County supervisors review volunteer program for seniors


Courtesy of the Story County website

The Story County Administrative building is located in Nevada, Iowa.

The Story County Board of Supervisors received an annual report from Central Iowa Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), which operates in Hamilton, Marshall, Story and Webster counties.

According to their website, Central Iowa RSVP offers adult volunteers aged 55 or older quality opportunities to share their skills, interests and life experiences in response to a variety of community needs. The organization estimates the value of volunteer hours this year to be over $1 million.

“‘21-’22 was a year of recovery for us as we started to re-engage volunteers back into service post-pandemic,” said Kalen Peterson, director of Central Iowa RSVP. “Our volunteer hours did nearly double in ‘21-’22 from what they were in ‘21.”

In a volunteer impact survey, they found 93% of volunteers reported that volunteering contributes to their overall well-being.

The organization had two new volunteer efforts this year. One of those programs, called Fraud Fighters, is partnered with the Iowa Insurance Division to help retirees avoid being scammed. The Iowa Insurance Division pays Central Iowa RSVP $850 for every presentation they hold.

The other new program was to establish a grocery delivery program for rural residents unable to get groceries themselves. Both programs are slated to continue next year.

Board grants funds to SCCAN

The Story County Board of Supervisors approved $20,000 to bridge a gap in funding next summer for the Story County College Access Network (SCCAN).

According to a letter written by SCCAN to the board, SCCAN has run various programs such as the Ames Middle School Speaker Series and Future Ready Nights. Additionally, its website and social media are designed and managed by students at Ames High School.

SCCAN is largely funded by Iowa College Aid grants, but those grants are in their final year of funding. They were scheduled to run out of money at the start of fiscal year ‘24, and this is the first time the organization has asked the county for money.

Other measures

The board moved to approve adding Juneteenth to its holiday calendar for a seven-day review. They can take a final action to approve its addition next week.

The supervisors will take another look at the Ames Urban Fringe Plan next week and are still attempting to resolve disputes on the plan between the county and the cities of Ames and Gilbert. The board voted to extend the current plan until April 30, 2023, which was scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

The Go Green Team updated the Board about their ongoing projects and long-term goals.

Residents in Story county are already seeing the impact of the Go Green Team, which established recycling communication outreach about how, what and where to recycle. Other existing projects include installing water bottle fillers and researching how papers are being shredded.