Volunteers sought for ever-growing needs during COVID-19
The demand for volunteers during the COVID-19 epidemic is growing exponentially, especially at the state's health-care facilities and food banks and other free food providers that are overwhelmed with requests.
Gov. Kim Reynolds is asking for health-care professionals, particularly nurses but even chaplains, to volunteer their services across the state. Health-care professionals should go to the website of Iowa Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers to input their information.
In addition, the governor is asking for volunteers at food banks and pantries since many older Iowans who normally help are now staying home due to the risk. This would be a great opportunity for students to earn hours toward a silver cord honor, so long as they incorporate social distancing guidelines and other safety measures. In addition, FFA chapters throughout the state are taking up the challenge to volunteer.
"Every day Iowans can lend a hand – health-care facilities, food banks, pantries, emergency meal sites need volunteers," she said. "Nearly 40 percent of the volunteer force that keeps food banks operating is made up of older adults who are at most risk and need to stay home."
To learn more about volunteer opportunities and how individuals and organizations can help out at food banks and pantries across Iowa, go to https://volunteeriowa.org/, click on "COVID-19 Food Distribution Opportunities" and search by zip code. Local food pantries can be found through the Iowa Food Bank Association website, www.iowafba.org.
In addition, the Iowa Commission for Volunteer Service has also compiled dozens of other projects to help the state mitigate the coronavirus outbreak. Projects are varied and require different skill sets, such as sewing to create face masks.