Volunteer Iowa has announced the winners of the seventh annual Give Back Iowa Challenge, a campaign in which businesses encourage their employees to volunteer and log their hours as part of a statewide competition. This year the challenge ran from April 1 through May 30 across the state. Employees who participated in the 2021 challenge logged nearly 17,000 volunteer hours over the two-month period. Studies show that employer-supported volunteering benefits the bottom line through improved employee engagement, organizational commitment, job satisfaction and retention. Participating employers were divided into two categories based on the number of employees. Winners were selected by the highest average number of volunteer hours per employee. The 2021 small employer winner is United Way of East Central Iowa, Cedar Rapids; honorable mention went to Reiman Gardens, Ames. The large employer winner is Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, Riverside; honorable mention went to Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Des Moines. “Iowans have always and will continue to step up and serve their communities in times of need, as this challenge demonstrates year after year,” said Adam Lounsbury, executive director of Volunteer Iowa. For resources on employer-supported volunteering or to find volunteer opportunities, visit volunteeriowa.org.