RSVP: 55+ Initiative

Join us for the Annual RSVP Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast, sponsored by Hills Bank & Trust Company, on Tuesday, May 20th at 9:00 a.m.

Click here to register for Blue Zones event


By investing your time in the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) – a 55+ initiative of United Way – you are a key contributor in solving problems in our community. Your life experience, knowledge and skills are valuable in making a difference to others.

Below are opportunities in Linn and Jones counties broken down by interest areas.  For more information contact Kayla Paulson at 319-398-5372 ext. 37 or

Healthy Futures

  • Help seniors navigate Medicare supplemental drug and health plans through SHIIP (Senior Health Insurance Information Program).
  • Free mobility impaired seniors from being prisoners in their home by building ramps through WRAP (Wheelchair Ramp Accessibility Program) Coalition.
  • Provide warm meals and a friendly face to homebound seniors through meal delivery programs.
  • Drive seniors to necessary medical appointments by providing non-emergency medical transportation.
  • Visit with homebound seniors to improve their quality of life.

Financial Stability

  • Educate seniors and low income families about SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
  • Distribute food at local food pantries.
  • Tutor and mentor adults that are working towards a GED.
  • Teach someone English as a second language.
  • Provide tax assistance to seniors and low income families through 211’s Tax Assistance Program.
  • Restore and build affordable housing through Habitat for Humanity.


  • Rebuild computers at REACT (Rockwell Educational Access for Computer Technology) that are distributed to schools & nonprofits working with children.
  • Provide one-on-one mentoring with children in reading and math.
  • Write pen pal letters to children to help with reading and writing through Kid’s on Course’s Pen Pal Program.

Community Support of Non-profits

  • Learn how to help staff the Emergency Volunteer Center in the event of another disaster.
  • Provide support to many non-profits in our community through a variety of roles from being on the Board of Directors to clerical work.

RSVP: 55+ Initiative Volunteers are encourage to utilize their talents, skills, and passions to make a difference in our community by investing an hour at a time.


Congratulations, Mike Wilson!

Mike Wilson, a local Rockwell Collins retiree and member of United Way’s Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, is a 2013 Volunteer Hall of Fame Inductee for his dedicated service to our community through his volunteer efforts supporting Honor Flight, St. Luke’s Wheelchair Ramp Accessibility Program, Cedar Rapids Symphony, Four Oaks, Linn County Trails Association, and many more.


Click here for a CBS2 story.

Volunteer Finds Value in Reading With Kids

Video not playing? Try the transcript below.

Mary Pavlicek (reading to Jaydon): To understand electricity we must understand atoms…

Mary Pavlicek: I started volunteering in the education field, first of all because I only retired on the condition I told my husband that I came back and volunteered one day a week. So I always volunteer on Wednesdays.

Jaydon (reading book): Teach our class about electric city.

Mary Pavlicek: Electricity.

Adult mentors provide guidance, emotional support, and advice that many children can find uncomfortable seeking from their parents. Source: Education Volunteer Call to Action, United Way Worldwide.

Mary Pavlicek: I work with children that have missed school to help them catch up on their work. I help kindergartners; they’re learning their letters, and their sounds and numbers. I help with that.

Jaydon: I like reading, I like school and home.

Jaydon (reading book): Miss Rizzo looked out the window…

Reading is linked to high school success. For the first few years of school, children are learning to read. But after fourth grade, they’re reading to learn. Source: Education Volunteer Call to Action, United Way Worldwide.

Mary Pavlicek: Then I help with first grade and I help them quite a little in math and some in reading and learning money—that’s a big challenge for them.

Jaydon (reading book): There’s no one like Miss Rizzo. She’s definitely one of a kind.

Without strong reading skills, students fall behind disengage and often drop out of school. United Way Worldwide has set a challenge to help cut the high school dropout number in half by 2018. Source: Education Volunteer Call to Action, United Way Worldwide.

Mary Pavlicek: There are lots of things that you can do to volunteer, but my favorite thing to volunteer is with the kids.

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