“Children are great imitators, give them something great to imitate”
Recently, I began researching different options for my children and I to volunteer in Des Moines. I was amazed by the number of opportunities to get involved in supporting our community. Take a look at this giant list!
Some organizations do not have options for younger kids to volunteer. If you are really interested in helping and do not see an age, always reach out and ask! Organizations are always open to volunteers and may be able to work with you.
If you do not see a place listed on here, please comment below the name of the organization and link so we all can learn more.
A Heinz 57 commits to saving homeless companion animals, assisting other shelters/rescues through rescue transports, offering in-home training to keep dogs in their current homes, and educating the public on the issues of pet over-population, responsible pet ownership and puppy mills.
Become a Pit Stop Volunteer. Pit Stop volunteers clean them, feed them, care for them, and prepare them for their temporary foster home. Our foster volunteers take them into their homes, love them, teach them manners, crate train them, and love them some more. Sign-up to volunteer and make a difference in these furry friends lives.
This is a great way for your young reader to gain literacy skills and give them an understanding of community services. Each child that signs up will be given a shelf of the library. The child, and their parents, are then in charge to keep that shelf organized. There is a training class you must attend to learn how books are shelved in the library. Reach out to Amy Turgasen at email@example.com with questions.
Volunteering at Animal Lifeline may consist of direct animal care, doing shelter laundry and dishes, socializing with animals, help with the phones, help with fundraising events, or baking goodies. If you are interested apply by filling out a volunteer form.
There are several ways you can volunteer at the ARL. Everyone is required to take a Volunteer Orientation. During that time you will learn about the different programs that are offered and how you can help such as feeding, walking, etc. Fill out the volunteer application to get started.
The mission of CFUM is to create a community that supports the potential of children, youth, and families through educational success, healthy living, and community engagement. There many ways you can volunteer learn more and contact them today to help.
Community Youth Concepts provides volunteer service opportunities and career-based mentoring to Iowa youth. There many ways you can get involved and volunteer. Check out their website for an entire list of opportunities.
Des Moines is in need of a children’s museum! Help the Des Moines Children’s Museum grow by volunteering your time during their open hours at Valley West Mall. Bonus, you can bring your kids with! This is a great way to get your children involved. They can help with cleaning up toys.
Easterseals offers help, hope and answers to more than a million children and adults living with disabilities or special needs each year. There are several opportunities to volunteer including spending your time during an event or camp. Fill out the volunteer form to learn about all the opportunities available.
There are many ways that volunteers can immediately help the animals at Furry Friends Refuge. You can assist with animal care such as making sure cats and small critters have enough food and clean water, clean cages, sweep and wipe down surfaces and more. You can help to make sure the facility is clean and kept up or help plan events. The first step is filling out a volunteer form.
Gigi’s Playhouse is the only network of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers. Every day they provide free, life changing therapeutic, educational and career training programs. Opportunities to volunteer include during events, literacy tutors, group volunteering and more. Fill out a volunteer form.
Habitat For Humanity offers several different ways you can donate your time including construction, prepare donations at the RESTORE locations and more. Learn more about volunteer opportunities and apply.
Hope Ministries offers opportunities to volunteer individually or as a group. You can participate in the Adopt-a-Meal program, Help with Kids Nite at the Hope Center, sort through donations, stock shelves, or help with other projects. Fill out a volunteer application to get started.
Iowa Gardening for Good is a project (soon to be a non-profit entity) created by the Blackmer family that focuses on involving people in growing things of value for a good cause. There are many projects that you can volunteer for including Apple Cider Gang, Pumpkin Fundraiser, Community Garden and more. Learn more about how you can help and contact them if you are interested in volunteering.
A DMARC Food Pantry is open to eligible families and community members in Johnston and the Johnston School District. They are always looking for donations and volunteers to help. Sign-up and select the activities you are most interested during the sign-up process.
Joppa helps homeless people surviive, find housing and rebuild their lives. Each week, Joppa volunteers visit 200-225 people living on the streets. There are several ways you can volunteer at Joppa. Reach out to see how you can help.
Meals from the Heartland delivers packaged meals to malnourished people in Iowa, across the United States and around the World. There are lots of ways you can volunteer. A popular way is to attend an Open Packaging event at the West Des Moines packaging center. During this time you will package 2,000 meals in one hour! Learn more and sign-up.
Mosaic is a faith-based organization that serves more than 3,700 people with intellectual disabilities within 10 different states. Mosaic offers several opportunities to volunteer and donate your time.
Pet Project Midwest is a 100% volunteer managed and operated so we are always in need of people willing to lend a hand. Please consider sharing your knowledge, skills, talents, interests and time with us! Together we can help keep Iowa pets with the families who love them, and out of shelters.
Some ways you can help is by assisting with Saturday Pantry, being an office helper, or more. Email to receive a volunteer application.
The Ronald McDonald house makes it possible for families to stay together when children are sick and healing. They provide stability and resources for families. There are tons of ways you can help whether it be donating, providing a meal or volunteering in the many areas needed. Learn more
You can help the Salvation Army by serving breakfast to the homeless, ring bells at a Red Kettle during the holiday season, work in the food pantries or prepare breakfast casserole for the breakfast program. Sign-up and learn more about volunteering for the Salvation Army.
Urban Bicycle Food Ministry meets every week to serve those in need in the Des Moines metro. They serve food, hand out personal care items, and build relationships. Help prep food and deliver! They prep food every Thursday starting at 5:15 p.m. then ride afterwards. You can choose not to ride. Learn more by signing up to join their mailing list. Join the private FB Group.
Urbandale Community Action Network is a group that provides leadership and ongoing support in Urbandale. You can donate or get involved. If you are looking for information on adopt a family, mentoring, Whiz Kids, holiday stores, Toys for Tots, or other ways to volunteer with their kids, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Urbandale Food Pantry is a community effort to reach out to neighbors to provide food assistance. Beginning in 2016, they began serving residents throughout Polk County. You can volunteer to help behind the scenes or when the food pantry is open. Take a look at all the opportunities and sign-up.
Waukee Area Christian Services, practical care to greater Des Moines’ west side, offering food and medical assistance to those struggling to make ends meet. WACS includes a food pantry, free medical clinic, and community garden. WACS offers family and youth friendly volunteering opportunities. Learn more and sign-up.
Waukee Community Closet aims to benefit students and families in need within the Waukee Community School District and now all of Dallas County by taking in clothing and bedding donations as well as monetary donations and providing high quality clothing (pre-worn as well as new) and bedding at no charge. You can donate or volunteer.
Wildhood Hills Ranch transforms lives and strengthen communities by providing healing and hope to children and youth at risk. There many ways you can volunteer. Learn about all the opportunities and sign-up.
Looking for other ways to spread the love? Take a look at this great Random Acts of Kindness Chart I have created. Print it out, place it on your fridge and cross off each item.