RSVP honors volunteers

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2020

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RSVP of North Central Iowa recognized its members for work they do to fulfill needs and address problems in their communities during National Volunteer Week. 

The majority of RSVP volunteers serve in area elementary and middle schools. Reading Buddy and Reading Coach volunteers mentor and tutor students in reading, Pen Pals exchange letters with students and Breakfast Buddies serve at school breakfast programs. RSVP also provides volunteers for community programs such as readers for the Iowa Radio Reading Information Service for the Blind and Print Handicapped program at KCMR radio station in Mason City, blood drive volunteers with the American Red Cross, and mentors for the jail and prison ministry program though Catholic Charities.  While the majority of RSVP programs are on hold currently due to the coronavirus pandemic, a group of disaster volunteers continues to serve at the COVID-19 call center with Cerro Gordo County emergency management and a few volunteers are serving from home making masks for organizations in their communities.

This year, RSVP has had 370 volunteers actively serving in the six-county service area. In area schools, Reading Buddy volunteers tutored 533 elementary students and Reading Coaches are mentoring 52 middle school students.  In addition, Pen Pal volunteers have exchanged letters with 321 fourth-and-fifth grade students.

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“RSVP provides a unique opportunity for intergenerational programming, which is so important in today’s society.  Older Americans and young students can learn a lot from each other and they often bring joy to each other’s lives,” said Molly Anderegg, RSVP director.  “RSVP offers a variety of ways for people 55 and older to stay active and involved in their community.”

In addition to volunteers serving in their local communities, RSVP also honors its 15 advisory council members. The council helps shape and strengthen RSVP programs throughout north central Iowa. RSVP salutes council members and volunteers who have served this year.

Bob Perry and Stephen Wolfe of Northwood are area members of the advisory council. Area volunteers are Sheri Borcherding of Emmons; Regina Adams, Leanna Anderson, Renee Bergo, LaVonne Hartman, Betty Langpap, Ruth Levorson and Mary Unger of Lake Mills; and Nancy Amundson, Shirley Beal, Genie Foss, Kathy Hanson, Marcia Kraft, Judy Levorson, Jeanne Loberg, William Loberg, Linda Queen, Pauline Ragsdale, Sherry Schmitt, Barb Trenhaile and Joan Watts of Northwood.