Retired Senior and Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers needed to support local causes

Northeast Iowa RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) is seeking volunteers for several programs in the Allamakee County area. The program is seeking volunteers for the before and after school programs in Waukon, the new LIFT (Lansing Iowa Food Trust) food pantry, anyone interested in helping with a Volunteer Reception Center, and several other areas.
The RSVP mission is to engage persons age 55 and above in volunteer service to meet critical community needs; and to provide a high quality experience that will enrich the lives of volunteers. RSVP volunteers choose where they will volunteer and how much time they will spend volunteering. Studies have proven that volunteering is good for a person’s health and last year over 321 volunteers from Allamakee, Howard and Winneshiek County logged over 27,000 hours. This amounts to an economic impact of nearly $614,000.

SCHOOL PROGRAM
VOLUNTEERS
Community Connections, the before and after school program in Waukon, offers a great place for kids to come together before and after school, have a snack, get some help with homework and experience a variety of different projects as they incorporate learning and fun in a safe, friendly environment. RSVP Director Deana Hageman reports that one of the unique things about the before and after school programs is that volunteers are free to share their interests and hobbies with the students who, in turn, learn new skills and talents.
Volunteers with that program don’t have to have an educational background, just a love of youth and the desire to make their world a better place to live. The teachers will work with a person’s time schedule and are happy to have assistance, whether it is once a week, a couple times a month or every day.
To learn more about the school program volunteer opportunity, attend an October 11 meeting from 1:45-2:45 p.m. at the Community Connections office at East Elementary School, 107 Sixth Avenue NW in Waukon.

LIFT VOLUNTEERS
LIFT (Lansing Iowa Food Trust) is the newly formed group which has brought a food pantry to Lansing. They are in need of additional volunteers to help with this program. They are seeking additional board members and volunteers to work in the pantry by arranging food shelves and working in the pantry once a week and helping to unload the delivery truck once a month.

VOLUNTEER
RECEPTION CENTER
Northeast Iowa RSVP received a grant from the Allamakee County Community Foundation for the establishment of a Volunteer Reception Center and will be partnering with Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker to create a Volunteer Reception Center. A Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) would be activated by Allamakee County Emergency Management as a result of a local disaster. The VRC will register volunteers that show up because they want to help wherever they can - often called “spontaneous volunteers.”
During a disaster, it is important to effectively manage volunteers and the VRC will be a first point of check-in where volunteers will fill out registration forms, complete liability releases, receive screening, safety training and ID bracelets before being assigned to a team in the field. The volunteers report back to the VRC at the end of their shift. Training is provided.

There are several other opportunities for volunteering in Allamakee County. Anyone interested in volunteering with the school program is encouraged to attend the October 11 meeting. Those who are unable to attend, who are interested in other opportunities, or who have additional questions are encouraged to call Deana Hageman at Northeast Iowa RSVP, 563-277-5181 or toll free 1-877-806-0623. Information and an application may also be found on the RSVP website at https://www.decorah.lib.ia.us/rsvp.

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