Volunteering in South Carolina

Posted by Joe B. Nester on June 3, 2014 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (618)

Every morning in South Carolina and across the nation an army of people get up and get ready for work with no expectation of being paid for their efforts. What could possibly motivate a person to share their time and talents solely for the benefit of others? If you ask that question of a volunteer you will often hear words like gratifying, fulfilling and sense of purpose. A person that has never volunteered before may have a tough time understanding those concepts.


 Ralph Waldo Emerson captured the essence of volunteerism in one sentence when he said

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no person can sincerely try to help another without helping him or herself."


The number of volunteers that give freely of their time in South Carolina and the nation are impressive. Volunteerism in the US is alive and well and it may surprise you that the GenXers have the highest volunteer rate of any other population according to a report in Corporation for National & Community Service.


The state of South Carolina ranked 34th in the nation in 2012 for volunteer hours worked. During that same year just over one quarter of South Carolina’s population volunteered with an average of 36.5 hours worked. The monetary value of those volunteer hours was 3 billion dollars.


There are unlimited opportunities for volunteers to get involved with our senior population and it is a place where the impact can be significant. Many seniors in independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing settings do not have family members that visit on a regular basis. It may be that the family lives out of town, the resident may have out-lived their family or the family simply does not make it a priority. The volunteer often fills that gap and invariably bonds with the residents when helping call bingo, leading a music ministry or just spending one on one time with a resident.


Prospective volunteers sometimes have doubts about whether they have anything of value to offer. Volunteer coordinators that conduct orientations and trainings for volunteers find that doubt is a common theme. The reality is that every person has a skill or talent that they can share and usually it is found in whatever activities the prospective volunteer loves to do.  Ultimately it is not the activity that is important, it is the quality time the volunteer spends with the group or person.


 If you have ever considered volunteering it might be a good time to take the plunge. There are talents and skills waiting to be put to use, untold stories waiting to be told and life-long friendships waiting to be formed.


Agape Senior Exhibits at the 2014 SC Synod Assembly May 29th - 31st

Posted by Amy Quenneville on June 1, 2014 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (35)

Agape Senior is exhibiting at the 2014 SC Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Assembly held May 29 – 31, 2014 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia, SC. The Assembly has 650 individuals registered for the event this year. The SC Synod is one of 65 Synods of the ELCA which includes 153 congregations in the SC Synod. God’s purpose for the people of the SC Synod is joining neighbors, serving boldly, loving all, through Christ. They have four missional priorities and one of them is to “Engage congregations and the synod in addressing issues of education in their communities”. Agape Senior is exhibiting to promote “addressing issues of education in their communities” by offering these educational opportunities; VA Aid and Attendance seminars, Dementia education, Volunteer Opportunities and our Speaker Bureau to their congregations.

Florence Volunteer Appreciation

Posted by Colan Shiver on April 21, 2014 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (31)

Colan Shiver, a Senior Solutions Advisor for Florence Agape' Hospice presents a volunteer award to Myra Rahenkamp at Laurel Gardens Assisted Living Facility.  There were over fifty volunteers and residents at the ceremony where several volunteers received awards for the first quarter of 2014.  Volunteers are an integral part of the medicare benefit of hospice and Agape' Senior considers their involvement crucial to the process.  Myra has helped out with many patients because she brings a lot to the table.  She is talented with making jewelry, playing the piano, and animal/pet therapy.   

Agape Hospice Entertains Sandpiper Residents

Posted by Mfloyd on April 15, 2014 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (33)

Todd Van Orden, Volunteer Coordinator for Agape Hospice of the Lowcountry, treated Sandpiper Rehab and Nursing residents and staff to a piano concert while they enjoyed sparkling cider and snacks. Residents enjoyed the special afternoon event.

Agape Hospice of the Lowcountry covers Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. For more information about hospice services or special senior care events, please contact the Lowcountry office at 843-553-7122.

Agape Senior Sponsors LCRAC Senior Sports Games

Posted by Amy Quenneville on March 31, 2014 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (35)

Agape Senior help kick-off the LCRAC Senior Sports Games at the 25th Annual Lexington County Senior Sports Games at Tri-City Leisure Center, West Columbia on Monday, March 24th, 2014 at 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. The festivities begin with the Health Fair and Fashion Show. Agape Senior was a Silver Medal Sponsor for the week-long event. Agape Senior participated at the Health Expo to share information on our integrated services, volunteer opportunities and upcoming events open to the community at our West Columbia and Lexington Assisted Living Facilities.

Agape Senior Supports Our Veterans

Posted by Amy Quenneville on March 31, 2014 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (37)

Agape Senior supported the West Columbia Veterans Fair held at Brookland Baptist Church, West Columbia on Monday, March 10th at 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. Agape Senior shared information on the Veterans Aid and Attendance Program and Volunteer Opportunities with Agape Senior. There was great participation by the community and business leaders to say “Thank You to Our Veterans for their Service”.

