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DES MOINES. Iowa — EveryStep Grief and Loss Services, Home of Amanda the Panda, was recently recognized as a certified Service Enterprise Initiative organization. A Service Enterprise organizations fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills across all levels of the organization to successfully deliver on its social mission. Less than 15 percent of organizations nationwide can be characterized as Service Enterprises.

“Volunteers are at the core of EveryStep and our mission to serve the community,” Tray Wade, EveryStep president and CEO, said. “The opportunities provided through SEI to learn more about volunteer management and best practices will be a valuable addition to our organization as we continue to focus on engaging and increasing the impact of our volunteers.”

Staff, board members, and volunteers must participate in research-based assessment, training, and consulting. This process allows the organization to leverage the skills and expertise of volunteers at all levels. The designation, which is awarded by Points of Light, strengthens the capacity of nonprofits to leverage the skill sets and talents of volunteers to address community needs.

The initiative is currently delivered through Volunteer Iowa, part of a national network of Service Enterprise Hubs, which has certified more than 400 organizations across the country since 2012. EveryStep Grief and Loss Services, Home of Amanda the Panda, joins over 40 organizations across Iowa that have received the Service Enterprise certification.

To learn more about Service Enterprise visit Organizations and agencies that are interested in becoming a Service Enterprise can contact Michelle Raymer, Volunteer Iowa Program Officer, or 515-348-6235.


About EveryStep Grief and Loss Services

EveryStep Grief & Loss Services provides compassion and support to thousands of grieving Iowans each year. Though a number of programs, including Amanda the Panda, EveryStep helps children, teens and adults grieve after the death of a loved using innovative, age-appropriate services that provide hope and healing. Through generous community donations and the assistance of hundreds of volunteers, year-long support including Amanda the Panda Grief & Loss Camp, age-specific support groups, social events and community outreach, is offered at no cost to participants. Amanda the Panda was founded in 1980 and in 2014 became a program of EveryStep, a non-profit healthcare and human services organization.

About Volunteer Iowa

Volunteer Iowa and its partner agencies work with organizations and individuals on three main fronts. The first is to help agencies develop quality programs that use service as a strategy to fulfill their missions and address Iowa’s greatest areas of need. The second is to help engage Iowans in their communities by promoting service and expanding the volunteer base. Finally, the third area of work is to connect individuals with appropriate service opportunities by building the volunteer infrastructure. More information is available at

About Points of Light

Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year – we put people at the center of change. For more information, go to