The goal of the “Call to Service” initiative is to make Iowa the national leader in service and volunteerism by 2015 by focusing on volunteer expansion in Iowa’s most pressing areas throughout the state while focusing on the administration’s goals of becoming the healthiest state in the nation, having the best schools and growing Iowa’s economy.
“Volunteerism is an integral part to the state’s future and well-being,” said Branstad. “Our objective for the ‘Call to Service’ is to increase the number of Iowans who are volunteering as well as the number of hours that they serve. Iowa currently ranks second in the nation in volunteerism, and just as we want to become the healthiest state in the nation and have the best schools, I know Iowa can lead the nation in volunteerism as well.”
The “Call to Service” initiative is driven by the private sector, but publically endorsed while working with non-profits and other organizations to increase the volunteer supply, demand and retention, mobilize communities and generate targeted tactics to expand volunteerism in Iowa. This multi-year blueprint seeks to eliminate barriers preventing meaningful volunteer engagement and strengthen the behavioral norm of service in Iowa.
“It is our hope that Iowans will embrace the ‘Call to Service’ initiative and do what Iowans do best, which is giving back to their local communities,” said 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.”
As a first step, Iowans are encouraged to take part in a local service project during the week of Sept. 10, 2012, as part of the launch of “Volunteer Iowa: A Call to Service.” A complete list of service projects can be found at www.volunteeriowa.org