Published July 2, 2018
By Scott Edger
For Burness Moffitt, volunteering through the Retired Senior Volunteer Program is not just a service but an opportunity. Through RSVP, she was able to quickly make new friends and connections when she moved to Dodge City two years ago.
“RSVP is a godsend for me,” Moffitt said. “I’ve gotten to meet so many nice people. It makes my day when I can go out and do something with RSVP.”
Dodge City Community College hosted a reception Thursday to recognize Moffitt and the scores of volunteers who serve hundreds of individuals in Ford County. Volunteers and members of the RSVP advisory council met new RSVP director Lisa Killion and were treated to a taco and desert bar as well as gift cards and door prizes.
“Our volunteers give so much to the community all year long.” Killion said, “We’re happy to show our gratitude for all of the hours and resources they provide and give a little something back to them.”
RSVP holds at least two volunteer appreciation events every year, with grant funds that are specifically designated for volunteer recognition, according to Killian.
Moffitt is enthusiastic about volunteering, which she says she has done wherever she’s lived throughout her life. She said the volunteer organization here is as vibrant as any she has seen.
“I’ve always been active, but it’s never been anything like RSVP. Lisa is doing wonderful things” said Moffitt, who utilizes RSVP services herself for rides to medical appointments. “I think I get more out of it than the people we serve. I am out meeting marvelous people and helping at events like the Dodge City Days Arts & Crafts Show, the 3i Show… I’ve learned that I really do enjoy Dodge City.”
RSVP matches people over age 55 with much-needed community projects or activities that suit the individual’s interests and skill set. Volunteers from the organization help provide local schools with reading tutors, serve as child advocates in the court system, deliver hot meals to seniors who may be homebound, provide transportation assistance, assist in grocery shopping, and assist in community recycling and beautification efforts.
Providing transportation to medical appointments is one of the biggest projects RSVP operates. Since July of 2017 volunteers taken almost 400 residents to medical appointments all over the state.
“Out here in our rural area, some people don’t have a way to get to Hays or Wichita, so it’s difficult to access their healthcare,” Killion said. “Transportation is vitally important to our program.”
DC3 has served as host for the RSVP program since the 1970s, and each year the Conquistador baseball players under head coach Phil Stephenson coordinate with RSVP and spend a day volunteering to do community clean up and minor repairs on the homes of seniors and people with disabilities.
There are plans to have more Conq athletes volunteer for reading and literacy programs at Dodge City schools, according to Killion.
RSVP works with the American Cross to install smoke detectors in homes throughout Ford County. Volunteers have installed almost 400 units in at-risk areas. Volunteers not only install the detectors but help residents develop fire escape plans and advise on preparation for other emergency situations.
For more information or to volunteer call RSVP at 227-7707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.