Volunteer Awards

Recognizing our community’s volunteers

Volunteers are an important foundation of many nonprofit agencies and bring many skills and resources. United Way provides local organizations an opportunity to recognize their volunteers through our annual Volunteer Awards. These awards are presented at Time for Art: A Celebration of Volunteers on Friday, April 16, 2021.

Voting is now closed. Celebrate the collective work of our volunteers on April 16 as we announce the winners!

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The Process:

  • The community submits nominations in 6 categories.
  • The community casts votes to select the award finalists.
  • UWECI Young Leaders Society  steering committee members evaluates finalists and chooses a winner in each category.
  • UWECI announces the winners at our annual recognition event in April.
  • Winners in each category receive $500 to donate to a nonprofit of their choice.

Award Descriptions

All awards are judged based upon the outstanding contributions to a nonprofit organization. There are six award categories.

Civic Business Volunteer Award: Honors a philanthropic business that demonstrates sustainable and transformational volunteer efforts to create a culture of community engagement.
2021 Nominees:
– Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust
– Coe College
– New York Life Insurance

Community Family Volunteer Award: Honors a community group or family who has made volunteerism a core value and contributes significant time to help community-based programs and organizations.
2021 Nominees:
– Bridgette & Jovountae Robinson
– The DeWees Family
– Sally Clapp & Family

Emerging Volunteer Award: Honors an individual in high school, college, or young professionals under the age of 40 who have made significant volunteer contributions to improve the community.
2021 Nominees:
– Emma Speer
– Haley Stutt
– Mikal Kidder

Lifetime of  Service Volunteer Award: Honors and celebrates an individual who has shared their skills through volunteering and positively impacted the community throughout their lifetime.
2021 Nominees:
– Arlan Braun
– Sister Susan O’Connor
– Alice Tritle

Hand Raisers Volunteer Award: Honors a volunteer who demonstrates a commitment to transform the community in one of United Way’s focus areas of Education, Financial Stability, or Health.
2021 Nominees:
– Cynthia McCoy
– Everett Dean Bennett
– Judy Gard

Social Impact Volunteer Award: Honors an individual or group who, through innovative volunteer efforts, strive to address social equity and create sustainable community change.
2021 Nominees:
– Juan Igancio Llanos
– Connie Miller
– Linda Merritt

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Nomination Guidelines

  1. The nominee’s volunteer time must be in United Way of East Central Iowa’s service area (Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Jones, or Linn Counties).
  2. Nominee’s volunteer organization must be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and serve the community at large. Religious or professional groups providing services only to their members are not eligible.
  3. You may nominate only ONE outstanding volunteer or group per category. You may not enter the same volunteer or group in additional categories.
  4. The volunteer could not have received financial compensation for the volunteer service. Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, such as gasoline, is acceptable.
  5. We cannot return submitted materials, and through submission, you give permission for future use in promotions or editorials.
  6. You may submit nominations for each of the six categories. You must complete one form for each category.