Volunteer Iowa April 2020 News
COVID-19 Volunteer Needs and Resources
Volunteers are still needed, even during this time of social distancing. We've launched a COVID-19 Response Initiative on our Get Connected site: http://volunteeriowa.galaxydigital.com/.
Organizations can post their urgent COVID-19 related needs on the site, and individuals can search for opportunities in their communities. In addition, we have also created a webpage filled
with resources for Volunteer Iowa partners. Please visit https://volunteeriowa.org/covid-19-resourcesvolunteer-iowa-programs-and-nonprofits to access those resources.
Organizations are also encouraged to consider virtual opportunities that can support their organization. Virtual volunteer opportunities provide multiple benefits in addressing community needs, connecting people to the community, and supporting mental health. Virtual volunteer opportunities unrelated to COVID-19 response can be posted and filtered as "Virtual Opportunities."
Host an AmeriCorps VISTA Project
Volunteer Iowa is currently accepting applications from organizations interested in hosting a year-long AmeriCorps VISTA member(s) to focus on anti-poverty, community empowerment, sustainable solutions, and capacity building to meet the needs within the community for which they serve. The following issue areas are given priority:
- Education and/or economic opportunity in rural communities
- Addressing the opioid epidemic and other substance abuse issue
VISTA members provide a year of full-time service conducting capacity building activities for nonprofits, schools, and government organizations.
For more information, visit volunteeriowa.org/americorpsvista or contact Julie Struck by email or at 515.348.6238 (toll-free: 800.308.5987).
The Sixth Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge Has Begun!
While volunteer experiences are different in the current COVID-19 environment, we are still hosting the 6th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge! It’s not too late to join in the competition – you can still register your organization for the challenge at https://volunteerchallenge.iowa.gov/volunteer-challengeemployer-registration.
Give Back Iowa is an eight-week statewide challenge, which serves as a competitive way to encourage organizations and businesses alike to participate in volunteer activities. 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! You can search for virtual volunteer opportunities at http://volunteeriowa.galaxydigital.com/ and access additional resources and volunteer suggestions at https://volunteerchallenge.iowa.gov/covid-19-volunteerideas-
Become a Future Ready Iowa Career E-Mentor!
Are you looking for a virtual volunteer opportunity? You may now register to be a Future Ready Iowa career e-mentor. This is an opportunity for professionals in the workforce to play a pivotal role in helping a recipient of the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship connect and succeed.
Mentors are matched with a student based on their professional goals, among other factors. Mentoring is facilitated through a web-based platform that is supported through Android and iOS apps. No prior mentoring experience is necessary. Ample training and support is provided. The need for mentors is significant but the time commitment is flexible (1-2 hours per month on average).
There are currently 14 students seeking mentors, particularly in the fields of healthcare and information technology. The program is ongoing and the need for career mentors will grow well beyond the current numbers and career fields. As students enroll in summer and fall semesters, the need for mentors will increase. Learn more about the program and sign up today at https://futurereadyiowamentoring.chronus.com/.
Global Volunteer Month
Global Volunteer Month is an opportunity to recognize the power of people to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger, more vibrant communities, and take action that changes the world. Now more than ever, it’s important to recognize the impact of volunteer services.
Please visit http://volunteeriowa.galaxydigital.com/ to find virtual and low-risk volunteer opportunities that you and your family can participate in. There continues to be a great need for volunteers, even through the COVID-19 crisis.
We also want to highlight the stories of how you are being engaged as a volunteer throughout Global Volunteer Month and the COVID-19 pandemic. Post your stories on social media, tag Volunteer Iowa and use the hashtag #IowansHelpingIowans.
Volunteer Recognition Programs
The Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame and Excellence in Mentoring Awards Ceremony scheduled for April 21 at the Iowa Capitol Building has been POSTPONED. We will share a new date and time once we are able to reschedule. The Governor’s Volunteer Awards submissions will be accepted beginning in mid- to late April. Visit https://volunteeriowa.org/awards for more information. Follow Volunteer Iowa on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date information on the opening of submissions.
Innovation Exchange: Impact of Equity and Inclusion in Volunteering
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Volunteer Iowa will be postponing the full day, in-person regional professional development trainings. To still provide information on this important topic, we will host a webinar on equity and inclusion in volunteering on Tuesday, April 28th, from 10:00-11:30am. The webinar will be facilitated by Manisha Paudel, Equity Coordinator for the City of Des Moines. Please register each person who plans to attend at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2020InnovationExchangePartI.
AmeriCorps Week Overview
AmeriCorps Week was March 8-14. Volunteer Iowa profiled nearly 20 AmeriCorps Iowa members and alumni on our blog. Visit https://volunteeriowa.org/about/blog-0 to learn more about our members!
Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation, declaring March 8-14, 2020, AmeriCorps Week in Iowa. Due to COVID-19, the proclamation signing was cancelled. View the proclamation here.
Volunteer Iowa in the News
Eager to Help your Neighbors but Don't Know How? Des Moines Register
Ways You Can Help During Pandemic, Iowa Public Radio
Volunteering or Staying Socially Distant? Volunteer Iowa Says You Can Do Both, WHO-TV
Give Back Iowa Challenge Will Once Again Encourage Volunteering, Radio Iowa
April: Global Volunteer Month
April 1: Give Back Iowa Challenge begins
April 7: National Service Recognition Day
April 17-19: Global Youth Service Day
April 19-25: National Volunteer Week
April 22: Earth Day
April 28: Innovation Exchange Webinar
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.