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Where Volunteers Make a Difference

Current Volunteer Opportunities

To keep volunteers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, many volunteer stations have closed or are not allowing at-risk age groups to volunteer. This has been difficult for many of our volunteers, as they miss the sense of purpose and satisfaction that volunteering provides. The opportunities listed below are low-contact or no-contact and are still available to RSVP volunteers. As new opportunities open, we will add them to this listing.

Home-Delivered Meal Drivers

Help older adults remain in their homes by delivering hot, nutritious meals. This job is designed to be no-contact because of Covid-19: Drivers pick up pre-packaged meals at the senior center and deliver them to meal recipients' doorsteps. Drivers are needed in communities outside of Madison: Belleville, Fitchburg, DeForest, Oregon, McFarland, Middleton, NW Dane, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, SW Dane, Verona, and Waunakee. Drivers receive mileage reimbursement and extra insurance. For more information, contact Mary Schmelzer at 608-441-7896 or , Steve Jaeschke at 608-441-7892 or

Deliver Groceries to Seniors - Food Bridge

Help low-income, home-bound seniors maintain their nutrition by delivering groceries. This job is designed to be no-contact because of Covid-19: Volunteers pick up pre-packed food boxes once a month from The River Food Pantry and deliver them to the doorsteps of senior participants who are unable to go to the food pantry themselves. Drivers receive mileage reimbursement and extra insurance. For more information, contact Mary Schmelzer at 608-441-7896 or , or Steve Jaeschke at 608-441-7892 or .

Sewing, Quilting, Knitting and Crocheting Volunteers

During the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers in the Group Projects & Homeworkers Program have stepped up to help their communities by sewing hundreds of masks! They also create quilts, tote bags, hats, scarves, mittens, shawls, baby items (and more!) that are intended to help keep our community warm, safe and comforted.  Materials are furnished and items are donated to nonprofit/public organizations throughout the county, like hospitals, schools, shelters, etc. We'd love for you to join our efforts! Please contact Kate Seal, Group Projects & Homeworkers Coordinator at 608-310-7280 or for more information.

Foster Grandparents

RSVP's Foster Grandparent Program is seeking volunteers to support children in Madison Head Start Centers and elementary schools.  This program requires Foster Grandparents to offer 1:1 tutoring and attention to students who need extra support in literacy and social/emotional development a minimum of 5 hours per week.  Eligible volunteers receive a stipend and transportation reimbursement.  Contact Laura Mikkelson at (608) 441-7894 or email to learn more about this unique opportunity.

Help Feed Our Community

Volunteers are needed at several area food pantries to help guests with registration and food selection. Volunteers also help to repackage donated bulk food into family-size containers at Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. Your donation of time can help to put food on the table in local homes. Age restriction may apply for some positions. For more information, call Jan at (608) 441-7891 or email .

Food Gleaners

Help our community “recycle” unsold food and get it to people who are hungry.  The Community Action Coalition Gleaners is looking for volunteers to do a weekly route picking up excess food at one location (stores, bakeries, etc.) and delivering it to another (food pantries and nutrition sites.).  Waste not. Want not.  For more information, call Jan at (608) 441-7891 or email .

Habitat ReStore

Habitat ReStore needs help sorting and labeling donations, either at their stores or in your home. If you prefer a no contact environment, you can pick items up at the store and take them home to sort and label, then drop them off at the store. For more information, contact Jan Karst at 608-441-7891 or .

Computer Buddies

As a computer buddy, you will be matched with an elementary student and correspond in a pen pal fashion weekly or biweekly via computer.  The correspondence provides the opportunity for students to practice their writing and computer skills while fostering a positive relationship between the generations. At the end of the school year, the students and volunteers meet at the school computer buddy party. The program does not involve a large time commitment-- usually 30 minutes a week. Contact Laura Mikkelson at 608-441-7894 or .

Henry Vilas Zoo

The Henry Vilas Zoo will be needing volunteers beginning in February! Be the face of the zoo and greet visitors as they enter and exit the gates. Gardeners are needed to begin getting ready to grow and plant. Wildlife Champions are needed to help visitors learn about the animals and answer questions. Each role has a minimum time commitment of about four-to-five hours a month. Masks and social distancing will be required. For more information, call Jan at (608) 441-7891 or email .

Phone Pals needed!

Many of us are isolated at home during this pandemic and in need of a bit of cheer. Volunteer phone callers are needed who would enjoy having someone to talk with on a regular basis. RSVP is partnering with NewBridge to pair up callers with those who want to be called. 

If you are interested in being a caller, please contact Jan at: (608) 441-7891 or email: .

Interested in having a Phone Pal to talk to? Contact Jan.

Catholic Multicultural Center

The Catholic Multicultural Center needs many volunteers from May through October to help with planting, weeding, and maintaining their food pantry garden, the Emmett Schulte Garden. The fresh produce is brought directly to CMC. No experience necessary: a garden coordinator will always be on-site to show you what to do. Time commitment is flexible. Sessions are mostly Monday and Wednesday evenings 5:30 - 7:30 PM. Plenty of space for safe social distancing! For more information, call Jan at (608) 441-7891 or email .

Volunteers Tell Us

Making a Difference
“Instead of feeling like this or that problem is so large that nothing can be done about it, my volunteer experience proves that it is in fact possible to make a difference for at least a few people.”
- Home-delivered Meals Driver
Giving Back
“I enjoy giving back to the community and making a difference in children’s lives…one kid at a time.”
- Madison School Volunteer