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The Week in Social 8/24-8/28

Everywhere you look, Iowans are uniting like never before. While times may be tough right now, we’re seeing it won’t stop the great people in the state from supporting one another. Many have taken to social media to help those in their communities, share helpful resources or to simply highlight something positive to bring joy to others. The Week in Social will round up the best of #IowansUnite and share these uplifting stories.

If you didn’t realize it by the flood of dog pictures on social media feeds, last Wednesday marked National Dog Day. Dogs brighten most people’s day, but their presence can be even more meaningful to hospital patients. Just ask those receiving care at University of Iowa (UI) Healthcare.

At UI Hospitals & Clinics and UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, patients are offered a Furry Friends program. Research shows relationships with animals have a positive influence on health, including lower blood pressure, reduced stress, decreased loneliness and enhanced feelings of well-being. The Furry Friends program allows patients to experience the joy of a visiting pet, either their own dog or a dog certified for hospital visits.

Iowa businesses and nonprofits that have faced hardship paying their utility bills for services provided during the months of disrupted business due to COVID-19 can receive assistance from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). Through the Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Program, businesses and nonprofits can apply for short-term relief up to $7,500. The eligibility criteria has recently been expanded and updated details can be found here.

Healthiest State Initiative hosts an Annual Walk that provides an opportunity for your household, school, workplace, community or organization to join thousands of other Iowans statewide in walking for 30 minutes on the first Wednesday of October.

Although this year looks different, Iowans are still committed to healthy communities. Walking is one of the best ways to stay active and can even allow for some (socially distant) interaction. For example, the Montrose Health Center is hosting a Walk & Wave where their residents will be stationed at windows to wave and smile back at participants.

The Iowa Outdoor Expo is going virtual and expanding the opportunity to learn about the outdoors throughout September. In a traditional year, the Outdoor Expo would feature “villages,” fun and informative stations that teach about archery, bow fishing, camping, canoeing, outdoor cooking, wild animals and more. This year, the villages are online, and each offers self-guided activities, how-to videos and opportunities to participate in-person all over the state.

“We will also be offering several free virtual workshops all month long,” said Megan Wisecup, hunter education administrator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Be sure to sign your family up. You may discover a new skill or activity that you will end up enjoying for a lifetime.”

Go to starting September 1 to learn more about resources to expand your skills and knowledge in Iowa’s great outdoors.

Published August 31, 2020

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