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Volunteering: The "Heart and Soul" of Iowa

Don Corrigan of Des Moines, center, is the 2016 AARP Iowa Andrus Award Winner. (AARP)
Don Corrigan of Des Moines, center, is the 2016 AARP Iowa Andrus Award Winner. (AARP)
November 21, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa — One in three Iowans volunteers, earning the state the ranking of 10th nationally for community service in a new survey.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, each year about 765,000 people in Iowa give their time to help others. Don Corrigan of Des Moines is among them, and last week he received the AARP Iowa Andrus Award for Community Service.

AARP Central States Regional volunteer director Jim Scheibel said Corrigan is an example of what can be accomplished through service.

"We create the arts, we improve the environment, we care for the ill. I mean, that's sort of the heart and soul of communities,” Scheibel said. "We measure wealth in a lot of ways, and I think that's the most important wealth to measure."

Scheibel called Corrigan the driving force behind key projects and said he was chosen because of his distinguished service and leadership in a number of organizations.


Scheibel said AARP volunteers in Iowa were very active during the election, asking candidates to take a stand on Social Security and other issues. And he said that the work will continue.

"An election is not an ending. It's really just a beginning for volunteers of AARP,” Scheibel said. "And no matter who is elected at the state or the national levels, our fight, our work is just beginning."

Besides Social Security, he said volunteers are involved with issues like caregiving, Medicare, prescription drug coverage and retirement savings.

"It's very frightening how little people in Iowa and throughout the country have for savings and for their retirement,” Scheibel said. "So, we're looking at what kind of choice we might have to have a transferable and good place that people can invest in."

Iowans donated more than 75 million hours of service in 2015, and more than half of residents donated $25 or more to a charity.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IA