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Volunteer Handbook


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									              Retired & Senior
             Volunteer Program

      Volunteer Handbook

     RSVP is a program of the National Senior Service Corps,
a division of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

                    Locally sponsored by the
                      American Red Cross
                  Carolina Lowcountry Chapter

              A funded partner of the Trident United Way
Dear Volunteer,

On behalf of the RSVP staff and our local sponsor, the Carolina
Lowcountry Chapter of the American Red Cross, we would like to
take this opportunity to welcome you to the Carolina Lowcountry
Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). We at RSVP stand
ready to provide you with any assistance you might need as you
begin your adventure in Volunteerism. This Handbook is a guide
in helping you to understand what RSVP does and how you can

There exists today, perhaps more than ever before, a tremendous
need for volunteers in many of the non-profit community agencies
throughout the nation, and especially in our own community.
Volunteers are needed to share their experience, time, and
expertise with others. Together we can work to build a better life
for many in our community. Through your contribution of time and
talent, you are sharing the most valuable gift of all – YOURSELF!

We hope you will take the time to read this Handbook and feel free
to openly share any hesitations or concerns with us so that we can
respond to you in a helpful manner.


RSVP is an invitation to serve. It is a national program designed to
provide opportunities for persons 55 and older who want to
continue to remain actively involved in the life of their community.
The aim is to develop specific volunteer opportunities that utilize
the particular skills and interests of each individual volunteer with
an eye to what needs to get done in our community.

Depending upon the area in which you live and where you choose
to serve, a volunteer coordinator is available to help you get
started and to ensure complete satisfaction with your assignment.
If any changes are needed to help you become more comfortable
or to enable you to upgrade your volunteer work allowing for
greater personal growth, your coordinator can assist you with this


Anyone with a desire to get involved in service to their community
is eligible to be an RSVP volunteer, as long as they are at least 55
years of age or older. There are no educational, income or
experience requirements. Volunteers can be any race, creed,
nationality, or political affiliation.   There are NO dues or
membership fees, and no meetings to attend.


   Help setting up a personal interview with the volunteer
    station of your choice.
   On going follow-up and support by your coordinator.
   Three types of supplemental insurance while you
    volunteer: personal injury, personal liability, excess
    automobile. (Note: These are an added bonus as it is free to
    you as an RSVP volunteer.)
   $2,500 life insurance policy if something should happen to
    you on your way to, during, or returning from your volunteer
   Transportation assistance if needed (on a limited basis).
    (Contact your Area Coordinator for further information.)
   Invitation to an Annual recognition event.
   Social interaction and a chance to meet new people.
   An opportunity to learn new skills.
   Bi-monthly newsletter.
   Referral information.
   A myriad of volunteer opportunities, many on a one-time only
   Flexibility to change your volunteer assignment whenever
    you want.


In order to minimize risks associated with volunteering, all non-
profit agencies that utilize RSVP volunteers have signed an
agreement to be an RSVP station. These agreements are kept on
file in our office and updated every three years.
While volunteering at these designated stations, your RSVP
insurance is in effect. At times, you may want to take on
additional work aside from your RSVP work. Under these
circumstances you will not be covered by RSVP insurance.


“Volunteer Station” is a term that is used to refer to a non-
profit/government/proprietary health care facility that has a
written agreement with RSVP to provide volunteer assignments
for you. The Carolina Lowcountry RSVP works with almost 150
organizations in our service area. For a comprehensive list of
stations, stop by our office or give us a call. Each volunteer
station has a station supervisor who will provide you with
orientation and training for your particular work assignment and
will be your regular contact person at the station. He/she will
provide you with information about how you can be most helpful
and in return, will attempt to accommodate your needs as a

The relationship that develops between a volunteer and his/her
station supervisor is an ongoing process of understanding and
caring that enables you to grow and work together for the good of
the community.


     To provide safe working conditions for RSVP volunteers.
     Make final decision on placement of volunteers.
     To provide orientation and training.
     Provide supervision of volunteers on assignments.
     To collect and submit volunteers’ hours.
     Not to displace a paid worker with a volunteer.
     To recognize the achievement of RSVP volunteers and
      identify them as RSVP volunteers.


