Red River Valley RSVP program coordinates volunteers for groups in Delta, Hopkins, Lamar and Red River counties.

In Hopkins County, six establishments have requested volunteers to help at their locations.

Hopkins County Hospice recently contacted RSVP. Hospice is in need of specific individuals willing to work directly with patients as friendly visitors. But those not up for that particular task can still assist Hospice patients indirectly by doing clerical work.

Lone Star Heritage Quilt Guild needs people to make quilts or other items for nursing homes and the child advocacy center, as well as other community service activities.

Hopkins County Memorial Hospital is looking for volunteers to assist their auxiliary program working at the information desk, gift shop and other tasks.

Sulphur Springs Library needs volunteers to help shelve and check out books, while the the Meal-A-Day program located in the Senior Citizen Center needs people willing to volunteer as substitute drivers and cooks, filling in when the regular program volunteers have to be out for family, health or other reasons. Meal-A-Day provides meals Monday-Friday, with cooks working from about 7 a.m. to about 10 or 11 a.m. Drivers spend about an hour, starting around 10 or 10:30 a.m., delivering meals to program recipients.

Hopkins County Historical Museum has a variety of volunteer opportunities, including docents, tour guides, museum maintenance work, and landscaping and gardening.

Those age 55 or older interested in volunteering their time, services and knowledge are encouraged to contact Susan Kahn by calling her at 903-782-044 or 903-782-0440 sending an e-mailing query to skahn@parisjc.edu. For more information, contact Kahn at the number or address listed above, or visit the program web site: www.rrvrsvp.org

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