National Volunteer Week Salutes Volunteers in Black Hawk County

Each year, thousands of volunteers in Iowa donate their time and energy to make their communities a better place to live. These volunteers are among the millions across the country who are being spotlighted during National Volunteer Week, April 7-13, 2019.

Research conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that 30.3% of adult Americans volunteered 6.9 billion hours of service worth $167 billion in 2018. In Iowa, more than 1 million volunteers contributed 56 million hours of service. Forty-one percent (41%) of Iowans volunteer, ranking Iowa 4th among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

One Iowa group that relies heavily on volunteers is Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Black Hawk County. As a Service Enterprise Certified organization, Black Hawk County Extension embraces volunteers as an integral part of delivering their mission and programming in the community. One of these important areas is the 4-H Youth Development Program. In 2017-2018 nearly 7,000 adults volunteered in some capacity with 4-H in the state of Iowa. In Black Hawk County, over 300 volunteers serve in many roles including club leaders, project leaders, event support and committee members for the 4-H Youth Development Program. 4-H volunteers serve as caring adults who help young people develop communication, citizenship, and leadership skills through 4-H projects and community service learning opportunities. Volunteers create safe environments for youth to learn, thrive, and grow in their communities.

Black Hawk County Extension also values their Master Gardeners who work to promote and support horticultural projects in the community through educational sessions and hands-on activities. Across the state, Master Gardeners provided over 113,000 hours of volunteer service in 2018. In Black Hawk County, Master Gardeners contributed over 6,000 hours!

“Our volunteers are dedicated and talented individuals that expand the reach of Extension programming and enhance the vitality of our community through their generous donation of time and expertise,” said Abby Rippe, Volunteer Coordinator for Black Hawk County Extension.

Every day, Black Hawk County Extension volunteers make an impact! They are a valuable and treasured resource. Those interested in joining the team of Extension volunteers are invited to contact the Black Hawk County Extension Office at 234-6811 or email Abby Rippe, Volunteer Coordinator, at

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