VOLUNTEER IOWA: New Initiative Launched

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Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds are hoping to inspire more Iowans to volunteer.

They launched a new effort Monday, named Volunteer Iowa: A Call to Service. The program’s goal is to expand volunteerism and service in Iowa and put the state ahead of all others when it comes to volunteering. Currently, Iowa is ranked second in the nation for volunteerism.

“It is our hope that Iowans will embrace the ‘Call to Service’ initiative and do what Iowans to best, which is giving back to their local communities,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. “We want to mobilize and connect Iowans with meaningful volunteer opportunities in their communities and challenge the private sector to support and help strengthen Iowa’s volunteer infrastructure.”

The benefits of volunteering were also stressed by Branstad and Reynolds. Studies show people who volunteer have a greater life satisfaction and lower rates of depression. States that have more civic engagement are also better equipped to weather economic recessions.

The initiative is a public-private partnership aiming to increase the number of Iowans who volunteer and also increase the amount of time volunteered. The state will work with non-profit groups as well as other organizations to help retain current volunteers and discover sources for new volunteers.

To learn more about the program visit www.volunteeriowa.org.