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April 2022 Newsletter

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Governor's Volunteer Awards

Volunteer Iowa is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Governor’s Volunteer Awards; entry deadline is April 15.

The Governor’s Volunteer Awards program, established in 1982, provides an easy way for organizations to honor their volunteers with a prestigious, state-level recognition award. Three award categories are available: Individual, Group, and Length of Service.

Award recipient information can be submitted using one of the following methods:

  • All organizations (including state government agencies) submit information, and the handling fee ($15 per nomination) directly through Volunteer Iowa. Organizations will be able to submit the handling fee online. Nomination form can be found HERE.
  • State agencies will submit nominations through the same online form. Invoicing will be handled separately. (Staff of state government agencies must submit nominations through their agency's coordinator.)

Nominations are accepted from: City governments, community colleges, county governments, federal government units operating in Iowa, Iowa MENTOR certified programs, K-12 schools (public and parochial), national service programs operating in Iowa (AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Seniors), nonprofit and charitable organizations, private colleges and universities, non-state government organizations.

To learn more, please visit

Volunteer Iowa Awards Ceremony

Lt. Governor Adam Gregg will induct the 2022 Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame members and present the Excellence in Mentoring awards to two individuals in a ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol building on Thursday, April 21 at 2:30pm.

Being selected for the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame is the most prestigious state-level honor volunteers can receive as recognition of extraordinary donations of volunteer service to their communities.The Excellence in Mentoring Awards gives Iowa MENTOR certified programs the opportunity to recognize outstanding long-time youth mentors.

Visit for more information on the 2022 Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame inductees, and for information on the Excellence in Mentoring Award recipients. Follow Volunteer Iowa on Facebook for further announcements regarding the ceremony.

8th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge

The 8th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge began on Friday, April 1. The Give Back Iowa Challenge is an eight-week statewide challenge, which serves as a competitive way to encourage organizations and businesses alike to participate in community volunteering. The Challenge runs from April 1st through May 31st. It's not too late to participate in the challenge - it’s simple; register your organization, track the volunteer hours of your employees over the two-month period, record those hours on our system, and celebrate your employees and their dedication to volunteerism!

There are a wide variety of volunteer options that can help support your community, from large group activities to coaching a child’s team. All of them can be counted towards the challenge! Volunteer opportunities in your area can be found at

Register your business or organization today! Questions? Contact Betsy Shelton at

Global Volunteer Month

Global Volunteer Month is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger, more vibrant communities, and to take action that changes the world. A monthlong celebration of volunteer service, Global Volunteer Month provides the perfect opportunity to shine a light on the individuals and organizations that are making a difference in their communities.

Volunteering is good for you too! Studies show that volunteering leads to lower rates of depression and stress. People report feeling a greater sense of purpose while learning valuable skills and developing new relationships while volunteering. Here are some ideas to get involved today:

Volunteer Iowa Responds after March Tornado

On March 5, 2022, an EF-4 tornado hit Iowa and caused 7 fatalities, according to preliminary reports. The supercell thunderstorm that produced the destructive tornado also produced damaging wind and hail events. According to the National Weather Service, this tornado was the first EF-4 tornado in Iowa since 2013 and was the second longest tornado path since 1980, with a path length of 69.5 miles. From the outset we understood that this was a significant event that would need the skills and capabilities that Volunteer Iowa would be able to provide.

Working with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management and other community partners in Winterset, where the needs were greatest, Volunteer Iowa assessed the situation and what resources were going to be needed. Allowing Emergency Management and First Responders to implement their plans, Volunteer Iowa`s first day on the ground in Madison County was March 7th. Working out of Madison County and partnering with Emergency Management, Volunteer Iowa assisted in opening a Multi-Agency Resource Center & Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) at the Madison County Fair Grounds Jackson Building, which funneled hundreds of volunteers looking to help. Volunteer Iowa, along with its national service programs, provided support with field coordination and leadership, coordinated with Non-Governmental Organizations, acted as a Local Community Liaison and Public Information Officer, and laid the groundwork for Long Term Recovery in the Madison County community.

