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What's New & Noteworthy from R etired & Senior Volunteer Program  (RSVP) of Dane County
April 2020

 National Volunteer Week:
 Thank you Dane County Volunteers!

In honor of National Volunteer Week we wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all RSVP of Dane County volunteers who do so much to make a difference in our community each and every day.

We know it is a difficult time right now and many of you are missing the volunteer work you do, the places you go to volunteer, and the people you see while volunteering. 

Please know that we miss all of you too and are  looking forward to the time we can all be together again.
Until then, please take care and stay safe and know we are thinking of you!

 Group Projects Volunteers
 Supply Masks County-wide
Who woulda thunk that simple fabric face masks would be all the hype and the newest fashion accessory in 2020!  Well, the Group Projects Program at RSVP has joined the bandwagon of nation-wide fabric mask makers.  Not only are masks a small way to show those who are in the front lines of this pandemic that we CARE, it is also helpful in minimizing the spread of COVID-19. 
We are proud to be helping in our own creative way and happy to have our hands busy, doing important work, while home-bound.  Dozens of Group Projects volunteers have created hundreds of masks for our local volunteers who are delivering meals, for our healthcare workers, and maybe even for our police officers.  If you'd like to be a part of this program, contact Kate Seal, Group Projects Coordinator at  [email protected].  Keep thriving and keep shining all!
~ Kate Seal

Gratitude from the Field:
Home Delivered Meals' caterers and meal delivery drivers were one of the groups that benefited from these fabric masks.  Aging Program Specialist with the Area Agency on Aging, Angela Velasquez penned a thank you to RSVP stating "These masks were desperately needed by many of our senior meal sites that prepare and then have volunteers deliver meals throughout Dane County to our home-bound and isolating seniors! . . . . That they can now have these masks to help protect themselves and others while out serving our seniors is truly a gift from the special people who made them. "

Deep appreciation to all the mask makers among us -- you're helping to keep us safe!

  Driver Services Programs
  Journey through Pandemic

Like most RSVP volunteers, the onset of Covid-19 cases in Dane County and Governor's 'Safer at Home' order, has meant that many of our volunteer drivers have been temporarily suspended from driving because they're in the most-at-risk age group.  

To many RSVP drivers this is their contribution to their community that brings form to their day and it was difficult to step away from serving their passengers, whom many consider friends.  We are so appreciative of their contributions and hope it brings them hope to know there is a silver lining to this pause:
  • Dane County Transportation Center is continuing to provide rides to essential medical appointments such as dialysis, chemotherapy, infusion treatments and the like. The passengers most in need of service to medical appointments are in good hands.
  • Freed up from work or school, the younger generation of volunteers is stepping up to deliver meals and shop at food pantries for seniors in their community. Fifty volunteers have registered with RSVP since March 19. It's so nice to see the volunteer spirit alive and well in other generations!
  • Many drivers have answered the call and are now participating in the "Telephone Safety Check" program started to check in on passengers who are isolated and could benefit from the concern and companionship that a call brings.
We hope that the programs can ramp up quickly, once the all-clear signal's been given.  Thank you to our wonderful Drivers, you are the lifeblood of these programs and we look forward to when you're able to be back behind the wheel!  Until then, stay safe!

 Thanks to our major Sponsors
MGE and Ho-Chunk Nation

Shared Solar for Your Home or Business:
A Clean Energy Option
From Madison Gas and Electric Company

Nearly 300 local households are part of MGE's Shared Solar community. Now, the program's prepared to welcome small- and medium-size businesses. MGE is expanding our community solar program, Shared Solar, with a second solar installation. Customers who subscribe to Shared Solar receive up to half of their annual electric use through the program, which offers customers locally generated solar energy. Previously, the program was open only to residential customers.

"Shared Solar is a great option for business owners who want to fuel their business with clean energy but cannot or choose not to install solar themselves, " said Cheri Salmon, MGE's Manager New Products and Services. The Great Dane Pub and Brewing Company is one of the local businesses that has signed up for Shared Solar. "We do take the extra step, when we can, to try and make the world a little greener," said Eliot Butler, Great Dane President.

First Shared Solar Project- MGE's Shared Solar program launched in early 2017. The City of Middleton and MGE partnered to place a 500-kilowatt array on the roof of the City's Municipal Operations Center, or MOC. The program sold out quickly. Homeowners Ross and Penny DePaola subscribed under the original program. The couple said they have two trees in their backyard that made installing solar panels on their home not feasible. "This program came along and it was perfect," Penny said.

