Community & Volunteering

AMERICAN RED CROSS

A significant number of Iowans have reached out to the state’s chapter of the American Red Cross to volunteer in the wake of Hurricane Harvey; and with Hurricane Irma heading towards Florida the emergency assistance organization says there's certainly a need.

This week more than 70 people attended volunteer information sessions at the American Red Cross Serving Greater Iowa. Regional Communications Officer Mark Tauscheck says in a normal week only a few people reach out to the organization about volunteering.

American Red Cross

About 50 American Red Cross volunteers from Iowa are helping with the response to Hurricane Harvey. Many are working 12-hour days and will remain in Texas for the next two or three weeks.

Volunteer Michael Gee of Iowa City is a 31-year-old Navy hospital corpsman, and this is his first Red Cross deployment. Currently he's helping organize shelters in Austin for volunteers and refugees.

Today is the fifth annual Giving Tuesday. This day, which always follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday, promotes charitable donations with a heavy emphasis on social media. 

Brianne Fitzgerald of Volunteer Iowa says nonprofits can leverage the impact of Giving Tuesday by encouraging people to post the reason they donated to the organization on social media.     

WIKICOMMONS / Farragutful

An eastern Iowa town of 2,800 people is investing in its future by reviving the past.

Wilton was recently awarded a $500,000 federal grant to restore its downtown.

That's money it plans to match through tax increment financing and funds from local businesses. 

Becky Allgood of the Wilton Development Corporation says she hopes that renovating the facades of 18 downtown buildings to their original 19th century aesthetic will draw new businesses to the community. Soon, structures will display features like original brickwork and iron columns. 

Flickr / Jimmy Emerson, DVM

The state of Iowa has completed an audit of the City of Casey, after a probable arson destroyed many of the town's financial records in August last year, the night before state auditors were scheduled to visit. Auditor of State Mary Mosiman says nearly $300,000 was misspent in Casey from July 2008 to October 2014. 

Kepper66 / Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve spent any time in Iowa then you’ve heard the name ‘Amana’ thrown around. But what about ‘Icarian’?

Heroes of the Heartland are recognized for acts of heroism  or community service by the American Red Cross of Greater Iowa.  This year’s recipients include fourth-grader Josh Little who saved a classmate from choking, and Baxter Police Officer Joe Bartello, who rescued a semi-truck driver by swimming through the vehicle’s broken windshield after it crashed and submerged in flood water.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with these impressive individuals.

K.H. Sidey / Adair County Free Press

For 125 years, four generations of the Sidey family have delivered the news of Adair County.  While many small, independently owned papers perished or became parts of large conglomerates the Adair County Free Press persisted.

The Moth

The Moth Radio Hour has captured the hearts of public radio listeners, but before those “true stories told live” make it to the radio they are told on a stage somewhere in the United States. This Friday that stage is the Iowa City's Englert Theatre.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Maggie Cino, director of The Moth, and the host of Friday’s event Peter Aguero.  

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Iowa's cultural and economic shift away from the family farm created serious problems for the state.  It has also created opportunities for reinvention and creativity.

Evelyn Birkby

Iowa's fastest growing demographic is comprised of individuals over the age of 85 and according to the U.S. census, Iowa is the fifth oldest state in the nation.  Host Charity Nebbe discusses how Iowa's oldest residents can maintain a good quality of life in their 80s, 90s and beyond with gerontologist Peter Martin, whose research specializes in centenarians.

Rescue Ready

Oct 2, 2013
IPR's Pat Blank

A study by Purdue University shows the overall death rate from accidents on American farms is declining, but the number of fatalities from grain bin entrapments has been stubbornly steady. The peak was 2010 in which 51 people, mostly teenagers died. Iowa's volunteer firefighters are getting updated training and new equipment in case a rescue is needed.

Alex Laurie / Flickr

Host Charity Nebbe talks with Iowans who have participated in voluntourism, which is when volunteers travel to distant or exotic places like the beaches of Tanzania to volunteer at schools and hospitals.

Voluntourism

Aug 27, 2012
Iowa Resource for International Service / Facebook

Traveling abroad to Tanzania or Nigeria may sound exotic and exciting.  What if you got to travel to one of those far off places, got to really know some of the local people, and got to do work that will make a lasting difference… that sounds life changing.  On today's "Talk of Iowa"… Voluntourism, Iowans traveling the world to do good. 

There are more than 18,000 volunteer firefighters in the state of Iowa. Men and women who would risk their lives to save yours. On today’s Talk of Iowa, we speak with several volunteers from across the state, including service members from Pella, Evansdale, and Coralville. But first, we talk with members of the Butler family, who are featured in the documentary “Iowa’s Firefighting Family”. The documentary premieres on Iowa Public Television tonight at 7 p.m.