RSVP stands for "Retired Senior Volunteer Program," but RSVP Director Deanna Hageman would like everyone to know you don't have to be retired to be a volunteer. Anyone 55 years or older is encouraged to volunteer. The volunteer decides where and how often they would like to serve.
Northeast Iowa RSVP volunteers have a wide variety of places where they can volunteer. Volunteers who work at the Porter House Museum, the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation, or the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum could be a guide or could help with weeding, painting, or simple upkeep. The Depot and Spectrum need volunteers to help sort through the donations they receive. The Decorah VA clinic has volunteers to help greet patients and help register for their future appointments if needed.
Meal delivery for Decorah and Waukon and possibly Cresco are needed. Nursing homes need volunteers to help with bingo, scooping ice cream sundaes, and reading to the residents. Allamakee, Crestwood and Decorah school districts have volunteers matched up with students who need extra help with reading. This can be one hour a week, or be a reading buddy, or be another adult in a child's life.
Some volunteers serve once a year. Volunteers help count runners, bikers, and walkers using the Trout Run Trail. During the tax season RSVP offers tax help. It can be as simple as greeting residents who come in to use the service, or helping with tax preparation (training is provided). Over 600 returns were filed last year.
Last year 321 volunteers served in over 50 locatations for a total of 26,762 volunteer hours in Allamakee, Howard, and Winneshiek counties, with an economic impact of $660,753 for the year.
"RSVP is on your terms. We help you find your interest and make a good match for the volunteer. Volunteers can start with one thing and add more," shares Hagemann. "Studies show volunteering has tons of benefits to the volunteer, from meeting new people, to having better health, to feeling valuable. Volunteers find value in the work they do."
Click on this link for newly listed opportunities to volunteer:
Connect with RSVP's home page on the Decorah Public Library website:
RSVP also has a facebook page: