National Volunteer Week: Meet EveryStep Volunteer Jessica Burrell

April 17 to 23 is National Volunteer Week. At EveryStep, hundreds of volunteers play an important role in the organization's ability to live out its mission. Simply put, without our dedicated volunteers, EveryStep would not be able to provide care and support to thousands of patients, clients, families and our own staff every year.

Jessica Burrell has been a volunteer with EveryStep Grief & Loss Services’ Amanda the Panda program for almost a year. “I wanted to start volunteering with EveryStep because of the great reputation they have in the community and I wanted to be a part of a great organization,” says Jessica. “A year ago, I wasn't in the best place mentally, so I was looking for an opportunity to give back to others as a way to cope, quite honestly.”

As a grief group facilitator, Jessica has worked primarily with youth. “The first group I helped co-facilitate with Archie (another volunteer) holds a lot of special memories and nostalgia for me. I just remember being so nervous and how that quickly faded as the weeks went by because our group of youth was so small and close knit. I remember one week we had a meditation exercise and I found that to be therapeutic for the youth, but also for myself; I really enjoyed that activity.”

When she’s not volunteering, Jessica loves to read (she’s already on her sixth book of the year), listen to music, work out and watch The Office. She’ll be attending the University of Iowa in the fall to obtain her master’s degree in social work.

Jessica says she’s been impressed with the support she gets as an EveryStep volunteer. “Everyone that I have worked with at EveryStep is so kind and welcoming! Megan, Chelsey, Amanda, Claire and the other volunteers I have engaged with are great! Everyone is so supportive.

“I feel grateful and fortunate to be able to volunteer with EveryStep,” says Jessica. “I have the best opportunity to give back to my community. It just feels really good to be of service to others!”

EveryStep has a variety of volunteer needs across Iowa. If you are interested in volunteering with EveryStep, visit

If you or someone you know is struggling to find the support they need, please contact EveryStep at 515-558-9946 or complete the commitment-free, confidential “Find Care” form on EveryStep’s website at EveryStep staff will follow up with a phone call to answer your questions and provide assistance.