We all know organizations, groups, and individuals who are dedicated to volunteering—we see them in action every day. That’s why each year in April, in light of National Volunteer Month, United Way of East Central Iowa (UWECI) hosts a celebration event recognizing those who are impacting our community through volunteer efforts throughout our five-county service area.
Do you know a family that has made volunteerism a core value? Or maybe a company you’d consider community-minded? How about an individual making significant volunteer contributions to improve the community? This event is the perfect opportunity to thank and honor the volunteer(s) in your life.
Last year, the winner of our Group Volunteer Award was the American Cancer Society Road to Recovery. Due to the intensity of treatment and ongoing obstacles, battling cancer poses several unique challenges; one of which could include getting to and from appointments. The volunteer drivers of Road to Recovery help ease this worry, providing free rides to patients to and from appointments in both Linn and Benton county.
At the time in which they were nominated, the group had provided almost 1,900 rides since 2007! Not only were they giving someone a lift, but they were providing another channel of hope and support to the patients they met.
In the past, the awards were based on age or group size, but this year we have adjusted the categories to reflect the impact their time has on our community. Three finalists will be selected in each category by members of our William B. Quarton Society and Young Leaders Society—a group of volunteers themselves—and the winners will be decided by community votes.
Winners will receive $500 to donate to a nonprofit of their choice and will be announced at our volunteer celebration event on Friday, April 5. The night will include our annual Time for Art silent auction, where attendees can bid volunteer hours instead of dollars on donated works of art from local artists. If you or someone you know is a local artist, consider donating original works of art for the event.