For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Becky Worden is making a difference in the Rapids community in a dedicated , but simple way.
She heard about the Volunteer Center four years ago at a Wellness Fair, when she game to the area.
“I first started looking for volunteer opportunities because when I moved here from Janesville, I didn’t know a lot of people,” said Becky. “Volunteering is a way to get out into the community and meet people.”
At the Volunteer Center, she was referred to Acorn Apartments. Acorn Apartments is safe housing for developmentally/physically disabled individuals; it is under the umbrella of Catholic Charities Bureau of Housing. At Acorn Apartments, residents live independently and many are employed by Opportunity Development Center (ODC) or other organizations. They also enjoy opportunities to learn and socialize and that is where volunteers come in.
Acorn Apartments invites volunteers to teach classes to the residents, such as: cooking, organizing households, making crafts, or tips on grocery shopping or grooming. Residents enjoy social activities such as card games, movie nights, cooking demonstrations, and summer/holiday parties.
For the past four years, Becky has organied a monthly bingo night for the residents. She calls bingo, and brings treats and prizes along as well.
“It’s their favorite game,” said Becky. “I’ve asked if they would like to play something else and they say ‘No!’ This is what they want!
“You can tell they really look forward to that night. They don’t have a lot of social outlets.”
Teri Obermeier, director of Acorn Apartments calls her “Becky Bingo” and really appreciates her help.
“Becky does a great job with the tenants,” said Teri. “She is reliable and the tenants love her. She even invited all the tenants to her wedding reception when she got married.”
And that’s what volunteering is all about – building relationships.
“I like helping people,” added Becky. “It’s also my job to help people. It makes me feel good.”
For information on volunteer opportunities, call United Way’s Volunteer Center at 715-421-0390.