Pre-Approved Activities

Questions about the Silver Cord program?
Take a few minutes to review the Silver Cord Student Manual

Pre-Approved Activities

The organizations-opportunities listed below are currently seeking volunteers. All of the organizations-opportunities listed below are pre-approved activities and can be found in the drop down box when submitting your hours for credit. you DO NOT have to submit an individual pre-approval form for these items.

WDMCS District Volunteer Opportunities

Hillside Elementary-LEGO Club

Hillside Elementary is looking for volunteers to assist the adult leader during Hillside’s newly formed LEGO club. The club meets on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30p-4:30p March 29 through May 24. Student assistants will be needed each week and the ideal volunteers should be willing to commit weekly through the end of the school year. If you can’t make it each week we can still use help whenever you are available. To volunteer please contact Tully Jackson at

Valley-State Vocal Solo/Ensemble Contest

Volunteers are needed to help with timekeeping during the state vocal solo/ensemble contest scheduled for Saturday, April 8th from 7:30a-4:20p. There are two shifts and volunteers can sign up to help using the link  This event will take place at Valley High School. Questions? Haley Gibbons at

Valley High School-Car Show Fundraiser

The Valley High School Engineering and Technology Department is making plans for the VHS Car Show and Fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, May 13 from 8:00a to 2:00p.  Duties include helping with registration, information, and event set-up and teardown.  To volunteer please stop by the Automotive Lab room 1708, or students can sign up at There is also a need for volunteers to help from now until the day of the event.  For additional information please contact Timm Grimm at

Math Buddies-VHS Honors Class

Math Buddies will be an after-school math tutor service for struggling 5th graders at both Jordan Creek and Westridge Schools. Math Buddies will meet once a week at each school.  Interested volunteers must enjoy working with children and be available tutor on a regular basis and attend monthly planning meetings.  To be considered for this volunteer opportunity please contact Christopher Jun at

Western Hills Carnival

Come have fun at the Western Hills Carnival and get some Silver Cord hours! The Carnival is scheduled for the weekend of April 7th and 8th. Friday from 5:00p-7:00p volunteers will be setting up and Saturday from 4:45p-8:00p volunteers will be helping with games, food, and more!  It’s a fun-filled evening and it supports a great cause! For more info or to sign up use the following link  Questions? Contact Marcie Stouse at

 Crestview School of Inquiry-After school Makerspace program

Crestview needs 1-2 volunteers that are interested in working with 2nd – 5th graders during the after school Makerspace program. Makerspace meets weekly on Wednesday’s from 2:15p-3:30p  In addition the Makerspace program recently received a 3D MakerBot Printer and volunteers interested in 3D printing are needed to help get the printer setup and assist students who want to use it. Volunteers should be at least 15 years old.  To volunteer contact Ann Reynolds at

 Hillside-Girls Club

Hillside’s Girls Club is looking for enthusiastic high school girls to volunteer and help at meetings. We meet every Tuesday in Hillside’s art room from 4-5:30.

Members of Girls Club are in 6th grade and as a volunteer, you will help plan meetings and lead activities and small group discussions. We’re looking for responsible volunteers who will act as good role models and enthusiastically participate in meetings. This is a great hands-on opportunity for YOU to positively influence our members and make a difference in their lives!

The mission of Girls Club is to help increase the girls’ self esteem, encourage them to pursue goals and inspire them to become self-confident and reach their full potential in the community.

If you are interested, please contact Mrs. Brandsgard at or 515-229-7953. Volunteers will need to arrive at Hillside for meetings around 3:50 and stay until 6:00. You will earn up to 2.5 hours of silver cord hours for each meeting and there are other opportunities to earn more hours.

Hillside- Basketball Club

Hillside School needs volunteers to help with its afterschool basketball program for 4th, 5th and 6th grade students. We’ll meet on Mondays in the school gym from 4:00 to 5:30. We need male volunteers to help with the boys on January 16 through February 6. Then we’ll need females to help with the girls on February 13  through March 6.

