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SHARE Iowa Honors "Do Gooders of the Year" in Western Iowa


Do Good Days was April 19 – April 22nd.  During Do Good Days, SHARE Iowa and SHARE Omaha encouraged community members and nonprofit organizations to honor what doing good means to them.

Falling on National Volunteer Week, a major focus for Do Good Days this year was volunteerism.  SHARE Iowa, an initiative of the Community Foundation for Western Iowa, hosted two educational opportunities for nonprofit organizations to engage and steward volunteers as well as develop board engagement. 

To honor volunteers in our community, the Community Foundation also created the “Do Gooder of the Year” award.  All nonprofit organizations participating on the SHARE Iowa platform were encouraged to nominate their volunteers or “Do Gooders” of the year.  New Visions Homeless Services nominated a group of volunteers who have been serving in their kitchen for ten years. Winners of the inaugural “Do Gooder of the Year Award” are Rick and Deb Blodgett, Jay and Denise Handrock, Hazel Hughes, and Beth Miller.

According to the nomination, the volunteers began as part of a church group, and they have since gone different directions with church, but have continued their commitment to serving the evening meal every Tuesday night at New Visions.

Brandy Wallar, CEO of New Visions states “You know, I started here as a 20-something year old girl who was ready to change the world, but I have had the honor of standing back and witnessing this group actually change it.” Wallar continues “Since we have been in the building we are in now, we have had over 15,000 men come through our doors and stay at our shelter. We do not have 15,000 men here now experiencing homelessness because they had somebody who gave them a meal, somebody who looked at them as a person and not a problem, and we are grateful to our volunteers for doing that.”

SHARE Iowa is a dynamic online resource for our nonprofit partners that helps them to better reach and engage with people who want to have an impact into their community by donating dollars, shopping from nonprofit wish lists, attending events, or discovering volunteer opportunities.  Donna Dostal, CEO of the Community Foundation for Western Iowa, states “The acts of kindness that Rick, Deb, Jay, Denise, Hazel, and Beth demonstrate every time they volunteer at New Visions create waves of positive impact beyond the walls of the center. These folks are changing lives. Their selfless actions truly illustrate to all of us what philanthropy really means…a sincere and generous love for humanity. Honoring their volunteerism and selflessness is a tiny way that we can say ‘thank you’ for the impact they are making on the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

Check out to learn more and support nonprofit organizations making an impact in western Iowa.