On July 19 of this year, RCRV received a request from Systems Unlimited, Inc. to build an adult swing.  This swing had to be able to hold a 300 pound individual.  RCRV accepted the challenge and Dave Knuth came up with a design that was presented to Systems Unlimited for their approval.  They reviewed and approved the design and subsequent funding estimate.  

For the last 10 years, many RCRV members have been involved in projects to create equipment for Ann Griffin of the Grant Wood Area Education Agency.  Ann is responsible for the Adapted Physical Education (APE) program which supports Physical Educators tasked with teaching students with disabilities.  (http://www.aea10.k12.ia.us/divlearn/APE/equipment.html ) RCRV members have created several pieces of specialized equipment to allow disabled students to participate in PE activities.  
Ann has sent us the email below requesting support for more of this equipment.  Jim Green is the official RCRV  liaison with Ann and the Grant Wood AEA,  and if you are interested in supporting part of Ann’s request, contact Jim at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Before I left town last Winter, I asked the RCRV members of the board for input on the future of RCRV because things were changing:

 

  •     REACT was closed
  •     New Location for Weekly Meetings
  •     New location for Monthly Board Meetings
  •     Uncertainty of ongoing Rockwell Sponsorship

In addition,

  •     Our Membership is aging, with few new members
  •     Our responsiveness to Volunteer Requests has deteriorated, and is jeopardizing our relationship with some non-profits
  •     The type of Volunteer Requests has changed over the years, and often do not appeal as much to our technical, constructional and instructional capabilities
  •     Some of our Members have gravitated to specific Volunteer activities, like SHIIP and WRAP that either satisfy their volunteer desires or limit their ability to take on more activities.

Many retired Rockwell Collins management, financial, engineers, technicians, metal workers and other craftsmen find an opportunity to continue using their creative abilities, talents and experience in the RCRV Community Projects Program. Their efforts benefit many community agencies and persons those organizations serve and have made the Community Projects Program a major RCRV activity.

The broad scope of activities of organizations and agencies utilizing RCRV Community Project Programs represents human services, education, arts and sciences, recreation and other special and general community needs.

The Community Projects Program offers the community the diverse talents represented by retirees who spent many years in the management, design and manufacture of complex electronics equipment.

Community Project applications are virtually unlimited. The following is an overview of many of the recent activities.

Assistive Devices

Many devices to aid persons with disabilities have been designed and built or existing devices have been modified to meet the needs of the client:

  • Several types of low voltage switches used to control various assistive and/or training devices.
  • Several games that allow a person with disabilities to perform a function that he or she could not otherwise perform, such a throwing a ball, Frisbee, glider airplane or bowling ball, hitting a golf ball.
  • Fishing devices that hold the pole, set the hook and reel in the fish under remote control of a person with disabilities.
  • Chairs to sit in a bathtub to support a person with disabilities.
  • Loudspeakers that can rest on the shoulders of a hearing impaired child.
  • Exercise bicycles used by persons with disabilities have special requirements that are addressed such as a device to only turn on the TV when the client is peddling the bicycle. The disability may cause the client to bend or break a component of the bicycle and so it is redesigned to withstand the intended use.
  • A simple device to assist in folding an 8.5x11 paper into three sections for insertion in an envelope.
  • A turntable device to hold items being sorted and packaged. The user may easily rotate the turntable.
  • Certain medical conditions require the patient to be continuously wrapped in elastic bandages to control severe swelling. RCRV has built several bandage winders to rewind the bandage so that the patient may rewrap it.
  • RCRV repairs various equipment and toys brought in by many community agencies.

More information about these and other projects may be found on the Community Projects list page.

Management and Professional

RCRV participates in the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP). For many older adults health care coverage and related insurance needs are very complex and confusing. Also, constant changes in Medicare, Medicare+Choice and Medicaid complicate the challenges faced by older adults and their families. SHIIP gives seniors relevant information to assist the decision they make on health insurance coverage that is right for them. The Iowa Insurance Division provides initial training and quarterly in-service training.

RCRV participates in the Tax Aid program that works with low income families, disabled and elderly to complete personal income tax forms for those who would potentially be unable to file a tax form and get their refund. The Sate of Iowa provides training for the volunteers.

Construction

The Community Projects team has designed and constructed several projects for community agencies and their clients.

  • The Margaret Bock housing authority provides rooms for low income persons in a newly remodeled building. The Community Projects team ran the wires for door bell, paging, door buzzer, telephone and cable TV to each room. An entryway control box was built and installed.
  • Wheel chair ramps have been built for the clients of community agencies.
  • A Red Cross interactive display module was built to teach younger children about the Red Cross and to build their personal safety knowledge.
  • A table for a wheelchair bound child for use in the classroom. The table may be tilted from flat to 45° and may be raised as the child grows. A storage cabinet is attached to store the students supplies.

Education

RCRV along with regular employees of Rockwell Collins volunteer in K-12 schools and projects to enrich the education of the students. Participation is primarily in the Cedar Rapids, LinnMar and Marion school districts. More information about the Rockwell Collins K-12 program may be found at www.rockwellcollins.com/about/community/K-12/.

RCRV has assisted the Marion High School physics department through the "physics hotline" in which students send questions via e-mail to participating RCRV members who respond with helpful suggestions. RCRV has also assisted the physics department in cataloging and repairing laboratory equipment.

RCRV members assist Cedar Rapids Pierce Grade School with many extra curricular activities such as Lego robot competition.

Elementary computer classes have been organized and taught by Community Projects team members. The classes have been offered by various community agencies. Members have also assisted schools in construction of web pages describing school activities.

RCRV builds equipment for schools to assist in teaching young pupils about science:

  • "Wheel of Fortune" wheel for the teacher to place questions on the wheel segments for the students to answer.
  • 3 volt power supplies to be used with electrical wiring experiments.
  • Kits to build a truss bridge. The students must construct a bridge capable of supporting a student's weight.
  • Blocks of various shapes to be inserted in matching holes in a box.
  • A panel hung on the wall of a grade school. The panel holds several interactive displays such as cranks and pulleys.
  • A ramp to roll various sizes and weights of balls in physics experiments.

Computer Support

Computers have been installed in several assisted living retirement homes and the computers have been networked together. On going assistance is given to maintain the computer networks.

Association with RSVP

RCRV works in partnership with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to identify opportunities to make the community a better place to live. RCRV members participate in many volunteer activities sponsored by RSVP.

RSVP provides organizational assistance to RCRV by tracking each RCRV volunteer's time and providing liability insurance for RCRV members.