Basinski is vital volunteer with RSVP program
By CAROL PRZYBYLSKI
Special to The Gazette
If you have stopped by the Lincoln Center in Stevens Point anytime during the past 10 years, chances are very good you’ve seen Jim Basinski hard at work there.
Basinski has been a Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteer since May 1, 2006, and has put in 9,738 hours. He is humble, a veteran and a hard worker. He has held at least seven different volunteer placements over the years and continues with four at this time.
He is also ready to jump in as needed and share a smile or laugh to brighten others day. If you smell popcorn, know that Basinski is hard at work making it fresh for visitors at the Lincoln Center on Tuesdays.
Other days Basinski helps with the Portage County Nutrition Program at the Hi-Rise Manor and the Lincoln Center meal site. He loves wearing T-shirts with funny messages on them as well as seasonal hats.
He tends to be at one or the other place daily during the week. He is involved in the RSVP Telecare program where he daily calls the participants to make sure they are alright. These are folks who live alone, and Basinski is one of the most popular callers.
He likes to start his call with a big “good morning” and will sing “Happy Birthday” to them on their special day. He has a unique gift of knowing what to say to each of them that makes them feel special. And like all the RSVP volunteers, Basinski gets so much back from helping others.
He is also a volunteer in the Ministry St. Michael’s Hospital rehab unit.
If he sounds busy, just wait. Probably one of his personal passions is working in the loan closet at the Lincoln Center which is a wonderful resource for our county. People donate medical equipment (like walkers, canes, etc.) they no longer need. Basinski checks them over, fixes them as needed and power washes/cleans them thoroughly before they are then loaned out to someone in the community needing them.
It is one of the most used and appreciated resource in our community and behind the scenes Basinski is working hard to ensure quality and cleanliness.
Being a disabled veteran, Jim was unable to work upon discharge from the military. He found that his time was unstructured and volunteering “took the boredom” out of his life. He puts his heart into his volunteering and enjoys spending time with his dog Snickers when he isn’t helping others.
So if you have some spare time and would like helping others either by phone, fixing things or just sharing a smile and laugh, consider joining Basinski as a RSVP volunteer by calling 715-346-1401. We are always looking for volunteers to join us in serving the people of our county.
Editor’s note: Carol Przybylski is a RSVP advisory member at the Lincoln Center.