Join NEI RSVP in serving area organizations

Fifty-five or older and looking for opportunities to serve your community? Volunteer through RSVP!

Northeast Iowa RSVP invites community members in their senior years to use their skills and experience to benefit more than 60 local programs for which RSVP coordinates volunteer assistance.

Your response to NEI RSVP’s request for volunteer assistance can aid hundreds of people in dozens of communities in Allamakee, Howard, and Winneshiek counties. And contributing your talent and time to a much-needed community project will be one of the most valuable and rewarding avocations of your senior years promises Deana Hageman, Northeast Iowa RSVP Director.

“Every week we have volunteers tell us this work is one of the most worthwhile and gratifying parts of their lives,” said Deana. She said RSVP volunteers enjoy using their professional abilities and people skills to help organizations operate more effectively and efficiently, benefitting the area’s non-profit organizations, their clients, and their constituents. 

“There are dozens of non-profit organizations in our group that literally could not function without the help of volunteers,” said Deana. “We are fortunate to live in a part of the state where people are generous with their volunteer time and talent.” 

She said the search for volunteers is ongoing. “There is always a need for more assistance,” she said, “and we enjoy matching up the right volunteers with the right organizations and services.”

Established nationally in 1993 as the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, RSVP has been operating locally at the Decorah Public Library since 2001. Deana notes that anyone age 55 or older can serve as a volunteer; you do not have to be retired. 

There are also personal benefits. “Our volunteers tell us that serving your community as a volunteer is good for one’s physical and mental health,” said Deana.

RSVP recruits, matches, and manages volunteers for a wide range of projects and programs which RSVP refers to as “stations.” Julie Ohde, RSVP Volunteer Coordinator, explains the stations include veterans services, food pantries, meal delivery, youth services and education, care centers, disaster response services, one-time community events, outdoor recreation, and many others. Service opportunities and hours are flexible: RSVP volunteers can choose from a wide range of stations, and the time they dedicate to their volunteer work can be as little or as much as they wish.

“From income tax preparation to gardening to child care to data processing to office work – there is a need for your special skills and abilities,” said Julie. “You can make a huge difference in the quality of a non-profit organization’s service, and in the quality of life in our communities.”

To find out about volunteer service opportunities and needs, call 563-277-5181, send an email message to; or visit the RSVP offices Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Decorah Public Library, 202 Winnebago St., Decorah, Iowa.

Northeast Iowa RSVP volunteer Jerry Johnson writes articles about NEI RSVP stations and volunteer opportunities. A retired journalist and public relations officer, Jerry blogs at Dispatches from a Northern Town.