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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 31, 2005

UI Volunteer Link Website Connects Volunteers, Service Organizations

A new University of Iowa website will make it easier for potential volunteers to find opportunities and for local organizations to alert citizens to their needs. "Volunteer Link," http://volunteer.uiowa.edu/, provides a searchable database of area volunteer opportunities that users can sort according to organization type or specific name. Organizations in turn, can register and receive a login and password allowing them to update their opportunities continuously. This new community resource is a product of the UI's Civic Engagement Program, which worked closely with the student-run 10,000 Hours Show in its development.

Mary Mathew Wilson, coordinator of the UI Civic Engagement Program, said Volunteer Link lists a number of specific needs for volunteers, but that students and others should feel free to contact an organization even if it doesn't list current needs. "Many of these organizations have ongoing need for volunteers and will welcome calls even if they haven't posted a specific task or opportunity," she said.

The site includes mission statements, categories of service and contact data for more than 150 organizations, many of which are affiliated with the 10,000 Hours show. Those interested in earning a ticket through volunteerism should look for the 10K designation on the individual listings. Mathew Wilson called this new link between the UI and the community, "a tool to use during the Year of Public Engagement and beyond."

UI President David Skorton has declared the 2005-2006 academic year the Year of Public Engagement, during which the University community is intensifying its efforts and sharpening its focus on engagement with the public and public issues at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The UI Civic Engagement Program strengthens students' learning opportunities by linking the university's teaching, research and service mission to meeting needs in Iowa's communities through community service. The Civic Engagement Program is a collaborative initiative between the Vice President for Student Services and the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu; Program: Mary Mathew Wilson, 319-335-7589, civic-engagement@uiowa.edu