Iowa employers are mobilizing

Give Back Iowa Challenge is underway across our state

Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued a call for Iowa’s employers to participate in the fifth annual Give Back Iowa Challenge. This important philanthropic undertaking got underway on April 1 and continues through May 31. The goal of this innovative endeavor is to engage our state’s residents in employer-supported volunteering.

“Volunteering and giving back is an integral part of what it means to be an Iowan,” Reynolds said in launching this year’s Challenge.

Charitable and service projects of various types are important to the success of every community in our state. Iowa has a terrific record of both corporate philanthropy and individuals stepping forward to volunteer for worthy causes.

The Give Back Iowa Challenge builds on that already superb record. It is a friendly competition among employers to see which of them can mobilize most successfully their workers to participate in worthwhile community projects. Participating entities log the number of employees who volunteer and the number of hours they devote to this important work during the eight weeks of the challenge. Each year multiple winners are selected by determining the average number of volunteer hours per employee completed during the Challenge period. Employers compete with similar-sized entities.

According to information provided by the governor’s office, 56 employers registered to participate in the challenge in 2018. The 54,000 employees who signed up as volunteers logged 83,660 hours of service. State officials estimate that amounts to about a $1.9 million investment in Hawkeye State communities.

This Challenge is especially valuable because the lively competition between companies provides a fun way for employers to encourage members of their workforce to learn firsthand just how crucial volunteer efforts can be to the success of various projects that benefit their hometowns.

“The desire to make a difference or the spirit of personal and community responsibility is what empowers our small towns and urban areas,” Reynolds said. “Volunteerism is one of the reasons why Iowa is such a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

The Daily Freeman-Journal strongly agrees with the governor. We hope the response to this year’s Challenge will break all previous records. We are certain that it will help increase awareness of the importance of volunteer work.

We hope news of this friendly competition will motivate Iowans who may not be employees of participating companies to give serious thought to how they too can contribute to the important charitable projects that will make our communities better places to call home.

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