Photos of volunteers

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About RSVP

RSVP is part of the Corporation for National & Community Service/Senior Corps. The role of RSVP is to match volunteers age 55-plus with community needs.

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Retired & Senior Volunteer Program Stories

The Story Continues...Thanks to Ed!

Being a hospital patient is usually not a good experience – especially if the prognosis is grim. Through a companion program at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, many patients have had the opportunity to make a new friend while telling their own story.

Pre-arranged with the hospital volunteer coordinator and the hospital patient, RSVP volunteer companion Ed visits those who are terminally ill and records their oral history. There are usually many visits for the recordings, edits, playbacks, and the detail given by the storyteller. On the final visit, goodbyes are exchanged and the patient receives the recorded tape so that their story continues with family members.

Henry, the Helpful Hippo

“Henry has just recently retired after 35 years as a caretaker at the Friendly Animal Zoo. This is his first day of retirement. He sits on his porch with a cup of hot chocolate and wonders what he will do with all his ‘free’ time.”

Thus begins Henry, the Helpful Hippo, a children’s book about local volunteer opportunities by our own RSVP ambassador, Marita Steward. The book—Steward’s first—was released in June 2009. It tells the story of Henry, a friendly blue hippopotamus, who is in search of a place to help others since he has retired. There are more than a dozen choices, with each of them illustrating the fun and benefits of volunteering with nonprofit agencies. In the end, Henry declares a new motto for RSVP: “Really Serve – Volunteer Proudly!” The book is not only a good story to describe volunteering to children, but also a resource to promote the value of community service. It is available at the RSVP office.

Contact RSVP

Phone: (865) 524-2786

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 51650
Knoxville, TN 37950-1650

Street Address:
2247 Western Avenue