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History of Volunteer Iowa




History of National Service in the United States


1978The Iowa Office on Volunteerism was established by Governor Robert D. Ray with Executive Order 33 on November 2.
1990A renewed focus on encouraging volunteering in America led to the passage of the National and Community Service Act of 1990. This legislation, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, created a new independent federal agency: the Commission for National and Community Service.
1993The National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 created the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) by merging the work and staffs of two agencies: ACTION and the Commission for National and Community Service. Three Corporation administered programs: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America were charged with connecting Americans of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to give back to their communities and their nation. The newly created CNCS invited governors to create state commissions to guide and oversee national service programs in their state.
1994Governor Terry E. Branstad established the Iowa Commission for National and Community Service by Executive Order 48 in February “to assist in the development and implementation of a comprehensive, statewide plan for promoting volunteer involvement and citizen participation in Iowa, as well as serve as the state’s liaison to national and state organizations which support the Commission’s mission.” The Governor’s Office was designated as the lead agency for administration of the commission. Additional support was to be provided by the Department of Education, the Board of Regents, the Department of Employment Services, and the Department of Economic Development.
1998Executive Order Number 64 officially changed the agency’s name to “Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service.”
2002In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush announced the creation of the USA Freedom Corps. Chaired by the President, USA Freedom Corps is a coordinating council that works to strengthen our culture of service and help find opportunities for every American to serve. In April the President unveiled the Principles and Reforms for a Citizen Service Act to reform and enhance AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and other programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
2005Governor Thomas J. Vilsack signed House File 478 that officially established the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS) as an independent state agency “to serve as an administrative vehicle which conforms with federal guidelines detailed in the federal National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993.” This legislation also charged the ICVS with administering state appropriations for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and enabled the commission to receive state, federal, and private funds and in-kind services.
2006Iowa Mentoring Partnership (IMP) added to ICVS. Iowa’s Promise and IMP receive first state appropriation from the Legislature.

A new AmeriCorps NCCC campus opens in Vinton, Iowa; one of only five campuses in the United States.

The ICVS plays a major role in coordinating volunteers in the aftermath of the Great Midwestern Flood of 2008.

2009Governor Chester J. Culver signs Senate File 482, establishing the Iowa Summer Youth Corps and Green Corps programs. The Iowa Summer Youth Corps involves disadvantaged youth (ages 16-25) in meaningful service opportunities that enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and fulfill unmet community needs. The Green Corps involves AmeriCorps members or Iowa Summer Youth Corps members in major transformative projects emphasizing energy efficiency, historic preservation, neighborhood development, and storm water reduction and management. President Barack Obama signs the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act which amends the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973.
2011The Iowa Legislature updated the 2008 legislation (House File 590) and officially makes the ICVS part of the new Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Governor Terry E. Branstad issues a Call to Service challenging all Iowans to volunteer 50 hours each year to help move Iowa into 1st place in the national state volunteer rate rankings.

Iowa AmeriCorps members deployed to the East Coast to help with recovery efforts following Super Storm Sandy.

2013Iowa AmeriCorps members deployed to Alaska to help with recovery efforts following flooding of the Yukon River.
2015Disaster Response - South Carolina
2015The Iowa Legislature approves Iowa Reading Corps language 
2016Disaster response (Missouri)