An expansion of the program with a second, large-scale solar installation gives more customers the opportunity to participate and to help advance shared energy goals for our community. The solar project will be built in partnership with the City of Middleton at the Middleton Municipal Airport, also known as Morey Field. "Shared Solar offers customers solar energy at minimal up-front cost, and it is clean energy generated right here in the communities we serve," said Salmon. It also will power facilities for the Village of Shorewood Hills, which signed up in August 2019. The Village's participation in Shared Solar, combined with its longtime support for MGE's Green Power Tomorrow program, is helping the Village reach 100% renewable energy for its operations.

Sign up Today! Visit to access our FAQs and to enroll. Participation is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Shared Solar makes it easy to power your home or business with renewable energy. Subscribers pay a one-time up-front fee to participate and a $0.109 rate per kilowatt-hour for up to half of their annual electricity use.
Shared Solar, Shared Goals: By supporting Shared Solar, you're also helping MGE advance our goal of reducing carbon emissions. MGE is targeting net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. If we can go further faster by working with our customers, we will.
Important Dates

RSVP Offices are Closed
until May 26, 2020
due to Covid-19.

All Staff are working from home and will respond to messages left or emails sent.


TRIAD Events

All Triad Events are on hold until further notice.

For more information about Triad, contact 
Mike Thomsen at

Masks in Action
Next time you are out and see a fabric mask being used by someone to protect themselves and you, say a quick note of thanks to the amazing army of volunteers at work providing them to folks across Dane County

Foster Grandparents Celebrate 100 days of School

A blast from the not so distant past: Foster Grandparents celebrate the 100th day of school.

At their last in-service, the Foster Grandparents celebrated 100 Days of School. They reflected back on the first half of the school year, and how they have created close bonds with the students, and have helped the students improve academically. 

Since the Foster Grandparents have to do a minimum of 5 hours a week, the students rely on them to show up often during the week, and the students learn that the Foster Grandparent is there as their cheerleader. 

As it was reflected, at the in-service, the Foster Grandparents helped the students become 100 DAYS SMARTER. 

As the Intergenerational Coordinator, I have been going to all the Dane County schools that have RSVP tutors, to see how the school year is going for each volunteer. As I visit each school, I experience the different floor plans and the difference in community environments. 

But the similarity I witnessed between all the schools is the impact that RSVP volunteers have on the students. It is fun to witness the interaction of different age generations, the laughter between the student and the volunteer, and the progress of the student's academics. 
~ Laura Mikkelson

Bus Buddy Tours 2020

All tours are dependent on the lifting of the current 'Safer at Home' restrictions:

Tuesday, June 16
 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Henry Vilas Zoo
and Picnic

Wednesday, July 15 
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Olbrich Gardens and
lunch at Garver Feed Mill 

Tuesday, August 18
 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
MSCR Pontoon Boat Ride
and Picnic

Thursday, September 10

 11:00 am - 1:30 pm
Chazen Art Museum and
lunch at University Club

 Friday, October 10
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Point Cinema Movie
and Popcorn 


Volunteer Now!
Current Opportunities

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most agencies have suspended their volunteer programs.  

Please note -- there will be a huge need for volunteers once the  restrictions  are lifted.

 Mary Schmelzer
DRIVERS NEEDED  in many Dane County communities to safely deliver meals to seniors in communities outside of Madison.  Drivers should be 60 yrs or younger and have no underlying health issues as recommended by the CDC's Covid-19 guidelines. Mileage reimbursement and extra liability insurance are provided.  

Volunteers are needed at NEWBRIDGE for their Food Bridge program to shop at a local food pantry and deliver groceries to a home-bound, low-income senior once a month.

  Kate Seal

Do you love to sew, crochet or knit?  Do you also love to help people in need?  If so, please join the RSVP Group Projects Program and put your talents and compassion into action! Group Projects Volunteers hand-craft items like masks, hats, mittens, quilts and shawls for donation to local nonprofits. Our mission is to enhance warmth, safety and comfort for those less fortunate in our community. There are no commitments or quotas to fill and we can supply the materials.  

Jan  Karst  

SECOND HARVEST  needs volunteers to help fill pre-packed Care Boxes.  Volunteer shifts are available throughout the day, 7 days a week.

RSVP of Dane County's mission is to make a positive impact in the community by recruiting volunteers 55 and older to help deliver priority services 
to people of all ages, providing Dane County with a valuable resource.

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Dane County
6501 Watts Rd., Ste. 250
Madison WI 53719

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