Give your time this month, all year

Published 9:00 am Sunday, April 6, 2014

By Carrie Paulsen

Not many people know that April is National Volunteer Month. In 2013, over 13,159 Minnesota volunteers served 1.5 million hours. In Freeborn County, RSVP recorded 35,400 hours contributed by 377 volunteers. Consider if these hours were a value wage of $12 per hour. It would total $424,800.

In reality, the value of our volunteers is immeasurable. What would Freeborn County look like without volunteers?

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The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program assists persons over 55 who desire to engage in their communities by helping them find tasks that best fit their skills and life experience. Throughout Freeborn County volunteers assist with food shelves, delivering meals, tax assistance, ride services, youth programs and community priorities. Organizations that are currently using RSVP volunteers include Ecumenical Food Shelf, Salvation Army, NAPS food program, Ride Services of Freeborn County, area schools, the public library, Albert Lea Family Y and Albert Lea Medical Center.

Many organizations benefit from and would not be as effective without these valuable and vibrant volunteers. They give without seeking any recognition and truly are an essential part of our success as a community.

Please consider how your life has been impacted by a volunteer and what would happen if that experience was not a part of your life.

National Volunteer Month is an opportunity to show appreciation to those who dedicate themselves to our community. Please join me this month and give the volunteers you know a big thank you.


RSVP of Freeborn County is a program of Senior Resources and can help you get involved. Contact Carrie Paulson at 377-7433.