RSVP is a national program, sponsored locally by the Etowah County Commission. We have approximately 450 active volunteers who provide all kinds of community services for the citizens of Etowah and Cherokee Counties. Opportunities range from working with young children to working with other seniors, homeland security issues to free taxpayer assistance, working in thrift stores and food pantries to clerical and office help.
Volunteer opportunities also exist for those who prefer not to leave their homes: making telephone calls to the homebound; providing reminders by phone; or knitting or crocheting items for babies or hospice patients. Whatever your interests and skills are, we have a job for you where you will be needed, appreciated, and – most importantly – making a difference!
RSVP is a non-profit agency and is federally funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the state of Alabama, and at the local level by the Etowah County Commission.
MISSION STATEMENT: RSVP involves senior citizens age 55 and over in volunteer services within their own communities that match their personal interests, talents, and skills gained from a lifetime of experiences. This improves their quality of life while helping the community and those they serve.
If you would like to know more about the benefits of becoming a volunteer with RSVP, contact Traci Pondick.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT RSVP WORKSTATIONS
- AARP Chapter #3337
These volunteers have monthly meetings and perform different community service projects at regular intervals.
- American Red Cross
Red Cross is always on the lookout for volunteers to help with blood drives (driving the van & operating the canteen), helping transport supplies after a disaster, helping in the office with paperwork or filing, driving the ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) to disaster sites, assessing the situation after a disaster such as a house fire.
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northeast Alabama
Besides mentoring a child, Big Brothers Big Sisters also need volunteers to design and update a website, helping with events by delivering supplies, setting up and taking down event material, and coordinating and supervising field trips for the children.
- Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Alabama
The local Boys & Girls Club is an after-school home to sometimes over 100 children. Volunteers are needed to answer the phone, help with crafts, or just keep an eye on everyone!
- Central-Carver Foundation
The Central-Carver Foundation runs a museum in the Carver Community Center that is committed to preserving the history of Central and Carver schools, and the people who attended these schools. Volunteers act as docents at the museum.
- City of Gadsden
Volunteers may be needed in the Parks & Recreation Dept., helping with exercise classes or at one of the community centers in Gadsden, such as Carver, Elliott or Senior Activity Center, setting up and taking down materials for events.
- Council on Aging
Volunteers with the Council on Aging may be trained and certified to offer counseling & guidance about the financial opportunities and pitfalls faced by senior citizens, the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) and Medicare Supplements.
- Cultural Arts Center
The Cultural Arts Center needs volunteers to act as docents when there is an exhibit and staff at the center has other issues at hand.
- El Señor Club
The El Señor Club is a social club that meets weekly at the Senior Activity Center. Volunteers are members of the club and you may be asked to prepare a meal, assist with clerical work or entertainment, and aid in community service projects.
- Etowah Baptist Mission Center, Catholic Center of Concern & Salvation Army
Each of these organizations operates a thrift store, offer free meals to the indigent and financial assistance to help pay rent, utilities or for medicine. They need volunteers to take in and sort merchandise and donated items to be made available to their clients, interview new clients, or help prepare a meal.
- Etowah County Circuit Clerk’s Office
Volunteers are needed in this office to help with filing, shredding, answering phones and checking the mail.
- Etowah County Council of Community Services, Historical Society & Tele-Chek
Volunteer callers are needed for these workstations. For the Etowah County Council of Community Services & Historical Society, callers remind members of the monthly meetings, and for Tele-Chek, callers make a call to elderly, homebound clients just to make sure they are all right and maybe to remind them to take daily medications. This is a volunteer opportunity that can be done from home.
- Etowah County Community Action Agency
This workstation offers low income citizens of Etowah County assistance with utility bills, medical bills, and assistance for heating and cooling equipment or minor repairs to their home. They need volunteers as greeters and with general office duties, such as answering the phone or filing.
- Etowah County Courthouse Information Desk
We need volunteers in the morning or afternoon hours to sit at the information desk in the lobby of the Etowah County Courthouse and give assistance to visitors who need directions to a particular department.
- Etowah County Dept. of Human Resources
Volunteers at DHR are needed to help in either the Adult Services or Children Services departments to help with filing and paperwork, answering the phone, organizing and helping with special events.
- Etowah County Pregnancy Testing Center
The Pregnancy Testing Center will train volunteers to perform pregnancy testing, counsel young ladies who are pregnant, and refer clients to agencies for prenatal care, housing, or adoption services.
- Etowah Historical Society
Volunteers are needed at the Historical Society to act as guides, showing and explaining displays and their historical significance; and also to help with electronically scanning and organizing documents to help preserve these pieces of history.
- Even Start
Even Start is a program for low-income families, offered locally by the Gadsden City School System. They care for children from 6 weeks to 5 years old while the mother is in high school or studying for her GED. Children are separated by age and they are taught, not just baby sat. Volunteers are needed to help teachers; you decide which age group to work with.
- Family Success Center
The Family Success Center strives to be the one stop any person has to make when they need help, whether it is financially, emotionally or scholastically. They need volunteers to help with clerical activities and the intake and assessment of new clients.
- First Call for Help & United Way (they are in the same building)
Volunteers are needed at these workstations for clerical duties, answering phones, data entry, mail outs and helping with events.
- Friendly Nursing Home Visitors
Our van has a regular route, going to different nursing homes and assisted living homes in Etowah County. Volunteers ride the van to and from these destinations and help with activities, such as bingo, or visiting with residents.
- Gadsden Museum of Art
Volunteers serve as docents, escorting guests through exhibits, help with fund raising, putting up and taking down displays and some office or phone work.
- Gadsden Public Library
The Library needs volunteers to reshelf books, work in the bookstore, helping with children’s or adult’s programs, or scanning old pictures and documents into the computer.
