John Lawrence’s email message from April 27, 2020
Today, Gov. Reynolds announced that the State Public Health Emergency Declaration would continue until May 27, 2020. The Governor’s proclamation loosens social distancing measures in 77 Iowa counties effective Friday, May 1 and continues other restrictions until 11:50 p.m. on Friday, May 15, 2020. We will be reviewing the proclamation and determining what it means for ISU Extension and Outreach.
One thing the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop is the need for volunteers in Iowa communities. 4-H members, families and friends are making masks. Master Gardeners are planting donation gardens. County offices are helping connect volunteers to local food pantries. As they volunteer their time to help others in whatever way they can, Iowans are stepping up to the challenge.
People volunteer when they feel attached to and supported by their community. This is one of the key findings reported in “Volunteering in Iowa Small Towns: Fostering participation in local projects.” David Peters, extension rural sociologist, reviewed data from the 91 communities in the 2014 Iowa Small Towns Project and from other sources. He says a community that has a comprehensive volunteering plan, which identifies and addresses barriers to participation, has a better chance of getting more people involved in local projects. Did you know?
- The top cited reasons people had for not volunteering were that no one asked them to volunteer, they didn’t have time to participate, they thought volunteers weren’t needed, and they weren’t interested in getting involved.
- People are more likely to volunteer when they feel confident about their community’s future and when there are strong community expectations that everyone needs to volunteer.
- Volunteering is not driven by population size, wealth and local economic conditions. Instead, what matters more are positive community social interactions and quality of life.
- Small towns have the power to create a volunteering culture by investing in the social infrastructure of their community.
- Extension IT has released the new Extension Staff Directory. It replaces the previous directory and the URL remains the same, https://www.extension.iastate.edu/staffdir/. The new directory pulls in information from Workday and ADIN, and if your staff photo is in SmugMug, it is included in your profile. It’s possible to edit some of the information in your profile. Learn more about the new directory and what you can and can’t change on the Extension Staff Directory page in MyExtension.
- The County Benefits Conversation with Councils archive recording from April 18 is available on the University Human Resources website.
- Jane Walter, with University Human Resources, will host an ISU-Paid Employee Retirement session on Wednesday, May 6 at 3 p.m. To participate, go to https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/benefits. The session will be recorded.
- Advancement will offer a webinar for all staff at 10 a.m., May 1 on Did You Know? Tips to Improve Your Virtual Meetings. The link for the webinar is https://iastate.zoom.us/j/94890021945.
- Congratulations to Donna Donald and Barb Wollan, Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, who received 2019 Professional and Scientific Council CYtation Awards. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the annual CYtation Awards breakfast ceremony, originally scheduled for this spring, has been postponed until September.
- Help shower Terry Maloy with retirement cards. Terry is retiring as Iowa Extension Council Association executive director effective April 30. Show your appreciation and celebrate Terry’s work by sending a card to Terry Maloy, Monroe County Extension Office, 219 B Ave. W, Albia, IA 52531.
- The North Central Cooperative Extension Association is offering three online speed meetings about mental/behavioral health (April 30), entrepreneurship (May 1), and rural community development (May 6). All speed meetings begin at 12 noon Central time. For more information and to pre-register for each session visit the NCCEA speed meeting series webpage.
— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach