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 If it’s a few people in maroon uniforms playing a tuba, tambourine and trumpet on a street corner, you are terribly out of date.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, […]

RSVP Volunteers Serve Those in Need During Extraordinary Times

By Jeff Zdrale  Donna and Bob Stanek are quite healthy and they intend to stay that way. Their approach to keeping themselves on top of the COVID virus is good and something that can serve as a model for many other RSVP volunteers. Like many folks in RSVP, this Appleton couple had active and long careers before their volunteering. Donna worked in accounting for the Voith Company […]

Volunteering During a Pandemic 

By Jeff Zdrale  Since the “stay at home” order, I’ve stopped taking afternoon naps. It’s odd. You’d think that, with all this open time at home, I’d be trying to take up some of it by sleeping. Hasn’t happened. I think the big changes in my volunteering schedule had something to do with it. Before the shutdown, I usually drove to […]

Volunteers Get a Kick Out of Playing Iconic Mascots

The next time you see a big, furry mascot walking around town, it might be Bob or Kathy Salm. The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program members never miss a chance to serve their community by dressing in costume for local causes. The Appleton couple is among more than 300 members of RSVP who volunteer throughout […]

Couple Helps Others Build Their Dreams Through Habitat

The worst things in life often bring out the best in people. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, just weeks after Bonnie Ebbesen retired, she looked for ways to help. “But doors kept getting closed,” she said. “They would say, ‘Just send money, we don’t have any place for you.’” She […]

Cycling Without Age Offers New, Unique Volunteer Opportunity  

By Jeff Zdrale   “Cheryl, I’ve heard of rickshaws, but what the heck are trishaws?” That’s what I asked Cheryl Zadrazil at Fox Cities Greenways, Inc., and when I started to learn about the Cycling Without Age (CWA) program. She told me about trishaws. They’re pedal-assisted cargo bikes that propel a roofless cab seating one or […]

Volunteer Integrates Many Roles Into an Active Lifestyle

   Lorna Hamilton believes folks need a reason to get up in the morning. For her, that reason is volunteering.    The 87 year-old Menasha woman has been registering blood donors at The Community Blood Center for more than a decade.    Laurie Kiffel, account manager in donor recruitment at The Community Blood Center, praises […]