Volunteers need to have a good understanding of basketball basics in order to teach our students. Contact Mrs. Rose Brandsgard if you have questions or are interested in volunteering. She can be reached at or 515-229-7953.

 Clive Learning Academy-PTO Meeting Childcare

Clive Learning Academy holds monthly Parent Teacher Organization Meetings in the School Media Center. Parents attending this meeting will often bring their elementary aged children to the meeting. We are looking for 2 Silver Cord individuals to join us in the Media Center to watch over the children during the PTO meeting. This will be a monthly opportunity on the following dates:

October 18, November 15, January 17, February 21, April 18, May 16. The Parent Teacher Meeting is a monthly meeting from 6:00 pm to approximately 7:00 pm. The shift will start at 5:50 pm. The shift will end at approximately 7:30 pm, however could end before 7:30 pm. To volunteer please contact Janel Gustafson at

WDMCS Orchestra-Western Hills, Stilwell, Indian Hills

The WDMCS orchestra program is seeking volunteers willing to work with younger students in the district. Volunteers will be working with elementary orchestra students in sectionals and lessons, or, for those who don’t play instruments, volunteers can help with setting up for rehearsals, organizing music, and other teachers’ assistant type work.

Schools needing help: Western Hills, Stilwell, Indian Hills

Students who are interested can email Guowei Qi with available hours at

VHS- Booster Club-Concession Stand

Every year hundreds of volunteers are needed to run the various concession stands at Valley and VSW sporting events.  Each time the concession stands are open a sports team is responsible for providing volunteers.  To help fill the gaps Silver Cord students can also volunteer in the concession stands as long as the event/shift is not assigned to their team.  The shifts are two hours long, it’s an easy way to work on the (one of three organization) requirement, and it’s fun to be a part of the action!  To sign-up use the volunteer sign-up page and look for the SILVER CORD specific openings.  Booster Volunteer page:

For more information contact Lori Breiholz at

Children’s Cancer Connection Blankets

The Children’s Cancer Connection is collecting blankets to send with kids to camp. Handmade polar fleece tie blankets for both boys and girls ages 5-18 are needed. Please put the blankets in a bag and drop off at the Valley Counseling center or the VSW main office. Make sure to include a note with name, grade, and date. Two hours of Silver Cord Credit can be earned by purchasing the fleece, making the blanket and turning it in to Mrs. Bonus at VSW or her office in the VHS Counseling Office.  Students can make one blanket a month.  PLEASE note: in order to get credit you must remember to cut off the salvage of the fleece as well as make sure you knot the strips (not just tie them once). To learn how to make a blanket please review the attached directions.


Metro Area Volunteer Opportunities

Japan America Society of Iowa-Spring Yard Sale

Japan America Society of Iowa is a non-profit organization that provides community outreach events to demonstrate Taiko (Japanese traditional drum), Calligraphy, Tea ceremony, Kimono (Japanese traditional costume) and other Japanese cultural activities at local schools and other Iowa community organizations or companies. On Sunday, April 2nd they are having a Spring Yard Sale to raise general operational funds. Volunteers are needed to help organize donated items, price them for sale, and must commit to a minimum of two hours during the 8:00a-5:00p event. To volunteer please e-mail and communicate what hours you are available to help. This event will be held at Westridge Elementary in West Des Moines. Questions?  Call Chie Schiller at (515) 777-4457

Urbandale Community Action Network- Kids Activities Coordinators

Volunteers are needed to help with children’s activities during conversational English classes taking place at Karen Acres School in Urbandale. The ELL classes meet on Tuesdays, March 28- May 9 from 9:00p-7:45p. Volunteers will help facilitate in activities for children ages 3-13 while their parents participate in ELL classes. To volunteer please sign-up through the link. Questions? Contact Laura Holms at

WDM Fire Fighters Association Easter Egg Hunt

Volunteers are needed at the WDM Fire Fighters Association  annual egg hunt.  This event will take place Saturday, April 15 at the DMACC West Campus and volunteers are needed from 9:00a-12:00p.  Duties include getting things ready for the egg hunt, face painting, helping children with the hunt, and cleaning up when it’s over. To volunteer please contact Ciel Friess at The DMACC West Campus is located at 5959 Grand Avenue, WDM.

