AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP
Retired and Seniors Volunteer Program
What is RSVP?
Henry County RSVP is a program that connects volunteers aged 55 or better with volunteer opportunities throughout Henry County that utilize their experience, skills, and talents to meet the needs of the community. Volunteers can choose where they would like to serve, as well as how often and how long they wish to serve.
Volunteers bring a diversity of interests and experiences, combined with a dedication to improving lives through service. As a volunteer, you will enjoy the satisfaction of making a difference in someone’s life, building stronger and safer communities, getting back more than you give, and making friends along the way.
RSVP is a unique program that supports wellness and positive aging. It allows people of various backgrounds, skills, and expertise tackle the issues that impact their community, such as transportation, poverty, and loneliness.
Henry County RSVP is one of 66 counties in Iowa that have an AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP. Henry County RSVP was originally sponsored by Henry County Health Center start on June 30, 1989. The program later became sponsored by The Fellowship Cup and now has an office inside The Fellowship Cup building. The current program director is Lindsey Ford.
This station provides transportation to elderly and disabled individuals so they can attend to their medical needs. The frequency and distance of trips depends on volunteer preferences. Some choose to stay local, some are happy to go to Burlington but not Iowa City. Volunteer preferences are always taken into account. Volunteers can utilize their personal vehicles with the option for mileage reimbursement, or they can utilize the RSVP car.
This can be a really fun volunteer opportunity as the volunteers and the clients often form bonds of friendship with each other. Outside of the social benefits, the access to medical care is essential for the recipients of this service.
Pen Pals at Mount Pleasant Community Schools
Take the opportunity to enrich the lives of young learners while getting a little something in return. Many volunteers have expressed how much joy receiving a letter from their Pen Pal has brought them. You would be responsible for writing one letter a month in response to your Pen Pals letter to you. There is an End of the Year Meet and Greet opportunity as well.
The Fellowship Cup & Quarter Maybe More Store
Volunteers will assist with operations at The Fellowship Cup and The Quarter Maybe More Store. This could be sorting through non perishable food items, handing out food on Food Pantry Thursdays, helping organize donations at the Quarter Maybe More Store and many other oppotunities. There is always a need for volunteers to assist these organizations.
Henry County Heritage Trust
The Henry County Heritage Trust Museum is a perfect opportunity for anyone interested in history. There is a rich supply of photos and other Henry County artifacts that the museum volunteers are busily sorting, identifying, and getting ready for display. Join them and be a part of preserving and celebrating Henry County history.
Home Delivered Meals
This station works with Milestones AAA to deliver hot meals to elderly homebound individuals. This is another opportunity to volunteer as much or as little as you would like. As the volunteer, you pick up the food and deliver one meal to each house on your route. Your route could be in Mount Pleasant, Salem, or Winfield, depending on your desire. This service is a lifeline to the participants. They report that their daily visit from the volunteer is often the only human contact they have each day, in addition to providing them with a daily meal. It is both physical and emotional nourishment; therefore, the best volunteers in this station are ones who have a caring heart for the loneliness the clients often experience.
Reading Buddies at Mount Pleasant Community Schools
This station works with local elementary schools to give students an opportunity to practice their reading skills in a one-on-one setting. Most volunteers commit to an hour each week. Times and days are set by the teacher, based on need. The paired reader often works with several students in that hour. Grade level is generally assigned based on volunteer request. This position offers an opportunity to make a very real impact in the life of a child, or several children. For some of the students, the chance to get individual attention and praise from a caring adult is a rare and precious thing. Both the individual attention and the improved reading ability help foster an increased self-esteem and self-worth. The best volunteers for this position love children, value literacy, and can be kind and patient with struggling readers.
This is an opportunity to get together with others and have fun while assisting local organizations prepare large mailings. We work with The Fellowship Cup, Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce, and Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra.
This station helps to staff the gift shop at Henry County Health Center. Hours vary based on your availability. People who go to the gift shop may be looking for the right gift for a loved one, or they may be filling some time while that loved one receives treatment. Either way, you have the opportunity to brighten their day.
This is a high impact opportunity serving patients and their families in various departments at Henry County Health Center. Volunteers in this area assist the medical staff in providing a quality experience. Volunteers do this through taking care of the non-medical needs of the patients and their families, such as ensuring their questions get answered, making them feel comfortable, and lending an ear to listen and a shoulder for support. Volunteers may also be called upon to take blood samples to the HCHC lab.
This volunteer works at the Information Desk at the front of the hospital. Hours vary based on your availability. As the volunteer, you can be a source of help for people who are there to visit a loved one, or who are seeking treatment themselves. You may be called upon to escort someone to the appropriate department.
Volunteers with the SHIIP program assist individuals in navigating the Medicare system, guiding them towards the option that is best for their needs. This opportunity requires the most training, but also comes with the ability to save people thousands of dollars in medical expenses every year.