Volunteer fair helps connect Dubuque organizations with people - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Volunteer fair helps connect Dubuque organizations with people

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

This week, Gov. Terry Branstad is encouraging all Iowans to take part in a local service project. It's part of a new initiative announced on Monday called Volunteer Iowa: A Call to Service.

Daniel Flucke and his wife are new to Dubuque and looking to get plugged into the community.

"It's a little difficult to find somewhere to volunteer, not knowing, like, who needs volunteers, who's looking, what you can do that matches with what skills you have," Flucke said.

That's why the couple came to the volunteer fair at St. Mark Community Center in downtown Dubuque Wednesday afternoon. 24 non-profit organizations showed up, seeking those vital volunteers.

Judy Kenniker sat at the table for a non-profit organization called Opening Doors. She's a volunteer who works as the organization's volunteer coordinator.

"Most non-profit organizations could not exist without volunteers because we couldn't afford to pay for the services they help provide for us," Kenniker said.

This volunteer fair came in the same week as the governor's announcement about the new Volunteer Iowa: A Call to Service initiative. Branstad wants Iowa first in the nation for service and volunteerism by 2015.

Resources such as this fair and the city's new Volunteer Dubuque! website can help people find ways to give back, city volunteer coordinator Trisha Federspiel said.

"You can search volunteer opportunities based on your skills or what time you have or one time or long term volunteer opportunities, or as an agency you can post volunteer opportunities in the area," she said.

Some people say the hunt for an opportunity can be difficult.

"I think a lot of Dubuque residents want to volunteer, they just don't know where to go, so this is just kind of a one stop shop for that," Federspiel said.

For folks who are new to Dubuque, such as volunteer fair visitor Tamra Binder, volunteering has its perks.

"Some of my best friends have been met through volunteering because you share the same passions," Binder said.

St. Mark Community Center is continuing its volunteer fair on Thursday, from 4 to 6 p.m. It's at 1201 Locust Street.

People can check out available volunteering opportunities in the Dubuque area either HERE or HERE.

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