Retired and Senior Volunteer Program

RETIRED AND SENIOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is a free, federal program to support volunteers 55 and better. It is made available by a grant from AmeriCorps Seniors. Locally, RSVP is organized by United Way Emerald Coast and is focused on uniting our community, leveraging resources to improve lives.

United Way Emerald Coast partners with nonprofit organizations in Okaloosa and Walton counties to provide volunteer opportunities that match your skills, experience, and lifestyle with the needs of our community. Whether you choose to give one hour a week or ten, short-term projects or ongoing, you WILL make a difference in our community.

With RSVP, the choice is yours! You choose the volunteer opportunity addressing one of the focus areas where you are willing to donate your time, you choose the amount of time you want to give, and you choose whether you want to draw on your skills or develop new ones. In short, with the guidance of United Way, you find the opportunity that's right for you.

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BENEFITS OF JOINING

Studies show that volunteering helps you live longer and promotes a positive outlook on life. When you volunteer, you are not just helping others, you are helping yourself. Some benefits of RSVP membership include:

  • Choose how, where, and how often you want to volunteer
  • Give back to your community with a cause that is important to you
  • Meet new people and build lasting friendships through service
  • Participate in exclusive educational and social opportunities, including the annual volunteer recognition event
  • Receive personalized, ongoing support from United Way Emerald Coast RSVP staff
  • While volunteering you are covered by FREE excess accidental medical coverage, personal liability, and excess automobile liability insurance
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WHO CAN APPLY

RSVP is open to all Okaloosa and Walton county residents age 55 and up.  Volunteers must commit to one hour of service per year.

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Submit the RSVP Volunteer Application (Applications may be submitted below, or download and print the form to return via email or mail)
  2. The RSVP Director will contact you for an interview either in-person, by telephone, or on Zoom
  3. Attend the AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP orientation
  4. Select your Volunteer Station and attend a hands-on orientation with your station  (*some Volunteer Stations may require a background screening)
  5. Setup your schedule and start volunteering!

Okaloosa County Volunteer Opportunities

  • Mentor – Mentoring takes place during the school year in Okaloosa County School District’s schools for 30 minutes to one hour each week. Studies have shown that students who are mentored develop more positive attitudes, achieve higher grades, improve relationships with adults and peers, are better able to express feelings, are more likely to trust their teachers, and develop higher levels of self-confidence. Get matched and help a local student today!
  • Reading Pals - be paired with a student online or at a local school to read weekly for 30 or 60 minutes to support children’s early literacy
    • In-Person Mondays and Wednesday 10:30am – 11:30am Tuesdays and Thursday 12pm – 1pm Wednesdays and Fridays 10am – 11am
    • Virtually Tuesdays 4pm - 5pm
  • Teacher – work directly with small groups of students in an area of your interest such as fine arts, crafts, or technology! Help participants enjoy an opportunity to learn or refine a new skill.
  • Tutor – help students develop their skills in math, reading, writing, or another subject so they can improve or maintain their grades.
  • Reader- engage younger students in positive learning activities.
  • Mentor- individuals who wish to make a significant difference in the life of a child can sign up as a mentor.
  • Project Volunteer- a variety of jobs including painting, landscaping, cleaning vehicles, and more!
  • Special Events- volunteer at different events at different times and locations throughout the year

Walton County Volunteer Opportunities

  • Teacher – work directly with small groups of students in an area of your interest such as fine arts, crafts, or technology! Help participants enjoy an opportunity to learn or refine a new skill.
  • Tutor – help students develop their skills in math, reading, writing, or another subject so they can improve or maintain their grades.
  • Reader - engage younger students in positive learning activities.
  • Mentor - individuals who wish to make a significant difference in the life of a child can sign up as a mentor.
  • Project Volunteer - a variety of jobs including painting, landscaping, cleaning vehicles, and more!
  • Special Events - volunteer at different events at different times and locations throughout the year
  • Reading Pals - be paired with a student online or at a local school to read weekly for 30 or 60 minutes to support children’s early literacy.
    • Virtually: Tuesdays 4:00pm – 5:00pm
    • Walton County: Open Availability
  • Community Based Mentor - one to one mentoring option allows you the opportunity to pick up your mentee at his/her home and spend time together in the community 2-4 times a month with a weekly touchpoint via text, call, Facetime, etc.
  • Big Duo Mentor - this option is the same as community-based mentoring, except a pair of volunteers shared the responsibility of mentoring. Great for friends or couples!
  • Site-Based Mentor – volunteers meet with their Little Brother/Sister one hour a week at a nearby school. Many volunteers visit on their way to work, during their lunch hour, or perhaps during a long break during the day. Some businesses even allow their staff time off to mentor!
  • Mentor – hosted in local schools, mentor meetings are typically during the school day but can include after school hours. The goal of the mentor is to improve the well-being of the student by supporting them academically, socially and/or personally.
  • Food Pantry Volunteer – a variety of activities that can include preparation for food distribution, distributing food, helping unload trucks and stocking the pantry
    • Hours: Anytime Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Pop Up Pantry Volunteer – must receive training as a Food Pantry Volunteer to be eligible.
  • Clothing/Sorting Specialist – sort clothing according to gender and item, keep or discard clothing, hand and place on racks in thrift store
    • Hours: Anytime Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Cashier/Clerk Thrift Store – welcome and assist customers, run check-out counter, bag and wrap purchases, etc.
    • Hours: Anytime Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Office Assistant – answer incoming calls, filing, greeting clients, general office duties and errands
    • Hours: Anytime Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Donations Clerk - meet and greet donation customers, sort, and record donations, keep area clean and other general duties
    • Hours: Anytime Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm

APPLY TODAY

Submit your application below to volunteer with AmeriCorps Seniors and United Way Emerald Coast RSVP.  Please complete all sections of the application.  Once complete please sign & submit, original signatures are required for enrollment.

If you prefer to fill out a pdf application, please download and return via email to aubrey@united-way.org or gina@united-way.org. You may also print and mail your application to United Way Emerald Coast, Attn: RSVP, 112 Tupelo Avenue, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548