This week’s United Way agency is the Retired senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
RSVP is a nation-wide program that utilizes volunteers age 55 and older to serve in their communities. Oklahoma has 25 RSVP programs according to Bryan County RSVP Director Sheila Risner.
The participants in the RSVP program serve several non-profit organizations such as hospitals and education facilities.
Risner said that RSVP has 60 volunteer sites in the county. RSVP volunteers are in all of the senior centers in Bryan County, and in the hospital’s auxiliary.
The volunteers work all of the blood drives in Bryan County, in nursing homes and in the Bryan County Heritage Museum in Caddo.
Risner said that some of these places need volunteers once a year, some once a month and others every day.
The main project that the Bryan County RSVP has is Provide a Ride. This project helps senior citizens who have no other means of getting to and from doctor or medical appointments.
This program provides rides in the county and even to appointments in Dallas or Oklahoma City for Bryan county seniors.
The volunteers are not paid but are reimbursed for the gas used for the project and in some cases for meals during a trip for the project.
“Without United Way we would not be able to do that,” said Risner.
Risner said the money provided by United Way is what RSVP uses for the reimbursements and for supplemental insurance for volunteers.
Who is RSVP? “We are a retired and senior volunteer program,” said Risner.
She said the program aids seniors in keeping active in the community and helping meet the needs of the community.
What is RSVP’s goal for Bryan County? Risner said RSVP’s goal is to continue the services they provide and work with the community to address its needs.
Who does RSVP serve? RSVP provides services to all of Bryan County, from helping seniors to RSVP’s annual Coats for Kids in November, said Risner.
How can Bryan County help? “We need volunteers,” said Risner.
She also suggested donating to United Way which helps to sponsor Bryan County RSVP.
RSVP is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. closing daily for lunch from noon until 1 p.m.
To contact RSVP call (580) 924-3659, send an email to email@example.com or visit the office at 301 N. 16 Ave. in Durant.