“Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman
Northwest Iowa RSVP focuses on “Healthy Futures” volunteer efforts. Some primary healthy futures volunteer positions include:
Volunteers are needed to provide rides for people who do not have a car, do not have access to public transportation, and do not have family or friends to drive them to medical and other necessary appointments. Both in-town and out-of-town drivers are needed. Volunteers are usually reimbursed for their mileage and other expenses.
Education - School Volunteers
Volunteers are needed in local schools, working with students of all ages from kindergarten through high school. Volunteers serve as tutors and mentors; speak to classes on topics of interest to them; teach a craft or skill to children; assist teachers and staff in various assignments; and help with special events and outings.
Volunteers may choose the school where they wish to volunteer, the age of children they prefer to work with, and the amount of time they would like to spend at the school. Volunteers may choose to work with a group of children or be paired one-to-one with a child that needs special attention.
Volunteers are needed to participate in Pen Pal programs, exchanging letters with elementary school children for a brief period of time (usually 3-6 weeks), sharing experiences. At the end of the period, the volunteers meet their pen pal at a get-together hosted by the school.
Companionship & Telephone Reassurance
Volunteers are needed to visit residents in their homes who are elderly or home-bound for a variety of reasons. The goal of the Companionship program is to help these individuals retain their independence and maintain their quality of life. Volunteers choose their own schedule for providing companionship.
Volunteers are also needed to provide telephone reassurance to homebound residents. Phone calls are made on a regular basis (daily or weekly) to check on the individual’s overall well-being, provide an outlet for socialization, and alert a neighbor or emergency contact person if there is no answer. This opportunity works well for volunteers who wish to make a difference as well as have a social outlet from their own homes.
Volunteers partner with local emergency preparedness efforts to provide volunteers and/or volunteer management in the event of an emergency or disaster. On site and on-line training prepare volunteers for mobilization when needed.
Food Distribution through food pantries
Volunteers serve as managers and workers with mobile food pantry distributions and permanent food pantries throughout northwest Iowa
Other Volunteer Opportunities
RSVP has a wide variety of volunteer opportunities in each of the five counties in our service area. Volunteer opportunities may also be created to fit a volunteer’s interest and needs.
Northwest Iowa RSVP places volunteers in:
- Animal Shelters
- Blood Drives
- Chambers of Commerce and other community organizations
- Companionship and phone reassurance
- Disaster Preparedness
- Education institutions – as tutors, mentors, pen pals, ESL instructors, reading buddies, math buddies, literacy partners
- Fine Arts
- Food Distribution through permanent and mobile food pantries
- Home-delivered meals to home-bound
- Literacy programs – elementary schools and English as a Second Language students at all age levels
- Medical and other necessary transportation
- Museums and nature centers
- Nursing Homes
- Offices for non-profit, public service and proprietary health organizations
- Public Libraries
- Thrift Stores benefitting missions and proprietary healthcare organizations
To learn more about the wide range of volunteer opportunities through RSVP, please contact your county RSVP coordinator.