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  What's New & Noteworthy from
    Retired & Senior Volunteer Program
    (RSVP) of Dane County
    December 2018

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.

  A Path to an Improved Life
  cellpone_clothesline.jpg Jerry Apps, author/professor/radio host  and featured speaker at the RSVP Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon in October, spoke about when electricity came to his family farm.  As he shared his story, a wave of shared memory swept the room.  Clearly, the electrification of small town and rural Wisconsin struck a chord for many in the crowd. 
     Today's senio rs have seen their share of changes -- electricity, indoor plumbing, an interstate roadway system, television, automobiles, telephones then cell phones, automatic washers, dryers, dishwashers, electric typewriters, computers -- the list goes on and on.

     With each new technology there are trade offs -- a clothes dryer saves time but the fresh air smell is gone, car travel is faster but comes with increased costs and safety risks, computers bring knowledge to users instantly but can be complicated to use. As a result, technology is sometimes viewed negatively  
-- we look at the old ways fondly because they often were part of  simpler times, spent with people dear to our hearts. 
Although technological changes are coming at us at a fast and furious pace, technology still offers hopeful changes to so many.  

     RSVP would love to hear your stories of how a 'new' technology changed your life.  How old were you? How did it impact your life?  What did you think about the change?  Did you embrace this change or resist it?  It could be a technology from your early, middle or later years.  If you'd like to share your story, please send it to 

     We'll share some of these stories with our readers in the future editions of E-Xtra and NewsNotes. At the same time, we'll share information about new technology that offers positive options to folks as they age to help them maintain their independence or stay connected with folks they love. We look forward to exploring these together!

  What's Happening in School?

     When Jerry Apps asked how many folks at RSVP's volunteer appreciation event had attended a one-room school house, the room exploded with hands in the air. Looking around, you saw smiles on many faces and nods of recognition, as he recalled his school days.  

     Schools have certainly changed as the population has grown and education includes subjects never dreamed of back in the day -- keyboarding,  computer programming,  library, music and art to name a few.  Now a single classroom teaches about the same number of students as a school house once served.

    Today,  teachers and students benefit from an extra set of hands in their classroom and senior volunteers play a big part to support learning in classrooms across Dane County.

     Schools turn to two RSVP programs for volunteer help, the Foster Grandparent Program and the Intergenerational Program, both of which offer senior volunteers meaningful opportunities to spend time in classrooms to help children to learn.  

     Foster Grandparents is a program that places eligible seniors in one classroom for several days each week in an effort to boost students' learning. For more information refer to the sidebar listing.

     Intergenerational volunteers also assist teachers, often during specific classes or learning times, and again with the aim of boosting students' learning. See the listing of opportunities in the sidebar. 

     Imagine with your help, students may remember their own school days with the same fondness as was inspired by memories of a one-room school house.

  # GivingTuesday and the
  Beauty of Neighbors 
     Not to make this the 'Jerry Apps Show,' but he did touch on so many ideals close to RSVP's heart.  When Apps reminisced how growing up in a small community nurtured a sense of 'neighbors helping neighbors,' it struck a note here at RSVP.  After all, volunteering is the core of how we aim to serve our community!

     RSVP staff is blessed to work with more than 1,500 volunteers serving across Dane County who help make life in Dane County richer. Not only do our supporters and volunteers give through time, but they believe in the idea of volunteerism enough to support RSVP's efforts financially. 

     For the second year, RSVP ran a #GivingTuesday campaign as part of this international effort to kick off the season of giving and inspire people to take collective action to improve their community by giving to charities and causes they believe in.   A nd for the second year in a row, RSVP's #GivingTuesday has been blessed by the generosity of folks in Dane County, exceeding our match and bringing our total raised to $11,000!

     This fundraising effort is ongoing and money raised helps us reach out to recruit more volunteers for organizations who need their help. You can still help RSVP make a greater impact by making a #GivingTuesday donation at  

 Thanks to our major Sponsors
MGE and Ho-Chunk Nation

Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of Dane County

6501 Watts Rd., Ste. 250
Madison WI 53719

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Seasons Greetings 
to our One-of-a-Kind Volunteers!

Snowflakes are beautiful,

pure and white,

and just like you,

no two are alike.
Important Dates

RSVP Office Closed:

Mon., December 24
Christmas Eve

Tues., December 25
Christmas Day

Mon., December 31
New Year's Eve

Tues., January 1
New Year's Day

  Triad Events

West Madison:

Emergency Preparedness
Thurs., January 24
 10:00 a.m.
  Speaker TBA
Prairie Park Apartments, 
6530 Schroeder Rd., Madison

Cottage Grove Triad:

 Living with Anxiety, Depression & other Mental Health Issues
Tues., January 15
10:00 a.m.
 Speaker,  Kaitlyn  Mellom, NAMI,
Drumlin Residences,
107 E. Reynolds St., Cottage Grove

Verona Triad:

Coffee with a Cop
Mon., January 7
9:00 a.m.
Speakers, Ryan Adkins & Chris Kauer, Verona Senior Center,
Paoli St., Verona

For more information about Triad, contact 
Mary Stamstad at

Visit RSVP at Walgreens'
Senior Discount Days

RSVP distributes File of Life packets & other info at Walgreens each month. Stop by to  enjoy the senior discount!

