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 […]

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 […]

Program Provides Lifeline for Families Living with Memory Loss

   Fox Valley Memory Project is a godsend, not only for folks experiencing memory loss, but for their family, care partners and friends.    That’s because it operates and supports programs and services that improve their quality of life.    Located at the Goodwill Community Campus at 1800 Appleton Road in Menasha, the Memory Project’s purpose […]

Volunteer Helps People Struggling with Food Insecurity

Penny Svetlik volunteers every Monday morning at The Salvation Army-Fox Cities by assisting between 30 to 40 clients get their monthly allotment of groceries in the food pantry. She remembers one instance the first year she volunteered that brings tears to her eyes. “One older woman was just so painfully grateful and so timid about […]

Volunteer Becomes One of the Family through ElderMatch

Jerry Roberts began visiting Elmer Feifarek at his home in Grand Chute as a volunteer for ElderMatch Fox Cities, but through the years, he has become part of the family. Jeanette Feifarek, Elmer’s daughter, moved from her home in Madison last year to be his primary caregiver. She explains that despite her father’s progressive vascular […]

VFC Partners with St. Paul Elder Services to Help Reduce Isolation of Older Adults

Living in isolation can be deadly. Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and even death, according to the National Institute on Aging. To reduce isolation […]