Meridian, Miss. Each month, Newscenter 11 spotlights someone in our community who goes above and beyond in serving others. This time we feature the collective efforts of Meridian's Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, or RSVP. We caught up with three of it's hard-working volunteers who give new meaning to the word "devoted."
You may not even realize it but you see RSVP volunteers all around you, all throughout the year. About 130 people in our community volunteer through this agency, and we made three of them slow down long enough to talk to us. With more than 300 volunteer hours put in this year, it's easy to see why John Flowers was recently awarded the "Volunteer of the Year" Award. Flowers works in a number of organizations, where ever he is needed. He says as a Sunday School teacher at Newell Chapel CME Church, he teaches the importance of serving others. "Because we've been blessed tremendously, and being blessed, God told us to be a blessing to others," Flowers said. "I like to be an example in the community for some of the younger people and for some of my church members, showing that we can actually give back and be rewarded for it, by seeing the reaction of those we help."
All three of these community servants have been honored in the past as Volunteer of the Year. Sandra McMullen has been volunteering with RSVP for about 12 years now, in many different areas, but her specialty is helping others with their taxes. It's something she gives a lot of hours to each year. "During tax season, I probably put in about 20 to 30 hours a week," McMullen explained. "Otherwise, maybe about 20 a month, cause I do other volunteer work also."
Rose Ellen Reid started volunteering in 2005, and says even though she doesn't get a paycheck, she has earned a lot. "It keeps me active, and it gives you something to look forward to, going and helping other people," said Reid. "You're with other people, and that's good. You make a lot of new friends."
And that's what these three say it's all about, helping others, in all areas of their community. Using their time and talents to make life just a little better for their neighbor.