The RSVP Lancaster County Volunteer of the Month for June is Shamim Jiwa-Kassam.

Jiwa-Kassam came to the United States with her family in 1972 as a refugee when they were forced from Uganda during Idi Amin’s reign of terror.

She remembers the support her family received from Lutheran Charities and their sponsoring family in Manheim. As a teenager she was impressed by the care provided for her family. It was then she decided she would like to volunteer and help others.

Jiwa-Kassam has been volunteering at the American Red Cross for the past 12 years, including the past five via RSVP. She wanted to contribute to her community, but most importantly, to humanity. The Red Cross mission is to alleviate human suffering.

Whether Jiwa-Kassam is on a relief operation in another country or here at home, she watches for opportunities to share her knowledge. She is constantly learning from others, and the friendships forged through voluntary service have been truly valuable.

She has met volunteers from all over the country, and now has an extended family from all walks of life. Jiwa-Kassam’s experience 45 years ago inspired her to help others.

For further information about RSVP volunteer service opportunities, contact Margie Groy, Lancaster County coordinator, at (717) 454-8647 or

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