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February 2022 Newsletter

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Volunteer Iowa Day at the Capitol

Volunteer Iowa and Iowa Mentor host Volunteer Iowa Day at the Capitol each year to share with legislators the latest information on the tremendous contributions volunteers and mentors make and their impact in Iowa’s communities. It is also an opportunity to educate lawmakers about the impacts their policy decisions have on Volunteer Iowa programs and services. This year, Volunteer Iowa Day at the Capitol will be on Wednesday, February 2.

Staff members and participants from Volunteer Iowa programs including AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Seniors, RSVP, Volunteer Centers and Mentoring Programs, will share with lawmakers the impact their programs have across the state and will inform them about the tremendous program support and resources provided to them by Volunteer Iowa and Iowa Mentor. Commissioners and programs of Volunteer Iowa are invited to take part in this annual event to help us:

  • Highlight the importance of service volunteering in Iowa
  • Build legislators’ awareness of policy issues important for expanding our sector
  • Provide a venue for volunteer and national service programs to connect with their local legislators

The Volunteer Iowa staff create a handbook each year that can help attendees navigate through the process to prep for the day, reach out to legislators, and help with social media the day of the event. For more information, visit or contact or 800.308.5987.

8th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge

The 8th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge registration is now open! Now is the time to begin planning for the two-month challenge. 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 simple; register your organization, track the hours of your employees, record those hours on our system, and celebrate your employees and their dedication to volunteerism!

There are a variety of ways to help out in your community. There are many volunteer opportunities statewide, including youth mentoring, college and career mentoring, assisting food banks and food pantries with packaging and distribution, skills-based opportunities, and more. Volunteer opportunities in your area can be found at

Visit to learn more about this year's challenge. Please contact Betsy Shelton at if you have any questions.

Iowans Celebrate National Mentoring Month

January was National Mentoring Month! Iowa MENTOR and mentoring programs across Iowa amplified mentoring through interviews and advocacy work.

Mentor program efforts led to several proclamation signings recognizing January as National Mentoring Month across the state. Helping Services for Family and Youth advocated for signings in the following counties: Winnishiek, Delaware, Fayette, and Allamakee.

On January 18th, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation declaring January as National Mentoring Month for all of Iowa. Iowa MENTOR joined mentoring program staff from a variety of programs to celebrate this occasion and attend the signing. Thank you to Governor Reynolds for recognizing the importance of mentoring and to all the mentoring programs that make an impact through mentoring! To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community and to find volunteer opportunities, visit

Building a Successful Family Volunteer Strategy

Volunteer Iowa is hosting a virtual session on Building a Successful Family Volunteer Strategy, on Wednesday, March 9th from 12:30-1:30pm. This session, which is geared toward nonprofits and organizations, will be focused on defining family volunteering, its benefits to organizations, and will walk participants through how to get started setting up your family volunteer strategy. The session will be interactive and provide resources for organizations to leave ready to create or enhance their family volunteering opportunities, specifically with the goal to have a plan ready to implement for Global Youth Service Day (April 29-May 1). CLICK HERE to register to attend Building a Successful Family Volunteer Strategy.

MLK Day of Service

Volunteer Iowa hosted a professional development session about service-learning for the Bondurant-Farrar Community School District during the MLK Day of Service. Staff from BFCSD learned about strengthening youth voice, benefits of volunteering, and how to connect service to curriculum. Staff then completed six service projects aimed at addressing needs throughout the community. Projects included creating fleece blankets to donate, assembling meals to be frozen and donated, making t-shirt tote bags for organizations to reduce plastic usage, writing cards for students and local senior citizens, building little free pantries for the community, and crafting pet toys with fleece and fabric scraps for a local animal shelter.

If schools or communities are interested in learning more about service-learning and how to give back on service days, contact

Now Hiring: AmeriCorps VISTA Leader

Volunteer Iowa is looking to add an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader to our team. The AmeriCorps VISTA Leaders program is open to individuals who have completed at least one year of full-time service with AmeriCorps or Peace Corps and is an exceptional opportunity to put leadership skills gained during their first year of service to work. VISTA Leaders provide peer-to-peer support for VISTAs serving across the state, create opportunities for member development, and work to raise awareness of national service opportunities throughout Iowa. The VISTA Leader will serve with Volunteer Iowa’s office in Des Moines but is eligible to be a remote service opportunity. Share the link to apply or apply today at

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.

Service in the News

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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.