Vounteerism strong in Cedar Valley - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Vounteerism strong in Cedar Valley

WATERLOO (KWWL) - In the last year and a half, many eastern Iowans have given their time to help with disasters.  You may think that would lead to volunteer fatigue but those who work with volunteers on a daily basis say they seem more energized.

Jean Butler volunteers once a month at the Salvation Army.  Friday, she served chili as part of the lunchtime meal.  She says it's a small gesture to help those in need.

"I want to give back because I know what hard times are and I want to help people who are experiencing bad times right now. I'm not in hard times right now but I've been there in the past and i can empathize with that," said Butler.

Butler is 1 of 8-10 volunteers that usually help the salvation army provide lunch or food.  The organization says it's critical to their operation.

"You don't need any experience. Just need to come down and put on a hair net and an apron and we'll show them what to do. It's definitely an easy job and very worthwhile," said Salvation Army volunteer coordinator Deanna Davis.

Volunteer coordinators say the National Day of Service may encourage younger people to give their time.

"As students hear some of those calls for service at a national level, they do want to get involved a little bit more. You see an increase locally when people are doing a local initiative, see the numbers rise on both occasions," said Volunteer Center of the Cedar Valley Executive Director Lauren Pelleymounter.

Meantime, Jean Butler says those who give get something themselves.

"There's a real sense of accomplishment of doing something and you meet a lot of real nice people who come down here and volunteer and also who come to eat," said Butler.

While there's a daily need at the Salvation Army for volunteers, there's a massive call for volunteers next month.  It's part of make a difference day on Oct. 24.  People are encouraged to sign up to do service projects in their area.

For more information, click here.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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