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Volunteer center encourages service to others

Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 3:22 p.m. CDT

LAMONI — Why volunteer?

“The Volunteer Center of Southern Iowa’s (VCSI) hopes to ignite volunteers to be part of the solution to community problems, assist organizations to provide opportunities in meaningful service, and especially promote volunteerism,” said Amanda Edsall, newly appointed director of the Volunteer Center of Southern Iowa.

“VCSI strives to boost volunteerism in the community by connecting the skills of our people, especially youth and young adults, with the needs in our area,” Edsall said.

“There is also a serious side to volunteering that few people know about – and I hope they never do,” Edsall said. “VCSI works with emergency management officials to identify and prepare volunteer coordination teams to help with any emergency response organizations when disaster strikes one of our communities.”

In addition, the center will work to help create service learning opportunities for youths by identifying and matching youth with adult mentors and community service opportunities.

“We hope young people develop a lifelong commitment to community service,” said Julie Neas, director of Youth Launch Commission. “At the same time, we expect these activities will connect them with community members to build a professional network of people for jobs or internships as they launch their careers.”

The Volunteer Center of Southern Iowa serves Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Ringgold, Union and Wayne counties in southern Iowa.

VCSI is a Graceland University Youth Launch Commission organization affiliated with the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service.

The center’s internet tool, “Volunteer Solutions,” spotlights organizations, programs and events seeking volunteers.

Organizations can list their service needs in order to find a volunteer, and individuals can sign in to find an organization. For more information about Volunteer Center of Southern Iowa, call 641-784-5381 or visit its website at: www.graceland.edu/vcsi.

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