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January 18, 2013

ULM volunteer program donates blankets for MLK Day of Service

Members of the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) donated 12 hand-made lap blankets to the annual ULM and Louisiana Delta Community College Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

On Monday, Jan. 21, all donated items, including the blankets, will be organized and delivered to the Community Soup Kitchen, located at 219 Plum St. in Monroe, on the observed Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Dr. Pamela Saulsberry, head of the ULM Social Work Department and chair of the ULM Diversity Committee, expressed her appreciation for the handmade blankets.

“It’s wonderful, and I most appreciate that the blankets were handmade with love for this service project. RSVP was so happy to provide something that people usually do not get in a project like this, and these will last forever.

ULM is the sponsoring agent for RSVP, which is run by the ULM department of Gerontology and funded by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The RSVP program connects those 55 and older with volunteer opportunities in Ouachita, Union, Lincoln and Bienville parishes.

“Those who may not be able to physically volunteer are able to do things like this, said RSVP Director Rita Massey.

“We have volunteers doing things like knitting and crocheting hats and blankets, and even volunteering in law enforcement.”

According to Gerontology Department Chair Dr. Karen Kopera-Frye, “RSVP engages in many volunteer activities. They volunteered 100,000 hours in 2012 in Ouachita and Union parishes alone.  At the U.S. Dept. of Labor rate for their job classification of $25.25 per hour, their annual volunteer services are worth over $2.5 million dollars.  This demonstrates an extraordinary service to our community from some very special volunteers.”

For more information about RSVP, call 318-345-3716.

Those who wish to participate in MLK Day of Service should contact Dr. Pamela Saulsberry at or 318-342-1445.

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