- Gadsden Regional Medical Center & Riverview Regional Medical Center
Volunteers at these two hospitals man the information desks in the lobby and on different floors to assist visitors seeking information by phone or in person; they may deliver mail, magazines or newspapers to patients or clients in the waiting room.
- Gadsden Quilters Guild
Members of the Quilters Guild learn how to quilt, or teach the art of quilting. Some quilts are made to be donated and the Guild also has quilting shows.
- Habitat for Humanity
Volunteers assist in public relations, announcements, mail outs, lunches for construction volunteers, application screening, or in the actual construction of a home.
- Head Start
Head Start needs volunteers to monitor on site visitors, providing them with name tags and retrieving name tags when visitors leave, being sure visitors sign in and out. Volunteers may also be asked to do some simple sewing repairs if possible or tutor or mentor a child.
Volunteers at this workstation deliver prepared meals to the elderly & homebound.
- Mountain View Hospital
Volunteers at this workstation will greet clients and visitors, notify appropriate staff when a client or visitor has arrived, help patients’ complete forms and/or assemble marketing materials and handle mass mailings. Professional staff trains volunteers when needed.
- Northeast Etowah Community Center
Volunteers at Northeast deliver frozen meals to homebound seniors. They also help with fund raising, decorating for events and covered dish suppers.
- Pilot Club
The primary goal of the Pilot Club is to educate people about the most common ways in which traumatic brain disorders are caused. There is a membership fee to join the Pilot Club, and members volunteer by serving refreshments and entertaining nursing home patients and mentally challenged people, making presentations to school children or about Alzheimer bracelets.
- Rx Help
Volunteers work on Wednesdays at the RSVP office providing information and assisting people with completing and mailing applications to acquire many medications free of charge.
- RSVP Community Service
This is a catch-all category for any type of volunteer work not done through an organization. You may tutor children, sit with an elderly person, go shopping and pay bills for someone who is homebound, bake a cake for a sick person, do minor home repairs or cleaning for a neighbor in need it’s all VOLUNTEERING!
- RSVP Disaster Volunteers
This is a group of volunteers devoted to becoming prepared in the case of a disaster, and helping in the aftermath of a disaster. They take classes at the local Red Cross or Emergency Management Agency on how to perform different tasks that need to be in place after a disaster strikes. Volunteers choose what job they wish to perform and are trained for that job.
- Senior Nutrition Centers
Volunteers at Senior Nutrition Centers help with meals, setting the tables, delivering meals to the homebound, cleaning up after a meal, programs and presentations. This is a wonderful opportunity to socialize and get to know people.
- Summer Enrichment Program
Volunteers serve as instructors and tutors for eight weeks during the summer when children are out of school, which reinforces what they have learned.
- SWAT Team
In this case SWAT stands for Senior Workers Available Today. This is our “on-call” group of volunteers. Whenever there is a one-time-only assignment, such as handling a mass mail-out, organizing a room for a big event, or helping an elementary school with a fun day, these are the people we call on!
- Tax Counseling Program
If you’re good with numbers or computers or both, this is for you! TCE offers free tax preparation services to low income or elderly taxpayers at six sites across Etowah and Cherokee Counties.
- The Chamber – Gadsden & Etowah County
The Chamber needs volunteers to act as receptionists and answer a 3-line telephone. Also, there will be many special events and one-time-only needs with this group!
- Veterans Affairs
DAV volunteers serve as van drivers, driving clients from the Etowah County VA Clinic to the nearest VA hospital (Birmingham) for medical treatment, and volunteers in the Dept. of Veterans Affairs office help with filing, greeting clients and light office work.
- American Red Cross
Red Cross always needs volunteers to help with blood drives, office help, and disaster recovery.
- Cherokee County Health & Rehab
Volunteers at the nursing home assist with activities, such as bingo or entertainment. They also help in the beauty shop or with fund raisers.
- Cherokee County Medical Center
Volunteers at the hospital man the information desk, deliver mail to patients, and offer a smile and friendly face to those visiting their loved ones.
- Extended Family
Extended Family is a support group for people who have a loved one incarcerated. Volunteers are needed to help with a children’s program at schools, help with fund raising, knitting or crocheting ‘comfort covers’ for children who have to travel to visit a family member and clerical duties in the office.
- The ROC of 1st Baptist Church
These volunteers help with clerical duties and scheduling special events at the Recreational Outreach Center.
Find additional volunteer opportunities by visiting us at:
January 1-31 – Habitat for Humanity will be accepting applications for new homes.
January 1 – New Year’s Day
January 2 – Etowah County Courthouse closed.
January 12 – Seniors Outfitted for Defense meeting. Call RSVP @ 256-549-8147 by 1/9/17 to reserve a seat.
January 15 – Sanctity of Life Sunday. Call the Etowah Pregnancy Testing Center @ 256-442-6101 to schedule a speaker or get bulletin inserts for your place of worship.
January 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Etowah County Courthouse closed.
January 23 – Free Income Tax Program begins. Call RSVP @ 256-549-8147 for schedule.
January 24 – Dinner in the Dark; Sponsored by Cherokee County Historical Society and Centre Lions Club. Call 256-927-7835 for details.
February 1 – Tickets go on sale for the 17th Annual Choose Life Banquet to be held April 27th. Please call the Etowah Pregnancy Testing Center @ 256-442-6101 for more information.
February 14 – Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 18 – 2nd Annual High Tea; Call Cherokee County Historical Society @ 256-927-7835 for details.
March 12 – Daylight Saving Time begins, don’t forget to move your clocks up one hour!
March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day
March 20 – 1st day of Spring!
March 24 – Good Friday, Etowah County Courthouse closed.