KEOKUK – For more than 45 years, Dev Kiedaisch has devoted her time and talents to causes such as education, literacy, poverty, and equal rights/equal pay for women and minorities. She is one to act, coordinate, and implement programs that make a difference. Her vision for increasing volunteerism in the community will impact programming for years to come.
After attending a workshop in Des Moines in 2011 about the importance of promoting volunteerism in your community, Dev dreamed of establishing a volunteer center in Keokuk that would connect people with opportunities to serve. She was instrumental in bringing together a group of individuals to develop a permanent and sustainable volunteer center.
Dev assisted with the process of formalizing a partnership with United Way and helped write the first Volunteer Generation Fund grant to hire staff. She served as chair of the Volunteer Center Advisory Committee that developed the volunteer program mission and policies. To date, the United Way has received nearly $170,000 in Volunteer Generation Fund grants; her initial involvement to help secure this grant has had a lasting impact on expanding volunteer opportunities in the community.
Over the years, Dev has been involved in establishing and growing countless volunteer programs, as well as supporting the nonprofits which manage them. A small sampling: developing the framework for the Literacy pilot project, which is now a permanent program of the United Way; helping organize KARE – Keokuk Association for Rights and Equality; starting programs to encourage high school and middle school students to volunteer, as well as getting local businesses involved in Keokuk schools.
She often works tirelessly behind the scenes without recognition; devoting her time to causes that are important to her. She has always been a volunteer and a recruiter of volunteers and lives life by her motto, “service above self”, and mission to improve the quality of life in Keokuk for all.