Adam Lounsbury, executive director of Volunteer Iowa, says the agency’s website has a red-colored area right at the top that’s devoted to COVID-19 volunteer opportunities.
“We’re really prioritizing some of the high need areas that are out there,” Lounsbury says, “from volunteering at food banks to delivering meals to medical transportation.”
Volunteer Iowa’s COVID-19 Response Initiative aims to connect healthy Iowans with urgent volunteer needs in their communities, and to serve as a portal for hosts of organizations to post where they need a hand.
“The big issue right now that we’re having is 38% of our normal volunteers in some of these critical areas are older Iowans and so they’re now, in fact, vulnerable,” Lounsbury says. “We have to really reach out and encourage others to step in and fill that void that’s being left.”
Some people may be uncomfortable being around others right now, and for those folks, Lounsbury says there an entire section just for virtual volunteering.
“Anything from helping design a website to putting your skills to use working on projects that might be needed at home,” Lounsbury says. “We’re also working on different opportunities, things like phone contact tracing and things like that which might be possibilities down the road.”
There are thousands of opportunities for Iowans to donate their time and experience, he says, and many organizations are clamoring for help.
“The need for volunteers is at an all-time high,” Lounsbury says. “Food banks are reporting sometimes two to three times as much need and food demand, so that’s packaging, delivering meals, all of those types of things — and that takes people.”
To find ways you can help, log on to volunteeriowa.org.