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Have you decided on a New Year's resolution yet? Regardless of if you have or not, you should choose a New Year's resolution that makes a difference in your life and the lives of others. Choose to share your time and talents in 2022 to make it a better year for yourself and our community.

Volunteering benefits those who volunteer, the clients who are served, and builds a sense of community. Research shows that volunteering can improve your confidence, reduce stress, help you gain new skills, provide a sense of purpose, and connect with others. If you choose to volunteer with friends or family, you can strengthen bonds and create a culture of caring for and helping others.

Many nonprofits rely on volunteers to help them deliver their mission. Due to the pandemic, many non-profits have evolved the way they engage volunteers, which has created additional opportunities for people to serve remotely or virtually. We continue to see an increased need for volunteers to help our community recover from the derecho and continue responding to the ever-changing pandemic. As we move into a new year, our communities need our help now more than ever.

This year, United Way of East Central Iowa expanded their rural outreach efforts to connect Benton County residents with local non-profits to create mutually beneficial relationships. Through the Benton County Volunteer Center, you can make a local impact that will improve the lives of our neighbors, towns, and communities for future generations. Nonprofits in our community are counting on individuals like you to make 2022 a great year and help create a more sustainable Eastern Iowa.

Make supporting our community your resolution for 2022. Reflect on causes that you are passionate about, consider how and when you may be able to volunteer, and visit uweci.org/volunteernow to find opportunities near you. If you're looking for more ways to maximize your impact through volunteering, contact Katherine Hines at 319.398.5372 x844 or Katherine.Hines@uweci.org.

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