Iowa Senior Games 2017

The Iowa Senior Games needs LOTS of volunteers June 2-June 25 with most events taking place in West Des Moines at various WDM schools. There are a variety of opportunities and none of them require experience or knowledge in a particular event. Volunteer opportunities include golf, shuffleboard, pickle ball, disc golf, and volleyball, refreshments and registration. For a full list of volunteer opportunities click the link.  To volunteer please visit the Senior Games volunteer page at   For additional information contact Matt Beatty, Iowa Senior Games Director at 888-777-8881 or at

American Lung Association-Fight for Air Climb

The 2017 American Lung Association- Fight For Air Climb scheduled for Sunday, April 9th will have 1,500 climbers who will walk or run up the stairs of four prominent buildings in downtown Des Moines to benefit the millions of individuals who are struggling with lung disease.  Volunteers are needed to help with the following positions: Gear check, registration, line monitors, guides, stairwell cheerleaders and after party celebration. Volunteer assignments will be made one week before the event.

The tentative schedule is: 6:15-6:30 AM, arrive and check in at the Wellmark YMCA, 501 Grand Ave., Des Moines. after check in a continental breakfast will be served and volunteer t-shirts/nametags will be handed out. At 6:45 AM, there will be an overall volunteer briefing at the Wellmark YMCA. At 7:00 AM, you will be escorted to your volunteer position. FREE parking is available in the city garage located at on 5th Ave and Keo Way (enter on 5th Ave)7th and Grand. Street parking is also available. You may enter the through Wellmark YMCA on the skywalk or street level.

Go to to sign up as a volunteer.

For more information and questions please contact Heather Johnson, Special Events Manager at 515.802.3195 or

Girls on the Run-YMCA

To volunteer for Girls on the Run click here.

May 7 Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon. Packet pick up, gear check crew, course marshals, finish line crew and water stations. 6:15a-12:00p, 2201 George Flagg Pkwy.

May 20  WHAMM (Windsor Heights Annual Mini Marathon) benefits Girls on the Run in Central Iowa. Volunteers are needed to help with both the 3 mile and 6 mile races. Duties include set-up, packet pick up, post race food, registration and water stations.

May 26 Girls on the run 5K. At the end of each Girls on the Run season the girls participate in a Girls on the Run 5K event. Crossing the finish line is a defining moment when the girls realize that even the seemingly impossible IS possible.  There are two shifts 4:00p-8:00p and 5:30p-9:00p.  

July 24- July 28 for 5 days, 8:30a-noon, Girls on the Run Junior Coaches get to make a difference in the lives of girls throughout the community. This camp will be held at the Rex Mathes community building east of Stilwell. Interested volunteers must fill out an application to be considered for one of two volunteer positions.

Questions?  Contact Christa at

Hemophilia Of Iowa-Superhero Clot Trot

Volunteers are needed on Sunday, May 7th from 8:00a-10:30a to assist with the Hemophilia of Iowa Clot Trot.  Duties include cheering on walkers and runners, handing out food and drinks, and being helpful when needed.  This event will take place at the Raccoon River Park, 2500 Grand Ave in WDM.  To volunteer please contact Joni Rezac at

Race for Hope-5K Run/Walk

Did you know May is Brian Tumor Awareness Month?  Race for Hope DSM- 5K Run/Walk is an important event inspired by Nicolas Lovan, a WDMCS student diagnosed in 2012 with an inoperable brain tumor. This year the Race for Hope will be held on Saturday, May 13 at Water Works Park with volunteer opportunities starting Friday for packet pick-up at Sports Authority in WDM. To volunteer click The Race for Hope volunteer link.  For more info go check out the Race for Hope  website.

Montessori Children’s House-International Night

Montessori Children’s House need students to help during International Night scheduled for Thursday, April 6 from 4:30p-7:30p. At the event there will be a food fair, exhibits, crafts, and games. Duties include helping with set up, clean up, games, crafts, and restocking food supplies. To volunteer please contact Denise Springer at BUSINESSMANAGER@THEMONTESSORICHILDRENSHOUSE.NET  or call her at 225-1073. The Montessori Children’s House is located at 1505 42nd Street in WDM.

