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June 2022 Newsletter

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Governor's Volunteer Awards

The 2022 Governor’s Volunteer Awards will be announced during special recognition ceremonies across the state. The ceremonies will feature remarks from Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg.

“Iowans take great pride in their deep and rich commitment for serving others—it’s in our DNA,” Governor Kim Reynolds said. “Iowa nice is the foundation of our state--you see it everywhere you turn-- Iowans volunteering their time to help others and improve their communities and our state. It truly is an honor to be able to recognize these individuals for their meaningful acts of generosity through the Governor’s Volunteer Awards and inspire others to do the same.”

More than 500 awards are being presented this year during five ceremonies across Iowa. It is estimated that more than 150 communities in Iowa were served by this year’s honorees.

Coordinated by Volunteer Iowa, the Governor's Volunteer Award program—now in its 38th year—provides an easy way for Iowa nonprofits, charitable organizations, and government entities to honor their volunteers with a prestigious, state-level award.

The awards ceremonies will take place at the below dates and cities:

  • Tuesday, May 31, University of Northern Iowa, Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls
  • Wednesday, June 8, Indian Hills Community College Dining Hall, Ottumwa
  • Wednesday, June 15, Prairie High School Concert Hall, Cedar Rapids
  • Tuesday, June 21, Southeast Polk High School Auditorium, Pleasant Hill
  • Date TBD, Buena Vista University, Schaller Memorial Chapel, Storm Lake

More information is available at A complete list of award recipients is available at

Volunteer Iowa Commission Update

June brings the end of terms for several Volunteer Iowa commissioners. This month, we bid farewell to commissioners Cherian Koshy, Leah Rodenberg, Anderson Sainci (not pictured) and Kerry Walter-Ashby. Their terms end on June 30. At their last full commission meeting on Tuesday, May 17, they were honored by Executive Director Adam Lounsbury and the Volunteer Iowa staff, with certificates and cupcakes.

New commission leadership was elected at the May 17 commission meeting. Angela Jiskoot will serve as commission chair, with Dan Cataldi stepping into the role of vice chair. They take over their new leadership positions on July 1.

Interested in joining our commission? Applications are accepted year-round, but we are currently in the process of reviewing applications to fill slots beginning in the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Apply today at Iowa Talent Bank or contact

Volunteer Iowa receives AmeriCorps Seniors demonstration grant

Volunteer Iowa was awarded $356,292 to support 56 new AmeriCorps Seniors through an intermediary model that will place seniors with organizations in currently underserved areas. This new funding will
leverage the skills and experience of seniors in supporting their communities. Extensive planning and partner outreach will begin in July with the kick-off of the new grant.

AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers stay healthy and active through service, improving their own lives as they improve the lives of others. A growing body of research affirms the numerous mental and physical health benefits of volunteering, including lower mortality rates, decreased rates of depression, and increased strength and energy. Findings from a recent agency-sponsored study show that AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving with the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs report feeling less depressed and isolated, along with stable or improved health scores. Read the full announcement here.

MENTOR Workplace Equity Pledge

Looking for actionable ways to support young people as they explore their passions and navigate new careers? Take MENTOR’s Workplace Equity Pledge! This Pledge helps ensure that every young person has access to opportunities and networks of support by providing interested career professionals with tools, resources, and actionable steps for intentionally supporting young people and cultivating relationship-centered workplaces. Visit to learn more.

Meet Wayne Ruble

Wayne Ruble joined the Volunteer Iowa team in May and is serving with us this summer as a social work practicum student. Wayne is originally from Minnesota, just north of the Twin Cities. He is currently a student at the University of Iowa, Des Moines Campus, working towards a master’s degree in social work. Previously, he attended Iowa State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in May 2018 in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

While serving with Volunteer Iowa, Wayne is also currently working at a civil engineering consulting firm (HR Green) in Johnston as a staff engineer in the water operations division. He primarily works on wastewater design services but often does work related to site design and water resources design. He began working at HR Green in May 2018. Prior to working at HR Green, he was a student at Iowa State University. During that period, he interned at the United States Department of Public Health, Indian Health Services Office of Environmental Health and Engineering as a JRCOSTEP Commissioned
Officer in Sisseton, South Dakota, and at the St. Paul (Minnesota) Park refinery as an Environmental Co-op.

When asked about what he enjoys doing in his free time, Wayne’s response was “Free time? Haha. Currently schooling takes a lot of my spare time but I do really enjoy it. When I do have spare time, I enjoy doing projects around the house, disc golfing, camping, going for walks with my dog, and spending time with friends and family.” You can reach Wayne at

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Annual Convening

Our Disaster Program Officer Michael Rojas recently went to the yearly convening of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and summarized his experience: “I had the privilege of being able to go to the National VOAD Conference this past month as a nomination under the Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council. I want to start off by saying thank you to the IDHRC Board and the individuals who allowed me to participate in such a unique event. Since coming to Iowa and being a part of the disaster realm, I have always heard of the impact NVOAD has had and the resources available to those that are
within the network. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic I was never able to attend the in-person component to their annual meeting of which I had heard were the best days of networking and collaboration most had on their calendars. It was something I had wanted to be a part of for several years and was granted the opportunity to go of which I will always be thankful for. The mornings were always filled with jubilation and within that, the excitement of peers from across the country seeing each other in person for the first time in years; the energy was palpable. I studied and watched how those who were established in the field presented their workshops and conducted themselves during the conference. It was something to aspire to and found myself wanting to be the one speaking to the network of the NVOAD portfolio. I took from the days the knowledge and experience of being able to verse myself in lessons learned from previous years disasters and those who had went through them. All the while, Iowa was in the forefront of my mind and what I could bring back to further our state’s resilience. I was able to have conversations and meet many individuals who passed along kernels of knowledge,
strategies, and resources that I could apply in the field. I left the conference with a rekindled spirit of inspiration on what I could bring to the initiatives I’m working through for Volunteer Iowa and in partnership with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management. I would be hard pressed not to advocate for anyone who is considering this opportunity to go and experience the full spectrum of how disaster response works in our country and beyond.”

The trip was sponsored with funds utilized through the Homeland Security Grant Program. If you are looking to have a conversation on the state networks, VOAD, NVOAD, etc., please reach out to Michael Rojas at

Service in the News

Current Volunteer Iowa and AmeriCorps VISTA Openings

Volunteer with us! Find volunteer opportunities with Volunteer Iowa here:

Current AmeriCorps VISTA openings in Iowa:

Important Dates

  • June 8: Governor's Volunteer Awards ceremony, Ottumwa
  • June 14: Flag Day
  • June 15: Governor's Volunteer Awards ceremony, Cedar Rapids
  • June 19: Juneteenth
  • June 19: Father’s Day
  • June 21: Governor's Volunteer Awards ceremony, Pleasant Hill
  • July: Anti-Boredom Month
  • July: National Picnic Month
  • July 4: Independence Day (Volunteer Iowa offices closed)

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.