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. We accept nominations annually beginning in November.

Nominate someone now!

Award Descriptions

All awards are judged based upon the outstanding contributions to a nonprofit organization.

Emerging Volunteer Award: Honors individuals in high school, college, or young professionals under the age of 40 who have made significant volunteer contributions to improve the community.

Lifetime of Volunteer Service Award: Recognizes and celebrates an individual who has shared their skills through volunteering and positively impacted the community throughout their lifetime.

Community Family Volunteer Award: Honors a “family,” however you define it, that has made volunteerism a core value and contributes significant time to help community-based organizations.

Civic Business Volunteer Award: Honors a community-minded business that demonstrates sustainable and transformational volunteer efforts to create a culture of community engagement.

Visionary Partnership Volunteerism Award: Honors a bold and innovative individual or group who—through collaborative volunteer efforts—is a visionary in creating solutions to meet the needs of the community.

Hand Raisers Volunteer Award: Honors a volunteer who shows commitment to helping impact a program in one of United Way’s focus areas of Education, Financial Stability, or Health.

Nominations for 2019 will be announced in winter of 2018. After the community submits nominations, United Way’s William B. Quarton Society and Young Leaders Society choose three finalists in each category. The community then votes for the winning volunteers. Winners in each category receive $500 to donate to a nonprofit of their choice. We announce winners at our annual recognition event in April.

2018 Outstanding Volunteer Awards

  • Elizabeth “Beth” Uthoff, Various Nonprofits 
  • Karly Gaul, Tanager Place
  • Lauren Winchester, Catherine McAuley Center

  • Sonya LaGrange, Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity  
  • Kristy Staker, Bridgehaven and Freedom Festival
  • Sean McBrien, Willis Dady Homeless Services

  • Sandy Steckler, Cedar Rapids Public Library 
  • Milinda Fraley, YPN
  • Jim Archambeau, Cedar Rapids Curling Club and others

  • Cindy Sale, Gems of Hope 
  • Bob Ocken, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids
  • Adrienne Walls, VFW Post 788
  • Thompson & Co. Tanager Place
  • Wells Fargo Bank, Various Nonprofits
  • Clipper Windpower, Aging Services

  • American Cancer Society Road to Recovery, American Cancer Society 
  • Barb Fearn & Pam Caster, Cedar Rapids Public Library
  • Mount Mercy University Enactus, Mount Mercy University and others

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.