Volunteer Iowa’s mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. Volunteer Iowa strives to meet our mission through helping agencies develop quality programs that use service as a strategy to fulfill their missions and address Iowa’s greatest areas of need, helping engage Iowans in their communities by promoting service and expanding the volunteer base, and connecting individuals with appropriate service opportunities by building the volunteer infrastructure. Volunteer Iowa is poised to provide support in preparedness, response, & recovery activities following man-made and natural disaster events throughout Iowa. Volunteer Iowa understands that disasters can have a catastrophic impact on individuals, families, and communities; and that to help individuals, families, and communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from these events it takes strong partnerships and established relationships to be successful. We are committed to working together with all partners, government and non-governmental, to achieve whole community engagement. The goal is to help develop effective disaster management systems at the local level to support volunteers and voluntary agencies active in disaster (VOAD) assist those that are most vulnerable to the impacts of disaster. Disasters disproportionately impact poor and marginalized communities making it harder for those who live in poverty and are low-income to recover. The VISTA will serve as a part of Volunteer Iowa's Rural Development and Opioid AmeriCorps VISTA project. VISTA members with our program have the benefit of a statewide support network of staff, Commissioners, National Service Programs, fellow AmeriCorps members and a VISTA Leader. Members receive ongoing training, support, networking and professional development opportunities.
The AmeriCorps VISTA member will: Provide support to long-term recovery groups, community partners, and local emergency management officials to develop best practices to provide volunteer coordination, support, and management services, and to provide training to best utilize volunteer management systems effectively. Assist in the development and coordination of long-term recovery groups formed post disaster to help meet the needs of individuals and families impacted by disaster. Collaborate with community organizations to help assist individuals and families affected by disaster. Assess and build policies and procedures to strengthen the IDHRC's infrastructure and membership to best support communities experiencing disaster; and Develop and implement a communications and marketing plan to ensure community partners are aware of the services provided by the IDHRC to best meet the needs of individuals and communities following disaster events; and gather disaster-related data to inform project sustainability.
Community Need Addressed
In spring of 2019, residents in 74 of the 99 counties in Iowa were affected by flooding from the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers along with statewide flash flooding. The long-term recovery for these affected communities is still ongoing but remains highly vulnerable as additional flooding is predicted for 2020. According to the 2018 United Way ALICE Report, over 450,000 Iowa households struggle to afford basic household expenses daily. Without the coordination of essential resources for these families during the time of disaster, households are highly susceptible to becoming impoverished. The goal is to help develop effective disaster management systems at the local level to support volunteers and voluntary agencies active in disaster (VOAD) assist those that are most vulnerable to the impacts of disaster. Disasters disproportionately impact poor and marginalized communities making it harder for those who live in poverty and are low-income to recover. The Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council (IDHRC) is structured to coordinate the essential resources voluntary, non-profit, faith-based and other non-governmental organizations provide during times of disaster. Without this coordination, gaps and duplication of services negatively impact these disasters affected communities. The VISTA members will serve to assist Iowa communities recovering from disasters at risk of experiencing increased poverty and homelessness, this VISTA will work within the IDHRC to build the capacity to communicate, coordinate, collaborate, and cooperate amongst its partners and members at the local, state, and federal level. This will be done by coordinating with IDHRC leadership and members with the assessment, development, and implementation of four key capacity building components: 1) structure and administrative processes, 2) training plans and audiences, 3) communication and marketing strategy, and 4) methods for collecting data and supporting communities in identifying recovery gaps.
The goal is to help develop effective disaster management systems at the local level to support volunteers and voluntary agencies active in disaster (VOAD) assist those that are most vulnerable to the impacts of disaster.
Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Relocation allowance (if applicable), Student loan forbearance, Training
Skills you will gain
Public speaking, writing, website development, community organizing, disaster management, meeting facilitation, training, and leadership skills
Competencies You Will Develop
Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Lead group discussion, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Turn taking, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Derive consensus, Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Operate tools and equipment in accordance with established operating procedures, safety standards, and ethical guidelines, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Effectively delegate tasks, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment