New Clay County RSVP Coordinator Skilled At Working With Students And Seniors


(Spencer, Iowa) Elva Walker began her responsibilities as the new Clay County RSVP Coordinator for the Northwest Iowa RSVP program this month. Walker is located on the Spencer Campus of Iowa Lakes Community College and joins the RSVP team with beneficial past experiences, including working with senior citizens and elementary students.

“It is my pleasure to join the Spencer community as the new Clay County RSVP Coordinator! I loved being a fourth-grade teacher for many years and am looking forward to working with elementary students again through the RSVP Pen Pal program. I also found serving as the Office Manager and Activity Coordinator for a Senior Living Community a rewarding experience. I enjoy working with people who have the heart to contribute that little extra to give back to their community,” shared Walker.

After living in West Des Moines to help her aging parents, Walker returned to Spencer two years ago to be close to family and friends and is pleased to be back “home.” Since returning to the area, she has been helping at the Spencer Senior Community Center and as a volunteer mentor.

“Elva’s experiences with and enthusiasm for elementary students and those aged 55 and up blend perfectly for her position,” explained Dawn Bernhard, Northwest Iowa RSVP Director. “We welcome her compassion for people, organizational skills, and creativity to the RSVP team.”  

Walker will be jumping into leading the local Pen Pal program with active projects in both Sacred Heart and Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran fourth-grade classes. The Pen Pal program is one of RSVP’s longest-running community contributions. Volunteers are matched with third or fourth graders to exchange “pen pal” letters for a predetermined schedule. Adults and students know each other only by name and whatever they learn throughout the Pen Pal writing project until they meet in person at the end of the project.  

Walker will also coordinate the Clay County RSVP Literacy Partners program, which distributes free Scholastic books to every elementary student in the Spencer area. Placing volunteers for American Red Cross blood drives and the Spencer Mobile Food Pantry will also be focus areas for Walker. 

RSVP is a national AmeriCorps Seniors program that matches volunteers with service opportunities to meet community needs. Although RSVP volunteers must be 55 or older, they serve people of all ages. Iowa Lakes Community College has sponsored RSVP in Northwest Iowa since 1977. 

AmeriCorps brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges through national service and volunteering. AmeriCorps Senior volunteers serve with organizations dedicated to improving communities and helping make service to others a cornerstone of national culture. 

To learn more about RSVP volunteer opportunities in Clay County, contact Walker at 712.262.8858 or