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Stoughton Area
Community Foundation

Stoughton, WI 53589
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The Stoughton Area Resource Team, Inc. (START) provides a safety net for those in crisis. Recently, a 30-year old single father of two struggled to find work, to pay for daycare for his children and to secure a home; so much time was spent homeless and hopeless.

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RSVP of Dane County, Inc.


6501 Watts Road, Suite 250
Madison, WI 53719

Phone: 6086637536
Contact Name: Diana Jost
Executive Director
Organization Profile
Grants Info
RSVP Driver Services/Vets Helping Vets - Stoughton - 2023 Amount Funded: $2,000.00
The purpose of RSVP Vets Helping Vets (VHV) is to match veteran driver volunteers with veterans and their family members (primarily spouses) in need of rides to medical and other important appointments. As veterans themselves, our drivers can relate well to their passengers. If these ride services were not available, many Stoughton veterans would be unable to get to appointments that help them remain independent. Alternative transportation arrangements, especially to medical appointments in Madison, are expensive from Stoughton. This program is “more than a ride”. Volunteer drivers escort passengers, lend an arm to those who have trouble walking or negotiating stairs, assist them in and out of a vehicle, find their doctor in a clinic situation and provide safety checks by reporting concerns to established case managers. In addition to providing a valuable service to veterans, this program provides Stoughton area volunteers with an opportunity for meaningful service, helping them to remain healthier through being active, contributing members to their community. And each year, RSVP of Dane County recognizes and honors the amassed RSVP volunteer team at a formal recognition event. This year, the event will be on September 21st, 2023, at Barnwood Events Center. Volunteer recognition is critical to maintaining our volunteer corps. In May 2023, a survey was mailed to 725 passengers receiving service in 2022 and 2023 with a self-addressed, stamped return envelope. Two hundred twelve older adult and veteran passengers completed and returned the survey, with a response rate of 29%. One hundred sixty-three (76.8%) strongly agreed/agreed that having an RSVP Driver Escort helped them to: “be more independent” and/or “receive more social support.” This survey also provided passengers with an opportunity to provide comments: “Having access to RSVP Driver Services makes it possible for me to travel to areas I might not be able to as easily.” – RSVP Driver Services Passenger “The RSVP Driver Services Program allows me to live independently when I am not able to drive in certain areas/at certain times. The drivers I have had have been exceptional.” – RSVP Driver Services Passenger
RSVP Vets Helping Vets provides rides to veterans and their spouses who need transportation to medical (including dialysis) and other appointments. Volunteers use their own cars. Gas/mileage reimbursement was .63 cents/mile through December 2022. On January 1, 2023, the reimbursement rate was increased to .655 cents/mile. There is no charge for the ride, but donations are accepted. Rides for younger vets are coordinated by the RSVP Vets Helping Vets Coordinator. Rides for older vets (age 60 and older) are coordinated by the Stoughton Area Senior Center. Requests for rides come from Dane County Transportation, VA Hospital, DAV of Wisconsin, as well as individual veterans in need of transportation services. From October 1, 2022 September 30, 2023, over 6,000 miles were driven by RSVP volunteers in the Stoughton Area in the Driver Escort and Vets Helping Vets Programs at RSVP: 1,252 miles were for veteran passengers. There are 17 veteran passengers in Stoughton who rely on RSVP drivers to take them to crucial medical and other appointments. RSVP provided between 100-150 rides for Stoughton passengers, and 35 of these rides were for local veterans. Finally, volunteers in the Stoughton Home Delivered Meals Program drove 12,988 miles and delivered nearly 11,000 meals to older adults, veterans and family members. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the Driver Services and Vets Helping Vets Program. Although more volunteers are starting to drive passengers again, we still do not have the number of volunteers that we had pre-pandemic. RSVP staff continue to implement recruitment strategies in many communities in Dane County, including Stoughton. For the safety of all RSVP drivers and passengers, the Board will continue to require that all RSVP drivers and passengers be fully vaccinated and follow all current RSVP of Dane County COVID-19 guidelines which are based on CDC and Dane County Public Health recommendations.