RSVP
Winter 2020 eNewsletter
Farewell to the Best
Dear RSVP Philadelphia Volunteers,

After fifteen fulfilling years of enriching the lives of seniors through the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, I have decided to retire and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

I deeply appreciated the opportunities I received in the many years I have been here.

During my time, I have enjoyed starting numerous successful programs including Reading Buddies, Pen Pals, Troopons, Paws, Warm Keepers, National Constitution Center and the Veterans program, just to name a few. Not only do these programs help our community of friends and neighbors, but they also enhance the lives of our volunteers.

I am deeply honored for the opportunity to have worked for RSVP Philadelphia.
 
Cordially yours,
Suzanne Udell
Our Most Recent Addition:
Harrison Rothbaum,
Volunteer Director
Since June, it has been my pleasure to work with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program as the Volunteer Director . I first came to Philadelphia three years ago as a Food Justice Fellow with Repair the World, and I'm excited to continue the important work of fighting food insecurity here at KleinLife.

Getting to know our clients and volunteers has been a great joy and I could not be happier to be a part of the KleinLife community. The volunteers who cook, pack, and deliver for our Meals on Wheels program are some of the most dedicated and passionate people I have ever met. Our program would not be possible without them, and I am extremely grateful to have the chance to work with them each day.
Harrison Rothbaum
RSVP Philadelphia Paints...with a Twist
by Rhoda Stein

On November 17 th, RSVP Philadelphia members and friends had a fun afternoon displaying their artistic skills. This is the second year that we participated in the art program, “Painting with a Twist,” located in the Grant Plaza Shopping Center.

For a small fee each person created a pre-selected work of art. An instructor lead us on a step by step process to help us create the art work. All materials are supplied and we brought snacks and food to add to the fun. 

At the end of the session we were able to take the artwork home.

Thank you to all who participated!
Volunteer to Market
by Barnett Ellis

When I retired in 2015, I was looking to fill my free time with volunteer work. I started packing meals for RSVP Philadelphia at KleinLife's Cook for a Friend program and went to Watson Comly Elementary School to help the children learn as a one-on-one tutoring helper.

As the school year was winding down, I wanted to fill some of my summer vacant time. The KleinLife Farmers' Market was part of my remedy.

On Tuesdays from 11:30am to 3;00pm, I help with the Market. It's a way to be outdoors in a fun environment. When the people receive their $20 Pennsylvania FMNP Vouchers at the end of June, the business and the pace of the market increases to where the time just flies by.

Anyone looking to help both KleinLife and the seniors that attend its Northeast Philadelphia location should speak to John Eskate and consider helping this worthy cause.
Fulfillment with Meals
by Jay Lipschutz

Tikkun Olam or “ Repair the World,” was the driving force behind my decision to volunteer after retiring from the Philadelphia School District. For 35 years, I did what I could to meet that goal as a teacher. Helping others and working one on one are major components of teaching. I wanted to continue to do that in my retirement. 

Joining RSVP Philadelphia in 2003 and becoming a driver for its Meals on Wheels program seemed the perfect fit. I met with the late Nina Cohen, took a couple of “try it” rides and was convinced this was perfect for me. Meeting new people (both volunteers and clients) has enriched my life while making things a little better for the clients I service. It is a humbling experience to see first-hand the daily difficulties that others face.

Being able to reduce their food insecurity and socialize with them helps us all. For some of our clients, the driver/delivery person might be the only “friendly face” they see that week.

Providing a service like Meals on Wheels enriches us all and does, indeed, help to “ Repair the World” just a little at a time. 
Tax Preparation Helpers
Looking for individuals who can assist the low-income population with help in preparing their 2019 tax returns. Will train. Appointments will be held at KleinLife: Northeast Philadelphia. to volunteer, please contact John at 267-345-7787 or jeskate@kleinlife.org.
RSVP Philadelphia Volunteer Recognition Luncheon
Thursday, May 7, 2020
at Philmont Country Club

Details coming soon
Amtrak 30 th Street Station
by Barbara Kaplan
How nice would it be to meet, greet and assist people from all over the world without leaving Philadelphia? I do this twice a week at the Amtrak 30 th Street Station in Philadelphia. 

I have volunteered at the Traveler’s Assistance desk for the last 3 years working two 4-hour shifts. I secured this position through RSVP Philadelphia at KleinLife through Suzanne Udell, where she connected me to Families Forward Philadelphia, who is the parent company of this Travelers Aid.

We do a number of things such as:
  • Refer distressed travelers/persons with special needs to government, medical, social service and relief agencies
  • Assist with finding a hotel or hostel
  • Help plan travel and suggestions to historical Center City landmarks, restaurants and general destinations of interest.
  • Work with foreign travelers who have limited English skills, translating through my iPhone or a translation app. The translation app is extremely helpful with foreigners.
  • Direct people to Amtrak gates or SEPTA gates. 

I work with two exceptional ladies, and I am blessed to call them my friends outside of the scope of the job.

For me, the most important skills to have for this position are a good sense of direction, the ability to work with people from various backgrounds, and to have a smile on your face and be ready to assist. Sometimes you are an individuals first contact with Philadelphia, so you go the extra mile to assist and make the traveler comfortable outside their normal environment. 

When I leave each day I feel good knowing that I have helped people. After retiring, I was not sure how I would fill my days, but this was the best medicine for me. No bosses over me. Just great volunteers who work indirectly and directly together.