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Leading with Experience
The RSVP 55+ Volunteer Program uses the life experiences, skills and know-how of older Americans to meet the needs of our communities. Volunteer Fox Cities is a sponsor of this national volunteer program, serving locally in Outagamie and Calumet Counties. RSVP is a great way to volunteer while networking with other older adults who share an interest in serving others. RSVP invites adults age 55 and over to use their life experience and their skills to answer the call of their neighbors in need. Started under the Kennedy Administration, RSVP has been serving communities for over 50 years!
View the video and listen to why others have chosen RSVP
To get started, you will meet one-on-one with the RSVP staff as they learn about your experiences, your interests and your availability to volunteer. The RSVP Enrollment Form needs to be completed along with a background check. Then you will be ready to start! Once you are a member, you receive a monthly newsletter, supplemental insurance while you are volunteering, assistance with mileage reimbursement, invitations to community events and our RSVP Enrichment programs.
Whether you want to be very busy or just pick and choose opportunities, RSVP has something for you! There is a wide variety of opportunities available. RSVP has agreements with 70 non-profits agencies. If you would like to join the RSVP Team call 920-832-9360 to schedule your individual RSVP orientation.
Your local RSVP Community Council Members are:
Holly Keenan, Make the Ride Happen, LSS, Mobility Manager
Julie Bargholtz, Appleton Area School District, Director of Volunteer Services
Jeff Zdrale, Neenah School Administrator, Retired, RSVP Volunteer
Kay Abel, Abel Insurance, Volunteer Fox Cities Board of Directors President
The national focus area that RSVP serves is titled Healthy Futures – providing support to vulnerable populations. The main focus of RSVP is assisting other older adults in their desire to remain as independent as possible. Providing safety, companionship, transportation, weekly check-ins, meal delivery and more.Along with meeting those needs, RSVP serves in area schools, Habitat for Humanity, local hospitals, and other non-profit agencies. Click on one of the links below to read more about each program.
RSVP members serve in various capacities that aid in the development of youth. One of our largest efforts is our partnership with Appleton Area School Districts. RSVP members assist in both the United for Reading Success (UFRS) Program and the Math Achievement Partnership (MAP). Making connections with these young students helps with their self-esteem, improves their attitude toward school, and improves social skills. The Appleton School District provides training for their structured, highly-success tutoring programs. Each school has a site coordinator to provide support, additional training and to assist when problems arise.
Kimberly School District also calls upon RSVP to help meet their student’s needs. This tutoring program provides assistance to students in a variety of subjects and is more reflective to the students individual need.
Community Childcare in Kimberly also uses RSVP members in the office, reading to students, assistance with the center functions and you may even get your own closet to keep organized. If you like a variety of tasks, this is a great way to support youth and have flexibility.
Mentoring is a national focus for RSVP. In the past few years there has been an expansion of mentoring needs. Not only connecting adults to youth in the community, but in the various ways that mentors can connect to young people in schools and clubs.
Our largest effort is our partnership with Make the Ride Happen to provide safe rides for older adults to run errands, engage in social activities, and get to their medical appointments. We ask for a 4-hour monthly commitment but if you have the time, we can use you more than that! This is a great way to increase socialization and help older adults make that decision to stop driving when the time is right. Drivers use their own insured vehicle. Supplemental insurance is provided.
New in 2019, Cycling without Age shares the road! Trained, certified volunteer pilots navigate the trails and roads for fun or for much needed transportation. This program started in Amsterdam and now is rolling in the Fox Cities! Join us in this unique way of engaging with our community, nature and each other! Get your workout with us.
After 18 successful years, this program will be expanding in 2019! The need for socialization to keep older adults healthy is clear. ElderMatch includes friendly at-home visitation, and/or a bi-weekly phone call to an elder living alone. Trained and screened volunteers are matched to older adults who share some common bonds. Our hope is that those who are homebound consider this an opportunity to serve others, as well.
Like to work and talk? Our Project Team is very sociable. Join them to stuff, count, roll, staple, label, cut, punch – and more – for over 20+ local nonprofit agencies. We let you know when the service project is needed and what you will be doing, you decide if it is up your alley. Always looking for new projects for this eager group. We are building capacity by allowing agency staff to do the critical work they need to.
Our partnership with the Aging and disability Resource Center (ADRC) and its programs for healthy living is a great way to help yourself while helping others. StrongBodies is a is a national evidence-based community exercise and nutrition program targeted to midlife and older women.
Dr. Miriam E. Nelson and colleagues have developed and evaluated two curricula. The first is a strength-training curriculum to help women maintain muscle mass, strength, and function as they age. The second is heart disease prevention curriculum that focuses on aerobic activity and nutrition. Most leaders start as participants and decide they would like to share this program with others. It helps the volunteer stay flexible, balanced and strong!
There are other programs that we would like to help the ADRC expand in our community such as Living Well with Chronic Conditions, Healthy Living with Diabetes, and in particular Stepping On: Falls Prevention Workshop. Falls among the elderly are a serious problem, especially right here in Wisconsin, as our state ranks #2 for falls among older adults!
If one of these programs interests you, let’s talk!