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RSVP Volunteer Drivers - Doubling the Impact

Nov/Dec 2017

Keith Mahlum, a Buffalo County resident, is an active RSVP volunteer driver for both Pepin and Buffalo counties– one driver, double the impact. We had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife to learn more about his volunteering experiences. His wife is very supportive of his volunteer service. Keith has been a volunteer driver since the fall of 2016. When asked what interested him with this RSVP volunteer opportunity, he stated that he was retired for eight years

and ‘it all just worked out’. Keith learned of the opportunity and that they were in need of volunteer drivers and he was interested right away. Keith hadn’t realized there was such a need in the area and that volunteering to drive others that couldn’t drive themselves to appointments was even an issue. The Buffalo County Department of Aging completed a car inspection and reviewed his application and he was able to get started right away. Keith typically drives four to six days per week. On occasion, Keith states that

he does have to turn down an opportunity to drive for one reason or another, but more often than not, he is out on the road. Keith states he has a lot of ‘repeat customers’ and they enjoy talking about life. In September, the RSVP Program received an expansion grant, making the program a five county service area. RSVP director, Cheryl Padula, formed a partnership right away with the Pepin County Aging Unit. Keith stated that he got started with the Pepin County volunteer driving opportunity in much the same way as Buffalo County- they stated that they needed volunteers and he was available to provide the service for residents there as well. There is a great need for transporting individuals that no longer are able to drive to doctor appointments. We are always looking for additional volunteer drivers in Buffalo and Pepin counties.

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Western Dairyland EOC Inc. is a private, nonprofit community action agency established in 1966 for the purpose of alleviating povertyrelated conditions and assisting low-income families to achieve their economic self-reliance. We welcome your comments & suggestions about the Western Dairyland RSVP program. RSVP Contact Information Address: Western Dairyland EOC Inc. RSVP Program 23122 Whitehall Road Independence, WI 54747 Office hours: Monday - Friday from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Website: www.westerndairyland.org/rsvp.phtml RSVP Program Director Cheryl Padula 715-985-2391 Ext. 1205 Cheryl.padula@wdeoc.org RSVP Program Assistant Erika Hobbs 715-985-2391 Ext. 1232 Erika.hobbs@wdeoc.org

New Volunteers!! Bernard Olson Tori Bragee Tom Epps

Thomas Biles

Have You Moved? We want to hear from you! The RSVP Program has had the pleasure of working with many wonderful volunteers and watching the impact each person has made in their own community through volunteerism. We ask that you please help the RSVP office stay updated. Are you still volunteering? Perhaps you are not feeling well or maybe you have been physically unable to volunteer due to an illness or surgery? We also know summers are busy and you may be enjoying more time with your family which may result in being too busy to volunteer at this time. Whatever the reason, we would really like to hear from you. To insure that you receive RSVP volunteer recognition and to assist you with future RSVP volunteer opportunities, we ask that you be sure to record all volunteer hours at your volunteer work site. Feel free to contact us at anytime; we welcome your input, concerns and volunteer stories.

Call us at 1-800-782-1063 ext. 1205 or 1232. We look forward to hearing from you!



Continued from Page 1…. If you enjoy driving and like helping people this might be the perfect volunteer opportunity for you. Keith prefers to keep busy-always looking for things to do. He owns a ’66 Ford Mustang and likes to work on it as a hobby. We were even lucky enough to see it. He attends local car shows on occasion. For Keith, volunteer driving is a natural thing. He was an over the road truck driver for twenty-five years, delivering expedited freight. That job gave him the opportunity to visits 49 states! Keith shared that he became a volunteer driver simply because he enjoys driving. He is a dedicated volunteer, even in inclement weather- you learn to ‘just go slower’. Typically he drives participants to local doctor appointments, but he also drives to La Crosse, Madison, and Rochester when needed. Whenever he has to wait an extended period of time for his participants, he doesn’t mind. Keith usually finds things to keep himself busy. When asked if he has a message for anyone thinking of volunteering, Keith stated that he wanted to let others know that this type of opportunity is out there. Had he known about volunteer driving sooner, he would have volunteered earlier after retiring. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer driver, please contact us today at 715-985-2391 Ext. 1205. DID YOU KNOW? There are 17 RSVP Projects in Wisconsin…..

RSVP Of Dane County's Vets Helping Vets program matches veterans in need with fellow veterans who are Senior Corps RSVP volunteers. Through this program, RSVP volunteers provide rides to veterans and their families who need transportation to medical appointments and other meetings. This summer, the program and its RSVP volunteers were recognized as the Senior Corps program of the year by Serve Wisconsin. With more than 700 RSVP volunteer drivers across Dane County, the program has made real impact providing more than 8,500 rides to more than 1,100 passengers.

