April 3, 2014

RSVP – Lead With Experience

By Bill Sedlacek
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
of Eastern Iowa and Western Illnois

Writer Bill Sedlacek leads with an example of not taking one’s self too seriously

In the past, we’ve used these formats as opportunities to highlight the fine work of individual volunteers in 50+ Lifestyles Magazine. Writer and RSVP member Bill Sedlacek has interviewed and written about lots of great folks, but now Bill and the RSVP team want to change the focus of his articles from great volunteers to great
volunteer deeds. We feel that in this way, we can inspire potential volunteers who may not think they can reach the level of commitment of many of our previously featured volunteers.

Anyone can do a great deed if their heart is in the right place and they see the opportunity. We will call this new segment, “Lead by Example.” This sort of leadership is something that is natural for RSVP volunteers. We know that many other 50+ readers have great stories of leading by example too. Please let us know by calling RSVP at (309) 793-4425 if you have any stories about great volunteer deeds. We’ll have Bill call you and put those stories to ink. Doing good deeds is one form of service. Sharing the joy that those good deeds create is a way to inspire others to also serve

Following is a recent example of a volunteer leading by example: One of our new RSVP members became part of our Pen Pal Program, where volunteers correspond with elementary schoolchildren. Through their correspondence, our volunteer recognized that her student was possibly facing some serious emotional issues. She shared these concerns with us at RSVP, and we connected with the classroom teacher and school counselor. The child got needed additional support. This Pen Pal volunteer’s awareness surely helped this child know he was important and had a voice that was being listened to. Ultimately, this Pen Pal relationship may have made a major difference in the student’s life. Even though she was new to volunteering, this RSVP Pen Pal set a great example of awareness and sharing that others should follow.

Filed Under: Community, Personal Growth