Planet 7 Summer Leaders applications being accepted

West Des Moines Parks and Recreation is recruiting Indian Hills and Stilwell Planet 7 Group Leaders.  Interested candidates must enjoy working with junior high students, be a team player, and add value to the program. Candidates who fill out a detailed application and elaborate on why they want to be a Planet 7 Leader will receive greater consideration. Those selected can earn up to 38 hours of Silver Cord credit or $100.00

  • Applications are due Monday, April 3rd by 5:00p.
  • Stilwell applications go to the WDM Police Department
  • Indian Hills applications go to WDM Parks and Rec
  • Application

 Valley Junction Foundation-Cinco De Mayo Face Painting

The Valley Junction Foundation is looking for artistic volunteers to paint faces during their annual Cinco de Mayo event scheduled for Saturday, May 6 from 12:00p-10:00p.  There are several shifts between noon and 7:00p.  To volunteer use the link   For more information contact Tey Ross at

WDM Library- Teen Advisory Board

Are you interested in making the library a better place for teens? Then the WDM Public Library’s Teen Advisory Board is for you! By becoming a member of TAB you can take a leadership role in your community, give input in teen activities, and help develop the collection of young adult materials at the Library. TAB members also host fundraisers for teen programming at the Library, participate in community activities, help with Children’s programs at the library and more. TAB meets September through May on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Library’s Classroom. Interested student must apply.  For more information regarding the application process contact Jenna Ehler at

Shepherd’s Flock Preschool- Twice Blessed Consignment Sale

Volunteers are needed to help at the SOV Twice Blessed Consignment Shop Thursday, March 30 through Saturday, April 1. Students will help the organizers prepare for the Shepherd of the consignment sale. Duties include organizing sale items, assisting shoppers as they check-out, and sort items after the sale is over.

To volunteer use the link    

Questions? Contact Rosalyn Roberts at

Courage League Sports- Team Basketball

CLS is offering 2 basketball clinics for special needs individuals. TEAM SPORTS is a slower paced program that breaks down the fundamentals and skills needed to play the game. This clinic is offered on Saturday afternoons starting on January 21stfrom 2:00p-4:00p. ChAAMPS League is for higher functioning individuals and is similar to school sponsored basketball which is more fast paced and competitive. This league starts on Saturday, January 28th from 9:00a – 10:00p.Both leagues are good options for groups and Silver Cord volunteers. To volunteer contact Porshia Perkins at  Courage League Sports is located at 4405 121st Street in Urbandale.

Opportunity on Deck-Soccer Mentors

Soccer mentors/volunteers are needed to teach the sport of soccer to girls and boys ages 6-13 who have never had the chance to play organized athletics before. Duties include teaching basic soccer techniques, lead drills, play games, and organize scrimmages. Mentors must enjoy working with children and be willing to serve as a positive role model for the participants. Dates needed are March 25, April 1, April 8, April 15, April 22 and April 29. There are two volunteer options, Hillside Elementary or Crestview Elementary.  All practices will be outside so dress according to the weather. Everything else is provided. To volunteer please use the sign-up link  and select the location and times you would like to volunteer.  For more information please contact Dylan DeClerk at

Blank Park Zoo-Summer 17 Zoo Crew

Zoo Crew is a special opportunity for youth ages 13-17 to volunteer at the Zoo! The purpose of the Zoo Crew programs is to engage young adults in volunteer opportunities, instill knowledge about the zoo, and inspire an appreciation for the natural world.  First year Zoo Crew volunteer opportunities include: assisting Summer Safari camp counselors with preschool campers, providing information about the zoo as guest service and education/conservation guides, and keeping the zoo beautiful. Zoo Crew volunteers are also encouraged to volunteer during family friendly special events!

We are now accepting applications for the 2017! Please click here for an application and more information! Questions? Please email Chris Eckles at or call at 515-974-2551.