* See more at: https://www.facebook.com/cncswi/



The Jackson County Food Pantry is a partnering site of the Western Dairyland RSVP Volunteer Program. Its main purpose is to address food insecurity in Jackson County. The pantry is currently serving 200-250 people per month. On average recipients receive about fifty-five pounds of food. In July, the Jackson County Food Pantry moved from Taylor to the Gebhardt School in Black River Falls. The pantry operated at the Taylor location for over 20 years. Moving the pantry was a large undertaking, but RSVP volunteers all worked as a team to get it done. The Jackson County Food Pantry, in addition to the move, experienced another change. Kathleen Peterson and Jon Warmke became pantry coordinators. Kathleen Peterson previously held manager roles during her employment before coming to the food pantry as an RSVP volunteer. Jon States that ‘Kathleen has always been involved in giving back to the community, but preferred more of a background role.’ Kathleen states that her greatest reason for volunteering is that there Pictured above: Jackson County Food Pantry is such a need in the community. She already had Coordinators: Jon Warmke & Kathleen Peterson experience doing inventory and placing orders, managing the store room and stocking carts as well as contacting volunteers to unload truck, so it wasn’t too much of a jump to step into her current role as coordinator. Jon stated that Kathleen ‘is always “the someone” that will do it.’ Kathleen stated that when the pantry moved and the previous coordinators left the position, someone had to step in and take their place. Jon states that most of their RSVP volunteers have been with the program longer than he and Kathleen. The volunteers are always willing to step in and get things done; many times without asking. When there are postal drives and other large donations to sort, volunteers always come through to provide extra help. They just know what has to be done and truly believe in the pantry’s mission. Continued on next page…

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RSVP FEATURED VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Trempealeau County ADRC (Home Delivered Meals)Deliver more than just a meal with this RSVP opportunity. Meal delivery gives you a chance to visit someone who may not otherwise have any interaction with others. Volunteers are needed to drive as little as once per week to five days a week. You choose your route and commitment. Times may vary depending on the route you choose but typical commitment is from 10 am –1pm. Back-up volunteers are also needed in the event a current driver cannot make it on their route because of illness or vacation. Drivers are reimbursed .535/mile. Call us today!

Atrium Post Acute Care (Black River Falls)- Do you enjoy playing games and socializing? Atrium is looking for a few volunteers to assist with activities, play cards with residents, provide assistance on outings, transporting residents, serving coffee during the week or on Saturdays, and BINGO calling on Mondays when a substitute is needed. Dining Site Managers (Trempealeau County)- NEW VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY FOR THE ADRC!! Dining Site Center Managers are needed at the following locations: Sunflower Café (Whitehall) Monday-Friday 11-1pm Rainbow Restaurant (Blair) Monday-Friday 11-1pm Dove Healthcare (Osseo) Monday-Friday 11-1 pm Boondocks (Galesville) Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 11-1pm Pammy K’s (Eleva) Thursdays from 5-6pm Volunteers for this position would greet participants, assist participants with registering for the meal by showing them where to write their name and put their donation, participating in an annual training with ADRC staff (paid for by ADRC) once per year, and informing ADRC staff of any feedback/concerns from participants. Please call our RSVP office to learn more about all of our volunteer opportunities! If you are an RSVP partnering site in need of volunteers, we would be happy to help recruit for your site. Call us at 715-985-2391 Ext. 1205 today!

We are your choice for Long-Term Care for Seniors and adults with disabilities. Helping you remain safe, independent, and active in your community.

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RSVP VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES CONTINUED…. Cents & Sensibility Thrift Store (Independence) Calling all multi-taskers!! Volunteers are currently needed at the thrift store to help process donations, steam clothing to be put on clothing racks, laundering items, as well as basic organizing. This is a flexible volunteer opportunity that will keep you busy AND allow you to have some fun! Please call the RSVP office to learn how you can get started! Please call our RSVP office to learn more about all of our volunteer opportunities! If you are an RSVP partnering site & are in need of volunteers, we would be happy to help recruit for your site. Call us today! 715-985-2391 Ext. 1205

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Trempealeau County Tax AssistanceDo you enjoy doing taxes or willing to learn? This short-term volunteer opportunity offers a 3-day training in La Crosse. We are also looking for a volunteer to come to the Western Dairyland office in Independence to schedule tax appointments during the upcoming tax season. Call to learn more! Jackson County Tax AssistanceJackson County is in need of 3-4 volunteers to prepare individual tax returns. Volunteers will attend a 3-day training in either La Crosse or Eau Claire depending on preference; mileage reimbursed for the training portion. This shortterm volunteer opportunity offers a big impact. Current RSVP volunteers love what they do. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Help Spread Holiday Cheer-Volunteer !!

