Iowa Lakes news

In celebration of April as National Volunteer Month, the Northwest Iowa Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) reaffirms a commitment to serving local communities by providing essential volunteer services. This commitment is made possible through the renewal of an AmeriCorps grant, ensuring three more years of funding, and a continued partnership with Iowa Lakes Community College, the local sponsor of Northwest Iowa RSVP since 1977.

“Northwest Iowa RSVP serves as a bridge connecting compassionate and skilled volunteers with non-profit organizations to help fulfill service-oriented missions. The heart of our organization is our dedicated volunteers, aged 55 and up, whose kindness in giving their time to assist others is remarkable. Our volunteers make a tangible impact in the lives of community members, and we are profoundly grateful to AmeriCorps for the grant renewal and the continued support from Iowa Lakes Community College,” shared NW Iowa RSVP Director Jolene Rogers.

In 2023, Northwest Iowa RSVP volunteers provided 26,513 hours of service to Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, and Palo Alto counties. Based on Iowa’s valuation of $28.09 per volunteer service hour, these service hours equate to a donation of $744,750 to the five-county region.

Volunteers contribute to communities by alleviating food insecurity by helping with Meals on Wheels and food pantries, nurturing youth literacy through programs including Pen Pals, Reading Buddies, and tutoring, and assisting at non-profit organizations, including museums, nature centers, libraries, and thrift stores, such as Thrifty’s and Many Hands Market. The Pen Pal program, a literacy initiative that involves letter writing to elementary school students, is one of the most popular opportunities for service, allowing volunteers to connect with students from home.

“RSVP volunteers not only positively impact the lives of individuals within our communities, but they also receive numerous personal benefits, including enhanced health, increased social interaction, and rewarding intergenerational connections,” explained Rogers.

Local county coordinators in offices on each Iowa Lakes Community College campus coordinate the volunteer efforts. Individuals interested in joining NW Iowa RSVP are encouraged to email RSVP@iowalakes.edu or complete a registration form by clicking here www.iowalakes.edu/RSVP.