Our hope is that by offering to coordinate the details, Connections, Inc. can organize a new way for neighbors to help neighbors. Or, more accurately, revive an old barn-raising-type tradition that our generation never had the chance to experience. We want people, unique in a million ways but alike in their desire to be helpful, to meet and become friends. Age, education, career choice, body type, etc. do not matter here. In RSVP!, anyone who is eager to lend a hand will have the chance to offer his or her special gifts in the service of others.
Why the “RSVP!” name?
RSVP is a shortened version of the French phrase “répondez, s’il vous plaît”–literally “reply if you please” or “please respond.” We like to think of it as a call to volunteers: “Does this sound like something you want to do? RSVP!” It’s also a request from the person or group with a project to complete: “Hey team, can you please help me? RSVP!” We went ahead and gave the initials a new meaning, too–Rewarding Service Volunteer Projects–so people will know just what they’re signing up for! Please read more about why it was started in our FAQs section at the bottom of this page.
How does the program work?
Individuals and organizations contact Connections, Inc. when they need help with a specific project. We collect all of the details including place, time, tools needed, number of volunteers required, and send out a job invitation that volunteers can use to RSVP!
People interested in serving as volunteers sign up to be on our Team RSVP! email list. Invitations to help will be sent out as they are created, and participants can RSVP! for the ones that interest them and work with their schedules.
On the day of each RSVP! event, the person or group requesting assistance will run the show by providing necessary supplies, explaining exactly what needs to be done, and guiding and helping volunteers while they work.
What qualifies as an RSVP! project?
The sky’s the limit! As long as it does not conflict with our mission, Connections, Inc. will do our best to help you find volunteers for any task, big or small. We only require that the project be located in the city of Charlottesville or one of the adjacent counties because we’re not likely to have volunteers outside of that area. We also ask that the project be a group activity (requiring two or more volunteers) and that the skills needed to complete the job be fairly common to the average person.
For example, we’ll assemble a team to scrub your afterschool club’s art room from floor to ceiling, but if you need someone to hem your dress, you should check the Cville TimeBank, and if you want your roof repaired correctly, you should definitely hire a professional! Our Team RSVP! is willing to paint, mow, move, clean, repair, cut, build, cook, staple, and (insert your own helping verb here). Let us know what you have in mind!
- Do the new desks for your school need to be assembled one at a time?
- Does the elderly woman living at the end of your street need her yard raked?
- Are you a farmer willing to let us glean your fields after harvest to collect food donations?
- Did your thrift store receive a huge clothes donation that needs to be sorted?
- Would you like your nursery painted for your new son but can’t climb a ladder?
- Do you wish you had some more muscle power to load your moving truck?
How do I sign up?
Need help with a project? Use our Project Request Form to give us the details, and we’ll be in touch.
Want to help with projects? Sign up for email notifications using our Team RSVP! Form. We’ll get you enrolled and also send you a link to the page where you can view current volunteer opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have something you would like to ask? Contact Us
- Who will accept responsibility for problems that arise?
- Connections, Inc. will require all volunteers and project organizers to sign liability waivers before participating in each RSVP! event. The form will require the volunteer to assume all risks of participating in the activity and take responsibility for any injuries or property damages that may occur. Please make safe choices while you are helping!
- Can children RSVP!?
- Families are encouraged to volunteer together in this program! All participants under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the project time. Children and teens will also need an adult to enroll in the Team RSVP! email notifications and sign their waiver forms on the project days. Connections, Inc. will provide a detailed description for each volunteer job invitation so you can decide if your children can assist in an age-appropriate way. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. 🙂
- Why start another volunteer service?
- Check the listings for volunteer positions in our area, and you will certainly discover non-profits requesting help. Read the job descriptions for more details, and more than likely, you will find they are looking for someone who can answer the phones during business hours, commit to weekly tutoring or dog-walking sessions, or offer professional support with their website or fundraising efforts. These are all important jobs! But what if you’re not available Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M, are not able to sign up for a long-term schedule, or don’t have specialized training? Connections, Inc. is willing to bet that there are lots of locals who would love to volunteer and contribute…but can’t…at least not in the current model… And so, we would like to propose a new volunteer program that will allow community members to help one another and organizations with projects that can be completed in a single day. Sign up if you can make it. RSVP!