Where Volunteers Make a Difference

Current Volunteer Opportunities

A wide variety of volunteer opportunities are available through RSVP.  Listed below are just a few of the current community needs.  Contact RSVP at 608-238-7787 or fill out this online form to find out more.  One of our personal volunteer coordinators will contact you to discuss your interests and suggest volunteer opportunities that are a good match for you.

Drivers to Transport Seniors & Veterans to Medical Appointments

Do you like to drive? Enjoy meeting and helping people? RSVP’s Driver Services Program needs drivers to transport ambulatory older adults to medical appointments. The schedule is very flexible and drivers receive mileage reimbursement and extra insurance. Drivers who are Veterans are matched with Veterans of all ages and their families needing rides. This is a program that truly makes a difference in people’s lives. Contact Debbie Bormann at 608 441-7892, email: or Mary Schmelzer at 441-7896, email .

Home-Delivered Meal Drivers

Help older adults remain in their homes by delivering hot, nutritious meals. Your visit may be the bright spot in their day. Drivers are needed in communities outside of Madison: Fitchburg, Middleton, NW Dane, Waunakee, DeForest, Sun Prairie, Verona, Belleville, Mt Horeb, Oregon, Stoughton and McFarland. Drivers receive mileage reimbursement and extra insurance. Contact Debbie Bormann at 608-441-7892, email: or Mary Schmelzer at 441-7896, email .

Sewing, Quilting, Knitting and Crocheting Volunteers

Volunteers in the Group Projects & Homeworkers Program 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!  Whether you (or someone you know) would enjoy the social aspect of sewing, knitting or crocheting in an RSVP group or prefer to implement your craft in your own home, we welcome you!  Please contact Kate Seal, Group Projects & Homeworkers Coordinator at 608-310-7280 or for more information.

Foster Grandparent Program Volunteers

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. For more information, call Jan at (608) 441-7891 or email .

Bus Buddy Coodinators

Many seniors do not use the Madison Metro buses because they haven’t had the opportunity to learn the bus system. If you are a seasoned bus rider, volunteer to teach someone else how to achieve more independence and mobility by using the bus system to get to senior and community centers, shopping, and entertainment. Contact Jan Karst at 608-441-7891 or .

Volunteer at the Zoo

Share in the fun of a child’s trip to the zoo.  Volunteers are needed to greet visitors, drive the train, operate the carousel and supervise the goat feeding.  For those with a special interest in animals, the zoo is also looking for Animal Advocates, who will take small zoo animals to parks and schools, and give talks on what makes that animal special. For more information, call Jan at (608) 441-7891 or email .

Hospital Volunteers

St. Mary's Hospital needs volunteers who would enjoy delivering mail and flowers to patients and the morning beverage cart to visitors in waiting areas.  Volunteers also print out and deliver e-cards to patients so they need simple computer skills and the ability to walk distances in the hospital.  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 .

Tutors in Dane County Schools

As a volunteer tutor you will provide educational assistance to children in grades K-12 in a school setting.  With your help, students will get the individualized attention they need to excel in the classroom.  Contact Laura Mikkelson at 608-441-7894 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 .

More Ways to Help in the Schools

Other opportunities in the schools include:  library assistants, teacher assistants, and art and music room helpers. Volunteers are also needed as special speakers in the schools (tell your personal story, relate to events in history or share your expertise on topics). Contact Laura Mikkelson at 608-441-7894 or .

Share Life Experiences with Children

The Bio Link Project is an opportunity to be a part of student learning at DeForest Area Middle School.  Five to seven volunteers are needed as guest speakers.  The focus of this project is to teach students about resilience, facing challenges in life and perseverance.   Students interview volunteers about their life experiences, families, traditions, influential people in their life, obstacles they may have overcome, historic events, career paths, and accomplishments.  Students then complete a project on what they have learned.  The volunteers are invited to return to the school for a lunch and to view all of the students' class presentations.  For more information, call Laura Mikkelson at (608) 441-7894 or email .

Bilingual Volunteers Needed

If you can speak another language along with English, we would love to have you as a volunteer.  There is a great need for bilingual volunteers in the schools to help bilingual students succeed in the classroom.  Contact Laura Mikkelson at 608-441-7894 or .

Our Driver Services program needs drivers who can transport seniors who speak only Spanish to their medical appointments. If you aren’t a native speaker, this is a great way to practice your Spanish and help appreciative senior citizens maintain their independence at the same time! If you can help, contact Mary Schmelzer at 441-7896 or email .

Summer Opportunities

Volunteers are needed to assist summer school teachers in DeForest, Lodi, Verona and Waunakee School districts to help students catch up to their grade level. You can also share your love of nature with children at the UW Arboretum, Madison School Community Recreation or the Henry Vilas Zoo Summer Camps.  Contact Laura Mikkelson at 608-441-7894 or .

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