The United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County (UWOLC) seeks to understand our community’s needs; work in partnership to implement effective strategies to address those needs; mobilize resources to support those strategies; and build awareness of our community’s strengths, challenges, and resources. In doing so, our organization promotes volunteerism, advocacy, and giving within Oxford and Lafayette County.
Throughout the year, UWOLC hosts special events that seek to raise funds and/or awareness throughout our community. We also periodically post opportunities for interns and part-time volunteers who are interested in helping with administrative tasks, communications and public relations, event planning, fundraising, and more. Most of our internship and volunteer opportunities focus on marketing and outreach as we seek to reach more people with our messaging.
In addition, we accept volunteers from throughout the LOU community to serve on our four advisory committees, which relate back to our focus areas of health, education, financial stability, and basic needs. Our advisory committees annually review the grant applications we receive from local nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities. Typically, applications are distributed to committee members in early April and the committees meet to finalize their evaluations within each area either later that month or in early May. Each advisory committee uses a standard rubric to score the applications and the committee chairs use the scores as well as other input and feedback when they finalize their award recommendations for the UWOLC Board of Directors, which approves our annual grant awards when it meets in late May. So, the service time for committee members typically takes less than a month to complete as the committee chairs meet in early or mid-May to finalize their recommendations for the board.
If you have interest in potentially serving as a volunteer with the UWOLC, please contact Kurt Brummett via email.
If you are interested in volunteering in the LOU community beyond our typical service offerings, please review the following summary descriptions to determine potential volunteer opportunities that fit your interests, skills, schedule, etc. If the work of one of our partners interests you and you would like to potentially volunteer in some capacity, please click on the partner’s name for contact information and further details.
The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. The ultimate goal of the American Red Cross as an organization is to achieve positive health outcomes and create a more resilient community.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi seeks to inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. This mission is accomplished by utilizing core Boys & Girls Club programs and partnerships that focus on academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lafayette County is a non-profit organization that advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children through the development and support of court-sanctioned, community-based programs that provide trained and supervised volunteers.
Doors of Hope Transition Ministries guides homeless families and at-risk homeless families towards self-reliance and stability through a holistic, individualistic approach that includes life-skills training, mentoring, and supportive housing.
Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi assists and supports victims of violent crime and strengthens as well as stabilizes families. The agency provides 24-hour crisis intervention, counseling, education, legal advocacy, and referral for victims of child abuse and sexual assault as well as friends and family of homicide victims.
Girl Scouts Heart of the South builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. By providing real-world opportunities for girls in grades K-12, girls learn and practice leadership skills, explore new interests, gain positive values, access life-changing adventures, and make community contributions.
Good Food for Oxford Schools leverages farm-to-school principles to bring local produce into school cafeterias that serve from cooked-from-scratch and fresh menu items, creating district-wide healthy changes while also educating students and their families on the importance of eating well for a healthier lifestyle.
Gordon Community & Cultural Center, Inc. serves the citizens of Lafayette County by providing educational programs to elementary school children in first through sixth grades during the summer and vocational training in the construction trades to adults eighteen years and older.
Interfaith Compassion Ministry (ICM) assists individuals and families through crisis situations by providing for their basic needs: food, shelter, utilities, medications, and transportation. ICM is our community’s primary agency that assists homeless people by providing counseling, temporary housing, food, and stabilization in new living arrangements.
Junior Auxiliary of Oxford represents a serious endeavor by women to serve and be a vital part of the community in rendering charitable services which are beneficial to the general public, with particular emphasis on children.
The Lafayette County & Oxford Public Library is a gathering place that supports education, encourages lifelong learning, inspires collaboration, and sparks community transformation. One of its key goals is to provide the services and resources to succeed in school.
Lafayette County Literacy Council is a nonprofit, community-based agency founded in 1996 to promote the importance of literacy for both children and adults. The agency’s mission is to improve the quality of life in Oxford and Lafayette County through literacy and reading.
LOU Reads Coalition is a group of local organizations and community leaders dedicated to ensuring that all children in our community can proficiently read by the end of the third grade. Coalition members focus their collective energy and expertise on four main areas: school readiness, attendance, out-of-school time opportunities, and targeted efforts to promote grade level reading. Coalition goals include ensuring all children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed in school as well as life, increasing the percentage of children who miss fewer than ten days of school on an annual basis, minimizing summer learning loss as well as increasing participation in quality out-of-school time programs, and improving supports so as to increase the percentage of students who end the school year as proficient readers.
LOU Saves seeks to promote financial stability by increasing rates of financial literacy and encouraging active rates of saving for higher education among low-income families.
LOU-Home, Inc. collaborates with governments, businesses, organizations, and citizens to increase the availability and affordability of quality homes for qualified buyers who cannot find affordable homes within the LOU community, provide support for successful ownership of these homes, and advocate for affordable housing.
North Mississippi Exchange Family Center improves the quality of life for at-risk families by breaking the cycle of child abuse and neglect through prevention, intervention, and educational services.
North Mississippi Kidney Foundation provides individuals on life-saving dialysis with need-based assistance for expenses related to medications, transportation, and emergency financial needs.
North Mississippi Rural Legal Services (NMRLS) provides free, civil services to ensure that poor, elderly, and disabled Mississippians have equal access to justice. NMRLS is the only non-profit that provides free full-service legal services in north Mississippi.
Oxford Community Market fosters community bonds, strengthens local economies, educates consumers, promotes better health, and improves access to fresh, healthy, local, and sustainable goods for all citizens, including those traditionally underserved.
Oxford-Lafayette Habitat for Humanity seeks to build affordable housing and rehabilitate low-income homes to provide a safe and secure environment that promotes children and youth achieving their academic potential.
Special Olympics Mississippi (Area 4) provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving the continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.
The Leap Frog Program’s mission is to provide a nurturing environment in which at-risk students can develop and enhance necessary skills for academic success, build productive, ongoing relationships with adults, and improve their self-esteem.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging (AAA) provides senior citizens with needed services and benefits that will improve their quality of life and help them maintain their independence as well as live their lives with dignity and security. Three Rivers AAA funds the local Meals on Wheels program, which provides meals to seniors and homebound residents.
The Yoknapatawpha Arts works to provide access to the arts that are reflective of the community through a diverse offering of artistic, cultural, and educational opportunities.
Finally, the following organizations provide volunteer opportunities as well in their efforts to make a meaningful difference within our community:
The Pantry is a not-for-profit, community-wide organization that provides food on an emergency basis for eligible residents in Oxford and Lafayette County. The Pantry’s objective is to involve a broad base of support throughout the community and publicize its work so families in need will know how to apply for essential food supplies. You can call (662) 832-8001 if you are interested in volunteering.
Holding Hands Resale Shop
Holding Hands Resale Shop’s mission is to employ people with mental illnesses and disabilities, giving them a safe place to work in an environment that helps them reach their maximum potential. You can call (662) 236-0003 if you are interested in volunteering.
More Than a Meal
More Than A Meal is a 501(c)(3) entity whose mission is to serve the people of Oxford with good food, encouragement, and a sense of community. You can call (662) 816-8496 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering.
Memory Makers seeks to serve those in our community affected by memory loss due to dementia by offering respite, socialization, counseling, education and information. You can call (662) 234-3332 or email email@example.com if you are interested in volunteering.
Lovepacks discreetly provides non-perishable, kid-friendly food to Oxford School District and Lafayette County School District students in distress before they leave for home on Fridays. You can call email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering.
NMRC Best Friend Volunteer Program
The Best Friend Volunteer Program at the North Mississippi Regional Center (NMRC) was established to help provide community contact with NMRC clients and offers flexible as well as diverse volunteer opportunities. You can call (662) 513-7684 or email email@example.com if you are interested in volunteering.