Agape' Hospice Volunteer Appreciation

Posted by Stephen Adeimy on March 31, 2014 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (32)
Agape' Hospice of Florence is very blessed to have the group of dedicated volunteers that we do. On behalf of the Agape’ Florence team, we would like to say thank you to each and every one of our volunteers for all that they do for our patients. Once a quarter we like to show host an appreciation breakfast or luncheon to show our appreciation for all that they do as they are a huge asset to Agape’.

Amazing Volunteer at Agape Senior York

Posted by Lindsay Davis on March 25, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (34)

Claire Blackwell is one of our wonderful volunteers at Agape Senior York. Claire has a very unique story which helps her relate and be a great asset to our residents and our Agape Senior York family. This is her story.

In September of 1989, at the young age of 5 years old, I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. I struggled with the disease my whole life and because I wanted to act like a normal teenager, this resulted in diabetic complications throughout the years, i.e. right eye getting sewn shut for 2 ½ years, having a toe being removed and multiple organ transplants, just to name a few.

My father gave me my first kidney transplant because he couldn’t bear to watch me be on dialysis. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t cured of diabetes yet. His kidney was considered high risk because he was over 60 years old and I was still very sick from other complications so the first kidney didn’t last long. During the time of my first transplant, I was attending Winthrop University in pursuit of my sociology/anthropology degree. During 2011, I was still having complications with my diabetes while trying to finish school. I was preparing for my next big kidney and pancreas transplant while still attending classes. I was finally able to graduate from Winthrop University in December of 2011 despite my health issues.

I also had to attend certain required classes for getting a transplant. After being on a waiting list in Charleston, I was finally asked to come down to get my 2nd transplant on September 11, 2012. At 1:00pm on September 12, 2012, a helicopter flew in from Greenville to deliver my life saving organs. A lot of times the organs delivered might not be the right size but luckily mine were so that I didn’t have to leave empty handed. It was an 8 hour strenuous surgery and when I awoke, I was in thriving pain. Through the pain and swelling, I told myself that it was going to get better, that it was worth it and how thankful I am to the young man who was an organ donor that let my life start anew.

My transplant helped me feel like what I thought a normal healthy person would feel like, something I’ve never known. My first year of transplant was definitely not a walk in the park but I had so much to be thankful for. Being always entrenched in the medical atmosphere because of my health problems, I soon found that I wanted to pursue a career as a social worker or something comparable to use my experiences to assist others.

My good friend, Lindsay Davis asked me to come volunteer at Agape Senior York. I thought that would be a good idea since I like to talk a lot and I graduated with a degree that deals with people in their environment. I started volunteering in August of 2013. With the life enrichment team, I went with the residents to Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, where I probably had more fun than the residents! I instantly felt bonds as I made friends with some of the residents, and that sold me on continuing to come back. I had fallen in love with Agape!

I started to spend more and more time there and I have to say that making the residents feel good, really makes me feel good. Now I feel like I have a lot of new grandparents that I feel care for me just as much as I care for them. Even when I started having another medical issue with my blood in November, I still continued to go because I would miss the residents if I didn’t get to see them at least once a week. I had to undergo a 2nd amputation because of a bone infection in December. I would always have to check in and ask Lindsay about the residents and the latest news at Agape. When Lindsay visited me in the hospital, she brought a card signed by all of the residents, it made me so happy to know they were thinking of me.

As soon as I was able to come visit, I did and it was a great feeling to see the smiles on the faces of the residents. I always thought that I wanted to work with people who have had a transplant or were diabetic because it takes one to know one. Little did I know that I would fall in love with Agape, with their residents, as well as their staff. Now I know that I want to work with seniors and I am now working on pursuing my master’s degree in Social Work to possibly begin a career involving seniors and those affected by dementia. I honestly feel more of a complete person because of my experience with Agape. - Claire Blackwell


Christmas Music at Laurel Gardens in Florence SC

Posted by Colan Shiver on December 26, 2013 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (36)

Members of the Florence Volunteer Force provided Christmas music for the residents of the Laurel Gardens Assisited Living Facility on Christmas Day.

Agape Hospice of Cheraw and Hartsville

Posted by Kilo2008 on December 24, 2013 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (36)


Marcia Jones and Lee Tillman both employees out of Agape Hospice of Hartsville, came to Cheraw, last month to conduct a Dementia Seminar for anyone interested. The two had an individual come in at the last moment before they were getting ready to break down. This individual is currently dealing with a loved one that is going through  Alzheimers, and she enlightned both Marcia and Lee on situations and instances that she has gone through in dealing with her loved one. In turn she learned alot on how to deal with the Alzheimers and information overall on it. She was very appreicative of the information and told Marcia and myself that she would tell people at her church about the information and that we would do the same seminar at her church or civic group.

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