With the one-month anniversary of the event quickly approaching, the community response continues to be extraordinary. AmeriCorps has supported in multiple facets of the operations and continues to provide support with damage assessments, VRC leadership and capacity support for the Madison County Emergency Management Agency. With systems in place, a transition plan to Long Term Recovery is being constructed. This will include a physical step back which allow the community to continue to rally themselves, as all disasters start and end locally. Volunteer Iowa and Iowa Homeland Security will continue to support the efforts virtually but are ready if there is a dire need of support. Our own Disaster Program Officer Michael Rojas was featured on several news outlets including KCCI and WHO-13 for the work conducted in Madison County

Global Youth Service Day is April 29-May 1st!

Global Youth Service Day is the largest youth service and civic action event in the world and the only one that celebrates and builds the capacity of all youth ages 5-25 to help our communities and democracy thrive by working together for the common good. Volunteer Iowa is hosting two sessions with this goal in mind. One session will be for schools on how to create a meaningful silver cord program. Additionally, we will be hosting a professional development session for high school students, college students, and AmeriCorps members on how to leverage volunteer experience on resumes and/or college applications and navigating careers related to service.

More details on both sessions to come. For more information, please reach out to

Iowa Organizations Economic Conditions Survey 2022

The Iowa Economic Development Authority is once again partnering with the University of Northern Iowa to undertake a survey to assess the current economic conditions and ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on Iowa’s nonprofit organizations.

Please forward this link to nonprofit organizations within your membership or communities and encourage them to complete the survey.

IEDA will again use the information collected through the survey to inform its public policy and programming in response to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic on Iowa nonprofit organizations. The deadline to complete this survey is Friday, April 8, 2022.

Thank you for sharing the survey link with nonprofit organizations within your membership and communities. Your assistance promoting the three previous statewide surveys was critically important and provided Iowa with vital information and data. We hope you will once again assist us in mobilizing the nonprofit organizations within your membership and communities to complete this survey.

Volunteer Iowa Seeks Nominees for National Service Fellowship

Volunteer Iowa is seeking nominations for community leaders in Iowa who are affiliated with an organization that has an interest in building or expanding their relationship with AmeriCorps and national service. The Fellowship is focused on individuals who identify as rural residents or as Black, Indigenous, or other Persons of Color, to address the lack of Iowa national service programming led by and designed for members of these populations. As part of the Fellowship program, participants will gain knowledge or available AmeriCorps programming and the requirements of hosting or sponsoring AmeriCorps members. Fellows will also share information about their work with Volunteer Iowa so that the commission can examine how to make its programming more responsive to the needs of rural communities and to communities of color in Iowa. Fellowship recipients will be part of a cohort that will meet monthly and will receive funding to benefit their organization and cover the costs of their participation in the program.

Nominations will be accepted from those who want to recommend a local leader for participation or interested individuals can self-nominate. The nomination form is posted online HERE. A full overview of the fellowship program is found HERE.

The Volunteer Iowa National Service Fellowship is part of the National Service Challenge initiatives funded by the Schultz Family Foundation, Alliant Energy Foundation, and Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

Mentors Needed in Information Technology and Healthcare Fields

Future Ready Iowa Virtual Mentoring continues to enroll students and mentors on an ongoing basis. Through engaging in this mentoring program, students establish meaningful career connections and strengthen their job readiness skills. Eligible students are recipients of the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship attending community colleges and eligible private colleges throughout the state.

Mentors are especially needed in healthcare (medical coding, radiation tech, medical assistant, nursing) and IT (software and web development, network administration, cybersecurity). Mentoring is conducted through messaging and video call. The average time commitment is 1 hour per month, although the expectations are flexible and unique to each mentoring match. You can help through:

  • Volunteering to mentor a student in your field, learn more or enroll here:
  • Sharing the opportunity to mentor a student with your personal and professional networks
  • Recommending employers or organizations we should add to our network
  • Sharing professional development opportunities that may be of interest and available to our students

Thank you for your consideration. Please direct any questions or connections to Jason Wiegand, Program Manager at or 515.348.6262.

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Looking for a way to give back? Visit Get Connected today to find volunteer opportunities. Organizations can post volunteer opportunities on Get Connected as well at no cost.