Volunteer with Kids in Des Moines

Volunteer with Kids in Des Moines

Recently, I began researching different options for my children and me 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 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 your organization listed please contact us and we will get you added to this list.

A Heinz 57

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 overpopulation, 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.

Adopt- A- Shelf at the Altoona Library 

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. Contact the Altoona Public Library for more information.

Animal Lifeline 

Volunteering at Animal Lifeline may consist of direct animal care, doing shelter laundry and dishes, socializing with animals, helping with the phones, help with fundraising events, or baking goodies. If you are interested apply by filling out a volunteer form.

Animal Rescue League of Iowa

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.

Children and Family Urban Movement

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 are many ways you can volunteer learn more and contact them today to help.

Community Youth Concepts

Community Youth Concepts provides volunteer service opportunities and career-based mentoring to Iowa youth. There are many ways you can get involved and volunteer. Check out their website for an entire list of opportunities.

Des Moines Children’s Museum

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 you! 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.

Furry Friends 

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, sweeping and wiping 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 Des Moines

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

Habitat For Humanity offers several different ways you can donate your time including construction, preparing donations at the RESTORE locations and more. Learn more about volunteer opportunities and apply.

Hope Ministries

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 

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.

The Johnston Partnership – Food Pantry

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 in during the sign-up process.


Joppa helps homeless people survive, 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

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 in Central Iowa

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 

Pet Project Midwest is 100% volunteer managed and operated so are always in need of people willing to lend a hand. Please consider sharing your knowledge, skills, talents, interests, and time! Together you can help keep Iowa pets with the families who love them, and out of shelters.

Some ways you can help are by assisting with Saturday Pantry, being an office helper, or more. Email to receive a volunteer application.

Ronald McDonald House: Des Moines 

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

Salvation Army: Des Moines 

You can help the Salvation Army by serving breakfast to the homeless, ringing bells at a Red Kettle during the holiday season, working in the food pantries, or preparing breakfast casserole for the breakfast program. Sign-up and learn more about volunteering for the Salvation Army.

Urban Bicycle Food Ministry

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 afterward. 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 (UCAN)

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 adopting a family, mentoring, Whiz Kids, holiday stores, Toys for Tots, or other ways to volunteer with their kids, email info@urbandalenetwork.org.

Urbandale Food Pantry 

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

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

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 of Iowa

Wildhood Hills Ranch transforms lives and strengthens communities by providing healing and hope to children and youth at risk. There are 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. 


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

One thought on “Volunteer with Kids in Des Moines

  1. Avatar Theresa Keleture says:

    Is there something like Baby Buddies around here?

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