Faith & Family: Volunteers rove to area to assist at children’s home
Published 12:10 am Saturday, November 15, 2014
By Morgan Mizell
The Natchez Democrat
NATCHEZ — A group of volunteers known as R.V.I.C.S. (Roving Volunteers In Christ’s Service) are in town donating their services to the Natchez Children’s Home Services.
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“They made it here this week,” Nancy Hungerford said. “They will be with us until Dec. 4.”
The organization is based in Texas, but its membership consists of individuals from all over the country. The group is a non-denominational Christian organization for retired couples who travel throughout the country and help with various projects in various communities.
Hungerford, the director of the Natchez Children’s Home Services, said she first learned about the group more than 14 years ago when another volunteer mentioned them to her.
“There was another volunteer here doing some work for us, and he told me that this group could really be helpful to us,” Hungerford said. “Of course, I looked into it and they have come every other year since 2000.”
Members are retirees who travel the country in Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and use their skills to assist non-profit organizations.
“We have a lot of projects that they have and will help with,” Hungerford said. “Some of them have plumbing, carpentry and drywall skills that are so useful to use here with a building as old as we have.”
Just before arriving this time, NCHS had a plumbing issue that left their downstairs efficiency apartment flooded. The tenant was relocated and the leak was fixed, but there was still the task of fixing the ceiling and painting.
“The pipe issue took place late Friday afternoon. We did get the pipe taken care of, but there was more to do,” Hungerford said. “Thankfully, the R.V.I.C.S were able to come right in and take care of the matter, and that has been wonderful for us.”
NCHS provides the materials for the group and arranges for them to have a place to stay during their time in town.
“We have been fortunate to reserve them a spot at the River View RV Park every year, and they enjoy it,” Hungerford said. “The owners have been very helpful to us, and that allows them to be close to us and they have easier access to the various activities they wish to participate in when they are not here.”
The volunteers will be taking tours, seeing shows and attending some of the local churches while there are in town.
“They work a Monday to Thursday week,” Hungerford said. “Some of the ladies are doing work in our thrift shop and in the kitchen, and the men have been prepping for painting jobs but it has been so cold that they have mainly worked inside.”
NCHS will host a large Thanksgiving meal during the R.V.I.C.S. visit.
“We will have staff, volunteers, and some of the children we service here at the meal,” Hungerford said. “It will be a big deal with much to be thankful for, for sure.”
Hungerford says she put the request in for the group to come more than a year ago.
“They volunteer all over the country year around,” Hungerford said. “They do not come back-to-back and sometimes it is different couples, and there are even a few who have sold their homes and live strictly in their RVs. It’s amazing.”
For more information about R.V.I.C.S. or to contact them about a project, visit rvics.com.