If money is the lifeblood of an organization, then volunteers are the backbone. 

Volunteering is something anyone can do to help a community, no matter their age, educational background, or other demographic characteristic. With more than 800 nonprofit organizations in Beaufort County, it’s easy to get involved.

With so many nonprofits, it’s also easy for an individual to get overwhelmed with requests for monetary donations. 

When an organization’s mission pulls at your heartstrings and you don’t have extra money to donate, remember the old saying, “time is money.” According to Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations and corporate giving programs, the national value of a volunteer hour is $29.95. That’s the equivalent of more than $1,500 a year for one hour per week of volunteering. 

We can also look at volunteers as invaluable. Helping our neighbors and serving our communities is truly priceless and, even though volunteers do not expect anything in return for their time, there are positive benefits from volunteering. 

Volunteering is a way to meet friends, develop skills for future employment, and improve one’s quality of life. You can volunteer your skills from a current or previous job or use the opportunity to do something completely different from your everyday life.

Friends of Caroline has opportunities for all ages and skill sets. The Medicare Hospice Conditions of Participation require 5% of a patient’s care to come from volunteers. 

Our patient and family support volunteers visit patients in their place of residence and provide support through friendship. These visits also provide respite for the patient’s family and caregivers. 

Administrative volunteers provide support to our main office, departments and programs. Some assist in our office attending to administrative duties while others greet guests to Caroline’s Cottage.

Student bereavement volunteers help students cope with the death of a loved one in a group or one-on-one setting at a Beaufort County school during school hours and at our two-day Camp Caroline. This year’s camp will be held June 21-23 at John Paul II Catholic School.

If you are looking for an opportunity that is more short term, our fundraisers and special events volunteers donate their time from co-chairing and planning events to working a shift during one of our annual events, such as Bands, Brews and BBQ in February. 

Volunteers can also serve as Neighborhood Champions, collecting butterfly orders for our new fundraiser, Release & Remember. In 2022, we released 1,400 butterflies in Waterfront Park. This year’s event will take place April 29. 

Most volunteer positions at Friends of Caroline require application and screening requirements that may include personal references, criminal background check, driving record check, and two-step TB test. Training for required positions is provided. 

Whether we see you serving BBQ in February or see you weekly in the office or in one of our patients’ homes, we thank you for your commitment to our community. 

For more information about volunteering, contact LaNelle Fabian at lanelle@fochospice.org or 843-525-6257. 

Lindsay Roberg is the president/CEO at Friends of Caroline, a local nonprofit hospice and palliative agency. fochospice.org