More than 700 volunteers gave their time to 29 nonprofits and four metro-area school districts yesterday (September 14) as part of United Way of Central Iowa’s Day of Action, the largest day of volunteer service in the region.

“Day of Action is an important way to raise awareness of the challenges people in our community face,Corteva for companies to engage employees to get involved in addressing these challenges, and for nonprofits and schools to have critical support they need to ultimately provide the solutions,” says Mary Sellers, President of United Way of Central Iowa: “As the pandemic continues, we know it’s challenging for organizations to encourage and promote volunteering in the community. We also know, however, that volunteering can have some great employee engagement benefits, like feeling fulfilled at work, strengthening relationships, and building company loyalty. I’m proud of the new and safe opportunities our Volunteer United team pulled together for today and am honored to have 25 of our corporate partners out here, united in fostering a thriving community.”

Throughout Day of Action, volunteers worked on 68 projects ranging from distributing educational materials to cleaning and organizing to building homes. Based on the hours volunteered, Day of Action generated nearly $64,529 in economic impact for nonprofits.

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"On Day of Action, we can have such an impact on so many of the wonderful agencies United Way supports and the partners we have throughout our community," said Laurie Hoskins with EMC Insurance Companies and a Women United volunteer. "It's great that so many companies allow us to have volunteer time to get out to meet others and really make a difference. And on days like today, I know I can make a bigger impact than I could on my own because my time is combined with that from so many others." Laurie (featured in the middle of this image) and other Women United members helped assemble Sesame Street Activity Kits for the Iowa Alliance of Healthy Kids that will be distributed to pre-k students throughout the metro. 

Volunteering is one way a person can create immediate impact in our community – and it is impact you can see and experience. According to United Health Group, 78% of people who volunteer say it lowers their stress levels. So, it is our hope that in addition to providing support to our nonprofit partners, that we are also providing a benefit to those who volunteer with United Way.

We were able to capture some of the great work being done. Please check out our Flickr folder for Day of Action 2021.

Thank you to each of our volunteers who were the hand-raisers on this important day for so many of our nonprofit partners. Thank you for being engaged in fostering a thriving community. 

If you were unable to volunteer today but are interested in fostering a thriving community by supporting United Way of Central Iowa, you can do so by donating at https://www.unitedwaydm.org/givenow. Learn more about Day of Action at unitedwaydm.org/day-of-action-2021.

TAGS: Volunteer, Day of Action

Ramona Gaukel

About The Author: Ramona Gaukel

Ramona, or Moni, Gaukel is Volunteer Engagement Officer for United Way of Central Iowa