RSVP: A Volunteer Program for Senior Adults

The Generations Program houses two volunteer experiences - Foster Grandparents and RSVP - which engage seniors 55 years of age or older. Unlike foster grandparents who serve in Porter-Leath Preschool clasrooms, RSVP partners with community service organizations in DeSoto County to place senior volunteers at a variety of assignment options. Volunteer positions are flexible and are designed to keep seniors active and create opportunities for them to use their knowledge and experience to benefit their communities.

June Lord is a recently recruited RSVP volunteer who serves her community each week in a food pantry housed at Sacred Heart Southern Missions. Ms. Lord spent the last decade caring for her husband. After her husband passed away, Ms. Lord moved to the Mid- South to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren.

While she found social engagements and time with her family rewarding, Ms. Lord looked for a way to get involved and to give back to her new found home. “I saw an article that talked about an event hosted by Porter-Leath called “Variety is the Spice of Life” and I really liked that! ... I went online and learned about the history of Porter-Leath and wanted to see how I could volunteer,” Ms. Lord said.

She was contacted by Merracle Jordan, Porter-Leath’s RSVP Coordinator, who explained the process of connecting volunteers with service placements. The two women had an instant connection and Ms. Lord was proud to call the Porter-Leath staff member her personal miracle!

“I knew the level of vetting that I was going through and the vetting that the positions were given and felt really comfortable that my placement would be safe and that my time would be valued,” she reported.

Ms. Lord uses her previous experience in the business world to assist with clerical work and serving others at the food pantry. She finds providing food to those in need incredibly rewarding. “You do things for people and you know you don’t expect to get anything back, but I think I receive more than possibly they do!” she added. Ms. Lord proudly announced that she is nearly 89 years old, but she volunteers her time as she can. DeSoto County is lucky to have the service of one of its newest residents!