February 2020 Newsletter

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Future Ready Iowa Mentor Program
A new Future Ready Iowa mentoring initiative will be launching this month. The Future Ready Iowa Mentoring Program will match recipients of Future Ready Iowa grants and Last-Dollar Scholarships with mentors working in their field of study. Mentors and college students will primarily interact through an e-mentoring communications platform, in addition to any face-to-face meetings. Through engagement in the program, students will establish meaningful career connections and strengthen their job readiness skills. Matches between students and mentors will be based on multiple factors, including professional goals, interests, background, and location.

The Future Ready Iowa Mentoring Program is actively recruiting mentors and could use your help. Mentors are needed in a variety of high-demand career fields, including but not limited to nursing/healthcare, business, IT/network administration, web design, police and fire science, and education. If you are interested in serving as a Future Ready Iowa Mentor or would like to receive additional information, you can complete this form. The program is being administered by staff at Volunteer Iowa and the Iowa Mentoring Partnership. If you would like to connect with Program Manager Jason Wiegand, he can be reached at jason.wiegand@iowaeda.com. You can learn more about Future Ready Iowa by visiting https://www.futurereadyiowa.gov/.

AmeriCorps VISTA Member Recruitment
The Volunteer Iowa VISTA project is looking for qualified applicants to serve in a number of organizations across the state.
A year of service in VISTA is a unique way to get valuable experience in a career field, create positive change in the community, and make an impact on the lives of others as well as yourself. Click here to get started!
If you have any questions please contact Greg Abdur-Rasheed, VISTA Leader, at Greg.Abdur-Rasheed@iowaeda.com or 515-348-6232.

Volunteer Iowa Day at the Capitol
Volunteer Iowa and the Iowa Mentoring Partnership 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 held on Tuesday, February 11.

Staff members and participants from Volunteer Iowa programs including AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, RSVP, Volunteer Centers, and Mentoring Programs, educate lawmakers about the impact their programs have across the state and inform them about the
tremendous program support and resources provided to them by Volunteer Iowa and the Iowa Mentoring Partnership.

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, contact icvs@iowaeda.com or 800.308.5987.

Meet Our New VISTA Leader!
The newest member of the Volunteer Iowa team is Greg Rasheed, who started working here on January 21 as the VISTA Leader. Working under the direction of Julie Struck, Greg’s primary role as VISTA Leader is to be a collaborator with the VISTA members and their supervisors at the programs throughout the state, recruit potential VISTA members, be an advocate for VISTA throughout the state and other duties.This is Greg’s third term volunteering with VISTA. He made a decision, when he had some VISTA members volunteer for an
organization he ran in Colorado, to devote some of his retirement years to volunteering efforts through VISTA. His devotion to volunteer work is shown as he has come to wintery Iowa to work after having lived in tropical Bangkok, Thailand for the past two years. Talk
about devotion! After Greg is finished with his term here, he will return to Bangkok where he has a home and devoted wife.

Greg has an unique background. He ran non-profit organizations in Colorado for over 20 years. One of the organizations was the American Friends Service Committee(AFSC), Colorado office, where he was the director. AFSC is a social justice organization, established by Quakers during the early 20th century. While working for AFSC, Greg would travel to Des Moines twice a year for the AFSC regional meetings. The AFSC regional headquarters is in Des Moines. Another organization he directed in Colorado was the Greater Park Hill Community Inc. neighborhood association. His 15 years with Greater Park Hill saw him involved in many local political issues that affected the Park Hill neighborhood in Denver. The political involvement led Greg to run for Denver City Council in 2007, at the suggestion of friends and neighbors. He did not win (which he is grateful for) but it gave him insight into the political process, good and bad.

Greg also brings the experience of being a radio host for many years in the Colorado, Nebraska and DC markets. He is currently heard on KUHS in Colorado, hosting a Sunday broadcast. The show is also a podcast under the heading online of “Black Senior in Thailand”, which has a devoted worldwide following. He has been with KUHS since 2015. By interviewing folks on his shows, it has given him a better insight of human nature and using his listening skills.

It is these skills that he has brought to his volunteering work. Greg believes that one can not work as a volunteer in a community unless you develop the listening skills to fully understand what is needed in the community and then gaining insight into the human nature of the community. As he always says in his tagline when concluding his radio shows, “When you volunteer, you help that community you are volunteering in and mainly you help yourself as volunteering gives you a warm sense inside.”

6th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge
The 6th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge registration is now open! Now is the time to register your organization and begin planning for the two month challenge! Register today at https://volunteerchallenge.iowa.gov/volunteer-challenge-employer-registration.

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!

Four Organizations Participating in 2020 Spring Service Enterprise Initiative Cohort
Volunteer Iowa has selected four organizations to participate in the Spring 2020 Service Enterprise Initiative Cohort. Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines Parks and Recreation, EveryStep and Meals from the Heartland will receive volunteer management resources, 16 hours of
hands-on interactive training, and up to 10 hours of individualized consulting services related to the initiative to achieve the Service Enterprise standard of integrating volunteers at all levels of their operations.

Managed nationally by Points of LIght and statewide by Volunteer Iowa, the Service Enterprise Initiative is a proven, research-based model that equips organizations to leverage volunteers and their skills across all levels to successfully deliver on their social mission. It also diagnoses strengths organizations can leverage and challenges that need to be addressed to achieve sustainability.

To learn more about Service Enterprise, visit volunteeriowa.org/SEI. Organizations and agencies that are interested in becoming a Service Enterprise can contact Michelle Raymer, Volunteer Iowa Program Officer at michelle.raymer@iowaeda.com or 515.348.6235.

Upcoming AmeriCorps Formula Grant Deadline
The next, and final, deadline to submit an AmeriCorps preapplication to be considered for funding for the 2020-2021 program year is March 10, 2020. Any new applicant that is interested in applying for AmeriCorps funding needs to submit a pre-application by the deadline. All materials are available online: https://volunteeriowa.org/document/2020iowaamericorpsgrants. This will outline the remaining deadlines, timeline of the process, and how and where to submit information. If you have any questions, please reach out to americorps@iowaeda.com.

Notice of Funding Opportunity
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has posted a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the purpose of mobilizing more Americans to engage in service for the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance and/or the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

If you are interested in organizing service projects for these national days of service and meet the criteria for applying, we hope you will consider these opportunities.

There will be a technical assistance webinar on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Information about the webinar, the full NOFO, application instructions, and a link to eGrants, can be found here.

Applications are due by Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Service in the News
Volunteer Iowa on Iowa Live on MLK Day
AmeriCorps Team Renovates Manassas Battlefield's Headquarters Building

Important Dates
February 6: New AmeriCorps Program Staff Onboarding training
February 11: Volunteer Iowa Day at the Capitol
March 8-14: AmeriCorps Week
March 10: Pre-applications due for NEW AmeriCorps applications
April: Volunteer Iowa Innovation Exchange regional training opportunities
April 1: Give Back Iowa Challenge begins
April 7: National Service Recognition Day

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.

Volunteer Iowa
1.800.308.5987 | icvs@iowaeda.com | www.volunteeriowa.org
1963 Bell Avenue, Suite 200 | Des Moines, IA 50315 US

Printed from the website on September 19, 2020 at 9:52pm.