Community Spotlight: Rehabilitation Services Volunteer Project (RSVP)
At Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., we want to celebrate those individuals and organizations that work hard to help others and enrich the quality of life in communities throughout the Greater Houston area. That is why we started our “Community Spotlight” series. Our goal is to call attention to the important contributions made by a wide range of groups throughout the region and to encourage others to become involved, too.
RSVP: Providing Free Clinical Services and Medical Equipment to Those with Disabilities
Rehabilitation Services Volunteer Project (RSVP) is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that provides durable medical equipment and physical rehabilitation clinical services to those with disabilities in the Greater Houston area who lack health insurance and or means to afford care and equipment. According to the RSVP website, the organization’s vision is “a community in which people with disabilities lead lives of maximum independence, inclusion and meaning.”
A group of rehabilitation professionals banded together to informally establish the organization in 2011. A year later, the group established RSVP as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization. In 2013, RSVP took the reins of Project Union, a group which donated durable medical equipment to those in need. Today, RSVP serves the under-resourced disabled community through two divisions:
The Clinic Division (RSVP-Clinic)
This division consists of rehabilitation professionals who volunteer their time to provide a variety of rehabilitation services to disabled individuals, including:
- Medical and nursing care
- Speech, physical and occupational therapy
- Pharmacist evaluations
- Neuropsychological evaluations
- Spiritual/chaplaincy services.
The clinic is held on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the RSVP Clinic which is located at:
9551 Fannin Street
Houston, Texas 77045
The services are provided on an appointment-only basis. Generally, the RSVP clinic is open only to adults. However, volunteers can work with children ages 13 and older.
The Equipment Division (RSVP-MED)
This division provides free durable medical equipment and other items to those who lack the resources to afford it, including:
- Wheelchair backs and cushions
- Canes and walkers
- Bathroom assistive devices.
The clinic distributes equipment on the second Saturday of each month at the RSVP distribution center, which is located at:
RSVP MED Clinic
7100 Grand Boulevard
Houston, TX 77054.
No appointment is necessary. No prescription is necessary as well. However, the clinic requires a doctor’s referral for those who seek a standing frame or power wheelchair. The referral should indicate whether a wheelchair is medically necessary and safe for the individual.
RSVP currently does not maintain an inventory system. So, individuals cannot check in advance if a certain piece of equipment is available. Generally, the clinic provides only adult equipment. However, at times, RSVP can also provide pediatric equipment.
RSVP Receives Well-Deserved Recognition
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and southeast Texas in the fall of 2017, causing catastrophic flooding, RSVP didn’t skip a beat. In honor of the crucial equipment and services which RSVP continued to provide during those difficult times, The City of Houston Citizenship Month Committee presented RSVP with a Certificate of Recognition.
Additionally, in 2014, the Texas Speech-Language Hearing Foundation named RSVP as a Marguerite Burtis-Peter Vogel/Suzie Elkins Community Service Endowment Fund recipient. The fund helps to advance the work of speech-language pathologists who provide services which benefit their communities at large.
How Can You Get Involved with RSVP?
RSVP relies on donations, large and small, to provide medical equipment to those in need. Because of RSVP’s non-profit, 501(c)(3) status, all donations are tax-deductible. If you would like to contribute funds to RSVP, you can do so by using PayPal or by sending a check to:
Rehabilitation Services Volunteer Project
P.O. Box 31070
Houston, Texas 77231.
The organization also welcomes donations of new or gently used durable medical equipment and other items. You can see a list of items that RSVP seeks at its website.
Additionally, RSVP welcomes both clinical and non-clinical volunteers. The organization has a particular need for physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy professionals. Non-clinical volunteers are also needed to help pick up donated medical equipment and to pitch in at the distribution center. You can learn more by calling (855) 825-RSVP or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael P. Fleming is a highly experienced litigator who has argued and won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a Houston resident who was twice elected to serve as the Harris County Attorney. He is also an avid runner who has completed eight marathons, to date, including two in Ireland. Only a small group of Texas lawyers are Board Certified as specialists in both Personal Injury Trial Law and Real Estate Law. Michael is one of them. He also proudly holds his B.A. degree from the University of Saint Thomas and his J.D. degree from the University of Houston College of Law.