RAGBRAI Volunteering in Cedar Rapids 2012

United Way took an active role in recruiting and organizing volunteers for  RAGBRAI’s stop in Cedar Rapids on July 26 and 27, 2012.

In all, 700 community members filled 900 shifts and volunteered 2,000 hours! The independent sector values those hours at $43,580!

Volunteers helped with everything from sign removal, staffing information booths to giving riders direction.

“This event was another indicator of how great this community is,” said Sue Driscoll, United Way’s volunteer manager. “We hope everyone stays involved and continues to volunteer. You can find volunteer opportunities at UnitedWayofEastCentralIowa.org/VolunteerNow.”

Related coverage from The Gazette: Volunteers get ready for RAGBRAI


Before the event, the United Way team produced the video below in an attempt to find volunteers. The video was shown on the local RAGBRAI website as well as on HooplaNow.com.

United Way also offered tips for volunteers:

Volunteer Tips:

  • Arrive 30 minutes early to check-in.  Please plan ahead
  • Some water is available at the Volunteer Check-in. No meals will be provided, so plan accordingly.
  • Do not bring valuables
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Drink lots of water
  • Wear your orange volunteer t-shirt (or red if you are volunteering for breakfast)
  • The volunteer lanyard has a map and emergency phone numbers
  • Communicate with your project lead
  • Check out with your project lead at the end of your shift (keep lanyard)
  • If you are volunteering at multiple sites you must check in at each site before starting your shift.


Hosting RAGBRAI Riders

Cedar Rapids RAGBRAI Logo 2012

Many different opportunities existed to volunteer. Here’s one example.

Duane and Kim Frett are two Marion residents who will play a very important role in RAGBRAI 2012.  The Fretts have volunteered to host a group of cyclists overnight as they pass through Cedar Rapids.  But this isn’t the Fretts’ first rodeo.  Duane and Kim also hosted a round of bikers several years ago.  “We had two groups,” said Kim, “one from Vegas and one from Iowa.”

Read more here

United Way Staff Volunteered

The United Way team volunteered, too, during the two days.
This below is a picture of the July 26, 2012, crew.

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Posted in News, United Way of East Central Iowa, Volunteering

United Way Glad to Help With RAGBRAI

United Way of East Central Iowa partnered with the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as the Cedar Rapids Economic Alliance to help with volunteer coordination for the2012 RAGBRAI event in Cedar Rapids.

Why would we get involved with an annual bicycle ride? Because volunteering is important to us and we have experience in volunteer coordination.

United Way and our community partners couldn't do it without the help of volunteers. Cedar Rapids has about 63,200 volunteers already and we know that a majority of non-profits in the area couldn't function without the help of volunteers.

We know that people who haven't volunteered before but sign up for events like this and Day of Caring, for example, are more likely to volunteer again down the road. We have a vested interest in promoting volunteering in the community to help us reach our long term goals in our impact areas of health, education and income.

The United Way resources used for the RAGBRAI volunteer project were already in place and were easy to offer to RAGBRAI organizers to help with volunteer coordination.

In the long run this effort took a minimal effort to coordinate from our end and in the long run may very well help us improve the community in line with our community goals.

- Sue Driscoll, United Way Volunteer Manager

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