New handle, but AbleLight’s heart is still the same

By Jeff Zdrale When Tina Seegers told me that Neenah’s Bethesda Thrift Shop at 846 Fox Point Plaza had changed its name, I thought she was referring to only her store where she’s been the director for 12 years. I was wrong. This wide-reaching human services organization operates in 13 states. Wisconsin is a good […]

Community Circles of Support Provides Lifeline for Ex-Offenders

Research shows that community support during the first six to 12 months after individuals are released from jail or prison is critical to their success. That is where Community Circles of Support comes in. This group of volunteers meets weekly with ex-offenders to help them make a successful transition from incarceration into the community. Among […]

Meals on Wheels Drivers Deliver Much More than Food

By Rosemarie Dick Program assistant Folks volunteer for all kinds of reasons: helping those in need, giving back to the community or they may have some extra time on their hands and want to keep busy and stay active. Our RSVP members excel in all three of these categories and more. Three of those shining […]

Rebuilding Together Focuses on Safe, Healthy Housing

By Jan Sommerfeld RSVP director    Rebuilding Together Fox Valley is a small nonprofit with a big mission – rebuilding lives.    The organization revitalizes homes for low-income older adults and people with disabilities who own their homes – at no cost – to keep them safe, warm and independent.    The organization’s next big […]

Income Tax Becomes Family Affair for one RSVP Volunteer

By Jan Sommerfeld RSVP director     Preparing taxes is not only fun for Jan Immekus, it’s a family tradition.    “I enjoy doing taxes,” she said. “When I was about 16 or 17, my dad taught me and my brother how to do it on paper. We were taught that it’s your civic duty […]

Avid Bicyclist Finds Time to Knit & Crochet for Community

By Rosemarie Dick Program assistant Donna Wittmann is one of those volunteers who loves to keep busy. During the colder months, with our wicked Wisconsin winters, Donna is at home knitting and crocheting hats for Hooks ‘n Needles, a service activity of the Retired & Senior Volunteer 55+ Program (RSVP), which is sponsored by Volunteer […]

The Salvation Army: 155 Years of Service

By Jeff Zdrale When you hear the words, Salvation Army, what do you think of? If it’s a few people in maroon uniforms playing a tuba, tambourine and trumpet on a street corner, you are terribly out of date. This Christian ministry is one of the largest and most diverse nonprofit relief organizations in the […]

A Day Reserved to ‘Make a Difference’

By Jeff Zdrale For some people, Make a Difference Day may be something new. But it’s been around for almost 30 years. The USA Weekend publication suggested that because 1992 was a leap year, the extra day could be used for people to do something good. The idea quickly caught on all over the country. […]

Riverview Gardens Grows More than Vegetables

By Jeff Zdrale If you would have asked me what Riverview Gardens (RG) grows, I would have confidently said, “Why vegetables, of course.” But according to Kate Stel, the organization’s volunteer services coordinator, I would have only been half right. “We grow people too,” Kate explained. “Our program’s number one purpose is to prepare people, […]

Extensive Habitat Programs Improve our Community, Thanks to Committed Volunteers

By Jeff Zdrale The most important thing I learned when speaking with Jodi Isom, volunteer services director for the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity (Habitat), is that the scope of their work is HUGE. The Homebuyer Program, perhaps the most well known, matches volunteers with prospective homeowners. Together they work in the construction […]