    To identify yourself as an RSVP volunteer by wearing your
     name badge whenever possible.
    To cooperate with your volunteer station supervisor,
     especially regarding confidential information.
    To conduct yourself in a professional manner.
    To avoid unsafe tasks, such as heavy lifting, and advise your
     station supervisor of unsafe conditions.
    To report all incidents regarding personal injury to your
     station supervisor and RSVP promptly.
    To notify the volunteer station if you will not be available
     during your assigned shift.
    To “sign in” when you volunteer so that your time is
    To notify the RSVP office of changes in your mailing address,
     telephone number, e-mail address, driver’s license
     expiration date, life insurance beneficiary or volunteer

PLEASE NOTE: In some cases, RSVP volunteers prefer to keep up with their
own service hours. An “Individual Hours” form is available and can be used
for this purpose. This form must be signed by one of the station supervisors
you work under and sent in to our office on a monthly or quarterly basis.


    The federal government requires us to keep track of all time
     spent volunteering as a means of assessing our
    It indicates that you are an active RSVP volunteer and thus
     allows you to participate in our annual recognition event and
     receive our bi-monthly newsletter.
    It provides proof that you were volunteering in case of an
     insurance claim.
    It allows us to share with our funders required quantitative
    It provides information to our legislators about the types of
     volunteer work and number of hours of service. This
    information assists them in deciding the amount of federal
    monies appropriated for ALL RSVP projects in the U.S.
    (There are 760 such projects.)
   It helps RSVP promote seniors as active, contributing
    members of their communities.

S.W.A.T. TEAM - “Seniors with Available Time”.

Many times throughout the year, our volunteer stations need help
with a one-time project or special event. This can encompass a
team of 2 – 50 or more volunteers. Some of these projects/events
are annual walks, oyster roasts, large bulk mailings, historic
tours, etc. We utilize personal telephone calls from staff and our
e-mail contact list to recruit help for these projects. If you furnish
your e-mail address, you are automatically put on this project list.
If you prefer NOT to be included, all it takes is a reply to our e-mail
and your name will be removed.


The RSVP Advisory Council is made up of members selected from
the community at large. The Council includes Volunteer Station
representatives, volunteers, and other interested community
members. The Council’s role is to keep abreast of what is being
accomplished at RSVP, to offer advice to RSVP staff, to advocate
for RSVP in the community at large and to assist staff with certain
activities, in particular, the annual Recognition Events.

RSVP exists to serve YOU, its volunteers. We are here to help
make your service to the community as rewarding and as
appropriate for you as possible. Please feel free to call at any
time you may have any questions or special needs.


             Office Locations and Contact

Main Office                                                  Berkeley County
Pam Dillon                                                   Patricia Horry
Director                                                     Area Coordinator
8085 Rivers Avenue                                           325 E. Main Street
Suite F                                                      Moncks Corner, SC 29461
N. Charleston, SC 29406                                      843.851.4155/843.761.6033
843.764.2323, ext. 381                                       Fax: 843.899.6546
Fax: 843.764.2318                                            t.horry@hotmail.com

           * * *                                                        * * *

Charleston County                                            Colleton County
Marlene Williamon                                            Jenniemae Price
Area Coordinator                                             Area Coordinator
8085 Rivers Ave., Ste F                                      217 S. Lemacks St., Ste. 417
N. Charleston, SC 29406                                      (P.O. Box 634)
843.764.2323, ext. 380                                       Walterboro, SC 29488
Fax: 843.764.2318                                            843.549.6617
williamonm@usa.redcross.org                                  Call to Fax
           * * *

Dorchester County
Cathy Quenga
Area Coordinator
117 S. Main St.
Summerville, SC 29483
843.821.5000 ext. 310
Fax: 843.851.4152

Please note that our Area Coordinators work part-time, normally Monday-Thursday, 9 am-2 pm. They
are in the field quite a bit, so if you call and they are not in, please leave a message and they will return
your call as soon as they can. Our main office is open Monday-Friday from 7 am-3 pm.


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