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As temperatures drop, more people will turn on heaters to stay warm. Please be aware of the potential risks involved with heating your homes and bodies. Every year, people are burned, start fires, get an electric shock, and even die from carbon monoxide poisoning because they didn’t take proper precautions. Each year more than 2,500 people died in house fires in the US, according to FEMA and another 12, 600 are injured. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and even death. The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. High levels can cause loss of consciousness. Every home should have a detector on each floor of their home. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you should seek emergency care.

Please use the following precautions when heating your home: - Check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly. - Have your gas furnace and/or any fireplace inspected by a professional at least once a year - If you use a wood burning stove, have a professional inspect and clean the chimney each year - Never use a range or over as a heating source - If you use an electric space heater, keep a safe perimeter around it.

*See more at www.acep.org

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This year has been a rewarding year for RSVP! We are very appreciative of all our RSVP volunteers and the valuable impact you are all providing in your community. We would like to wish you & your loved ones the happiest of holidays. We look forward to what 2018 will bring...


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Despite its “love it or hate it” fame, eggnog has charmed drinkers for nearly a millennium. While culinary historians debate its exact lineage, most agree eggnog originated from the early medieval Britain “posset,” a hot, milky, ale-like drink. By the 13th century, monks were known to drink a posset with eggs and figs.

Old Fashioned Eggnog (Non-alcoholic): Ingredients:

Yield: About 6 Cups

2½ C milk 4 whole cinnamon sticks ⅛ tsp ground cloves

Milk, eggs, & sherry were foods of the wealthy, so ½ tsp vanilla extract eggnog was often used in toasts to prosperity & 7 egg yolks good health. ¾ C white sugar Eggnog became tied to the holidays when the drink hopped the pond in the 1700s. American 2 C heavy cream colonies were full of farms—& chickens & cows— 2 tsp vanilla extract & cheaper rum, a soon-signature ingredient. Mexico adopted the very eggnog varietal “rompope,” & Puerto Rico enjoys the “coquito,” which adds coconut milk. The English name’s etymology however remains a mystery. Some say “nog” comes from “noggin,” meaning a wooden cup, or “grog,” a strong beer. By the late 18th century, the combined term “eggnog” stuck.

⅛ tsp ground nutmeg Instructions:

*See more at: https://goo.gl/JY04YV

* See more at: https://goo.gl/3LDfve

Put the milk, cinnamon sticks, cloves, & ½tsp vanilla into a large pan. Cook on low for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks & sugar for one minute. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Remove the cinnamon sticks. Stir the milk constantly until it just starts to boil, turn off the heat. Slowly whisk in about ¼ of the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture. Eggnog purists argue that those who don’t like Pour the egg/sugar mixture back into the pan, whisk. the Yuletide drink have simply never tasted the real thing. Sugar-laced supermarket versions can’t Put it over medium heat, whisking constantly, for three minutes. It will thicken a bit. hold a candle to the homemade goodness, espePour the hot eggnog into a large bowl or beverage cially since the US Food & Drug Administration container. Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour. permits that the drink can be made from as little as 1% egg yolk. That often borders on “milknog” After an hour, stir in the heavy cream, 2 tsp. vanilla, & nutmeg. or egg flavoring. Store in the fridge. Allow to cool for at least 4 hours before serving.

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Tips to prevent holiday stress & depression: When stress is at its peak, it's hard to stop & regroup. Try to prevent stress & depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness/grief. It's OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.

Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support & companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits & broaden your friendships. Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change & grow, traditions & rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to; be open to creating new ones. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members & friends as they are, even if they don't live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. Be understanding if others get upset/distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they're feeling the effects of holiday stress & depression, too.

Stick to a budget. Before you go gift & food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend then stick to your budget. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends & other activities. Plan your menus, then make your shopping list. That'll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. Make sure to line up help for party prep & cleanup. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful & overwhelmed. Friends & colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every activity. Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress & guilt. Try these suggestions: Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don't go overboard on food/drinks, get plenty of sleep & incorporate regular physical activity into each day.

Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing & restoring inner calm. Some options may include: Taking a walk at night & stargazing, listening to soothing music, getting a massage, or reading a book. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable & hopeless, & unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. *See more at: https://goo.gl/HFVBKD


RSVP Volunteer Office 23122 Whitehall Road PO Box 125 Independence, WI 54747


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Western Dairyland’s RSVP program serves Buffalo, Eau Claire, Jackson and Trempealeau counties.


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Nov/Dec 2017 RSVP Newsletter  

Nov/Dec 2017 RSVP Newsletter