Weekly throughout the 2019 United Way of Crookston fundraising campaign, the Times will feature a different United Way community partner agency. Featured today is the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP.)

    Thank you to the United Way of Crookston for your ongoing support of RSVP
programming within the Crookston service area.

    Directly impacted by the United Way funds include our most popular program,
Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) senior exercise class. SAIL classes are offered free of charge, twice per week to seniors 55 years of age or older keeping them actively engaged in community and physical activity. Within the United Way of Crookston RSVP sponsors six classes and is in the process of one more class.     

    An important aspect of the falls prevention class is the use of ankle weights to strengthen bones and muscles. The United Way of Crookston has allowed us to purchase supplies to aid in our SAIL Exercise class.

    Ninety-seven percent of SAIL participants surveyed indicated improved balance. Everyone surveyed felt better informed about health issues and 98 percent of Wellness
Literacy respondents put an idea into action.

    A quote from a SAIL participant: " I am so thankful for the privilege of being involved in this great program! Our leaders selflessly give of their time and effort. I used to see a chiropractor regularly, like every two weeks. It's been about 2-3 months since I had last gone to him now.”

    Stay Active & Independent for Life works and you will be stronger, have better balance and feel better! It's safe and fun. Instructors are trained and skilled, exercises have been tested with seniors, and you will meet others and make new friends. And best of all it's free.

    Performing exercises that improve and maintain strength, balance and fitness are the single most important activity adults can do to stay active and reduce their risk of falling.

    The United Way of Crookston and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of the Red River Valley continues to deliver quality services and programs that greatly impact our local communities. RSVP looks forward to supporting our volunteers and enhancing the independence of aging seniors, through the financial support of the United Way of Crookston.

    Also impacted by the United Way funding is our RSVP Groceries to Go Program, a volunteer-based grocery shopping and delivery service for seniors, 60 and over. Our purpose is to help seniors remain safely and independently in their homes for as long as possible.

    How do you apply for this wonderful service? Call RSVP at 281-8288 and we will complete a simple client intake with you over the phone to determine your needs. We will then match you up with a trained RSVP Volunteer, and arrange an initial meeting with you and the volunteer. The volunteer will shop for you, or take you shopping on a regular basis, twice a month minimum. The volunteer may also help to put away the groceries and of course spend time visiting with the client. So very many wonderful friendships are created and last a lifetime through this awesome program.

    A quote from one of our  Grocery to Go clients: " It's one of the best days of the week for me!”

    And yet another wonderful RSVP program directly impacted by the United Way of Crookston is our Reading Buddy Program, supporting elementary schools in promoting lifelong success through building literacy, confidence and self esteem. Reading Buddy Volunteers give young readers a boost with more reading practice time. Using familiar reading prompts and cues, volunteers encourage literacy growth and confidence. Reading Buddy Volunteers work in classrooms for an hour per week by giving individual attention, fostering comprehension and literacy skills, improving behavior and academic performance and connecting students with caring adults.

    Quotes from some of our RSVP Reading Buddy volunteers: "This program is fantastic and we appreciate you! It is so rewarding to see how the children progress throughout the year!”

    RSVP and the United Way of Crookston provide meaningful opportunities for volunteers to make a difference in their community, by impacting educational success for our young.