December 4
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  at
S. Park St. & Raymond Rd. 

Volunteer Now!
Current Opportunities

 Mary Schmelzer
DRIVERS NEEDED  to drive passengers who are seniors (60 yrs. and older) or veterans of all ages to important appointments or to deliver meals to seniors in Dane County communities outside of Madison. You set your own schedule, no minimum hours required. RSVP provides mileage reimbursement and extra liability insurance.  Drivers are especially needed on the east side of Madison, in Deerfield, McFarland, Mount Horeb, Stoughton and Sun Prairie.
Jan  Karst  
441-7891 or 
on S. Park St. is looking for volunteer greeters for the VITA free tax preparation program.  Greeters welcome participants, check for necessary paperwork, answer questions, and direct participants through each stage of the tax prep process.  Greeters serve from January 28 - April 13 in 3 1/2 hour shifts.
SSM HEALTH ST. MARY'S CARE CENTER  would like volunteers to help with BINGO and activities like card playing, games, and puzzles with residents.  They also have a small resident "store" on Fridays from 1:30 - 3:30 pm and need volunteers to set up the store and help residents with purchases of snacks and items of interest.
needs information desk volunteers to greet visitors from around the world and help explain the layout of the Museum.  A fun job!
COMMUNITY ACTION COALITION GLEANERS   is looking for volunteers to do a weekly route of picking up excess food at one location (stores, etc) and delivering it to another (food pantries and nutrition sites). 
INDEPENDENT LIVING  Home Modification Department   needs a handy person comfortable with installing grab bars and handrails.
CATHOLIC MULTICULTURAL CENTER  needs food pantry volunteers on Tuesday and Thursdays.  Help guests shop and load needed groceries! They also need volunteers to help cook a community meal a couple times per month, weekdays, 1:30-3:30 pm. 
  RSVP BUS BUDDY PROGRAM  needs volunteers who are seasoned bus riders who would like to teach others how to read the Ride Guide and take the buses. Open a whole new road to independence!  Learning to ride the Madison Metro buses can be confusing and intimidating! Take a ride with a new rider a few times till they feel confident to ride independently!  Join us on BUS BUDDY outings with groups of new learners from all sides of town to places of interest around Madison!

Mary Brown, 

The Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is a unique opportunity for low-income seniors to  mentor/tutor children in a public school or Head Start setting, working one-on-one with children identified as needing additional help. Income limits are established by the  federal government. FGP volunteers receive a modest, tax-free stipend as well as transportation  reimbursement, and excess accident and liability insurance.  Candidates need not have any formal classroom training. FGP provides 40 hours of training  before placement, opportunities to shadow experienced foster grandparents, and ongoing monthly  inservices. 

Laura Mikkelson
441-7894 or
Intergenerational has immediate teacher requests to fill as soon as possible. If you are interested, contact Laura Mikkelson  Thank  you!

SUN PRAIRIE NORTHSIDE  -- Library reading to students, 7:30-9:00 am, any weekday. 

MIDDLETON/CROSS PLAINS ELM LAWN  -- Kindergarten math or reading tutor/classroom helper, flexible time, any weekday. 

WAUNAKEE PRAIRIE --   Kindergarten math center,  8:05-9:05 am, Thursday. 

MMSD HUEGEL  -- Music class, 12:10-3:20 pm, any weekday.  No music experience required!

MMSD JOHN MUIR -- Library helper, 
8:30 am-3:30 pm, any weekday.  

MMSD OLSON -- Library helper, any time, any weekday. 

MMSD VAN HISE --   Kindergarten reading tutor,  9:10 -10:20 a m, Friday.  
--  2nd grade reading tutor,  12:20-1:30 pm, Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday.
-- Kindergarten reading/math tutor or classroom helper, 8:00-9:00 am;
10:20-11:20 am; 12:15-1:15 pm,

-- Kindergarten literacy 9:15-9:45 am; 12:15-1:15 pm, Tuesday-Friday or 
12:15-12:45 pm, Monday.

MMSD GOMPERS  -- 3rd grade reading tutor, 10:40-11:50 am or
3rd grade math tutor, 1:05-2:10 pm.

VERONA GLACIER EDGE -- Library helper,   7:45-9:45 am, Tuesday/ Thursday/Friday.
Kate Seal
310-7280 or
If you are interested in volunteering your time and your hands to creative projects, RSVP Group Projects might be for you!  Come put your knitting, crocheting and/or sewing talents to good use by crafting items of warmth and comfort for those in need around Dane County.  Quilts, mittens, hats, scarves, tote bags and so much more are donated to nonprofits in our community, keeping our neighbors warm and safe in these cold months.