Iowa HHS Promotes Volunteer Opportunities and Recognitions

Iowa HHS recognizes the incredible work being done throughout the state of Iowa by countless volunteers to improve local communities and the state.

Each year, over 57% of Iowans volunteer in some capacity to serve others. Iowa HHS offers numerous volunteer opportunities and recognition ceremonies through Volunteer Iowa and other areas of the Department to encourage all Iowans to get involved and give back.

“We are thrilled to be able to recognize the outstanding contributions of so many selfless Iowans who continue to give back to our state through their passionate volunteer efforts,” said Iowa HHS Director Kelly Garcia. “Iowa HHS provides many unique volunteer opportunities for all Iowans to get involved in their communities. Volunteering not only helps a specific cause, but also has tremendous impact on a person’s mental health and cognitive wellbeing. I hope Iowans will see the value in volunteering and commit to helping others and our community.”

Below are details on the specific recognition and volunteer opportunities:


2024 Governor’s Volunteer Awards

The annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards, which recognizes individuals and organizations for their generous volunteer efforts, is now accepting nominations through April 30, 2024 at 10:00 p.m. Categories for the awards include: individual, group, and length of service.

Since 1982, the Governor’s Volunteer Awards have recognized thousands of volunteers for their efforts to make their communities and the state better through projects in arts and culture, education, mentoring, and STEM to name a few.

Nominations are accepted online from: City, county, state and federal governments, community colleges, private colleges, universities, Iowa MENTOR certified programs, K-12 schools (public and parochial), national service programs operating in Iowa (AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Seniors), nonprofit and charitable organizations, and non-state government organizations.

To learn more, please visit


Give Back Iowa Challenge

Registration for the 10th annual Give Back Iowa Challenge, an eight-week challenge from April 1 – May 31, 2024, aimed at engaging Iowans in employer-supported volunteering efforts, is now open.

The Give Back Iowa Challenge was created in 2015 as a competitive challenge for Iowa employers to track the volunteer efforts of their employees. Last year, 24 employers participated in the challenge logging over 17,000 volunteer hours.

“It has never been more important to support the physical and mental well-being of employees than it is today,” said Jami Haberl, executive director of the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative. “Volunteering as an organization is a fantastic way to build a sense of community and connection that will foster the supportive culture workplaces should strive for.”

Volunteering not only has a significant impact on meeting community needs, but employer supported volunteering has a positive impact on business, including improved employee engagement, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and retention.

For more information and employers interested in participating in the challenge should visit


Iowa Citizens Foster Care Review Board

The Poweshiek County Foster Care Review Board is seeking volunteers to join the board, which ensures children in the foster care system receive the services they need during the process of finding a permanent home.

Each county in Iowa has a Foster Care Review Board that is part of the Iowa Citizens Foster Care Review Board program and serve as a forum where key parties involved in the child’s case hear about both the progress and the challenges being encountered. Board members then offer recommendations for ways to clear any obstacles while also ensuring the case maintains a sense of urgency.

This volunteer opportunity requires an average of 10 hours a month of reviewing specific case materials and attending the monthly board meeting.

For more information about the FCRB program, call or text Cara Galloway, Program Coordinator for the Foster Care Review Board for Southeast Iowa at 515-499-3160 or visit