By John Davis
Community Relations Director
Teresa Faust is a people person who enjoys being out in the community. The new Volunteer Oxford Director also has a love for Oxford, and the people she has come to know since arriving in town six years ago.
Faust has been employed by the city for the past year and a half, working as the volunteer recruiter with the Retired, Senior and Volunteer Program or RSVP. Faust was responsible for making contact with the non-profit organizations and assisting with their needs in relation to volunteers. The RSVP volunteers dealt with a number of events, from supply drives at the schools to working at the library or at The Pantry, and Faust was right in the middle of planning. All of the work was enjoyable because Faust likes to please so much.
“It was wonderful meeting new people and then seeing how exciting it was for RSVP volunteers. It’s sort of full circle for them to have the enjoyment of volunteering,” said Faust, who was approved to her new role on March 7. “On the other side, there was a lot of enjoyment on the non-profit side to have someone come in and volunteer.”
Faust credited the leadership of RSVP Director Arleida Bennett and the support of coordinator Jamie Briscoe for preparing her to take the next step.
“They helped me so much that I felt the confidence to take a leadership role,” Faust said. “I was ready. I felt like this role was made for me, and it was time to use my skills and my talents and to see where I can help with Volunteer Oxford and the community. I love seeing people work and come together.”
Faust grew up in Meridian and she has lived in other states, specifically Iowa where she attended Northern Iowa University.
“I’ve been to different cities and Oxford, to me, continues to have so much growth and compassion that I see for others,” Faust said. “That’s one of the things that I love about this city, seeing it grow. I’ve seen that with RSVP and with Volunteer Oxford. I’ve seen both of these programs bring non-profit organizations together. I’ve seen it help them and develop programs to help those that maybe are a little bit less fortunate than we are. That’s what I love.”
One of the things that Faust wants to continue, and then enhance, in her new role is the volunteer base. She is on the lookout for new non-profit organizations to help. And she is open to new ideas and new approaches, things that will help the community flourish.
“I also hope to work with the schools more. I would really like to see a program with Volunteer Oxford if they will allow us to do a program, maybe even at the end of the school year,” Faust said. “What are you doing with your summer? And how can Volunteer Oxford help the youth get more involved and find out their ideas. What do they think and find out how they think they can help those that are less fortunate or seniors. I really think there is an opportunity to work with students more. We work with the university and that’s a great partnership. I feel like with Oxford and Lafayette there is a great opportunity to help our youth flourish.”