YMCA-Girls on the Run Junior Coach

The Girls on the Run Junior Coach is a volunteer position for individuals under 18 years of age who are interested in assisting the Head and Assistant Coaches at a Girls on the Run program site. The position entails approximately 1.5-3 hours per week for twelve weeks. Junior Coaches can choose to attend both program sessions per week OR commit to only one day a week. Each selected Junior Coach will need to determine which program time works the best and commit to maintaining that schedule for consistency on behalf of the program and the girls. While the Junior Coach is not responsible for facilitating the Girls on the Run curriculum, they will be expected to support the Head and Assistant Coaches and program participants as needed. How to sign-up: Interested students will need to complete a junior coach application which can be found through the following link Those selected will need to complete a one hour online training and attend a 4.5 hour in person training. Shift times: 1-2 times per week for 10 week (March 20-May 26). Practices start between 3:30-4:00 p.m. depending on site.  For additional information please contact  Christa Vander Leest at

HCR Manor Care- Activities Volunteer

HCR ManorCare is looking for students to volunteer at their facility in West Des Moines. Volunteers will assist with fun activities such as: bingo, arts and crafts, cards, board games, trivia, Wii games, name that tune, and more! They also have a piano where volunteers may play songs for our residents. The hours are flexible through the end of the school year; M-F to 6:00p and Sat-Sun 9:00a-6:00p. To volunteer please e-mail Brittney Kass at  HCR ManorCare is located at 5010 Grand Ridge Drive in West Des Moines

Tech Support for Seniors (TSFS)

Did you know that many older adults struggle to use text messaging and Facebook? Tech Support for Seniors is a great program that gives high school students an opportunity to help seniors who want to learn more about their cell phones and tech gadgets.  This program will run through the school year.  To learn more or to volunteer please contact Abby McCullough at Edgewater Retirement Community Volunteer Link

Clive Community Services

Clive Community Services is seeking two regular volunteers to help unload a weekly food delivery truck, mark a checklist of what was on the truck, and either shelve the items or backstock the items. Attention to detail and to procedures is a must. The delivery is every Wednesday at 3:15 PM. Roughly 1-2 hours per occurrence. Clive Community Services is located at 2190 NW 82nd Street, Suite A in Clive. This is near the intersection of 86th & Hickman and near Crestview Elementary. Please contact Linda Shanks at or 515-480-4027 for more details. Sign up at

WDM Library-Monthly Group Service Project

The Library is looking for volunteers to help with a monthly group service project. A variety of tasks will be performed to help out the Library including cleaning and straightening shelves, organizing materials, preparing program supplies, and more. No experience or training necessary! Project is for students age 14-18. To participate an application must be filled out and approved. To obtain the application or for more information please contact or 515-222-3412.

Make A Wish- Office Assistant

Make a Wish is recruiting an office helper on Wednesday’s after school from 2:30p-4:30p.  Volunteer duties will include scanning, filing and shredding.   To volunteer please email Rachel or call and speak with her at the office, 515-334-2636.  This volunteer position will run through the month of March, interested candidates must by 17 or older.  If you are a junior or senior needing to get service hours done this is a great pre-approved opportunity.

Ongoing Opportunities

Walnut Creek YMCA-Learn and Play Center

The Walnut Creek YMCA is looking for students who are interested in helping with childcare at the Learn and Play Center. This is an ongoing volunteer opportunity with flexible hours making it a great Silver Cord opportunity for busy students. To volunteer please apply through the YMCA website

Iowa Lutheran Hospital-Volunteen Program

Unity Point Health-Iowa Lutheran Hospital-Volunteen Program gives high school students an opportunity to volunteer in a hospital.  Volunteen duties might include making health folders, talking with patients, making floral arrangements and delivering flowers, magazines, and beverages to patients.  To be considered for this opportunity please visit the Unity Point-Iowa Lutheran Hospital-Volunteer webpage For more information please contact Brad Fuglsang at

Valley Volunteen Testimony: I like helping the patients feel better by giving them flowers and magazines. I am learning to work with other people, and also how to be a part of a team.

Children and Family Urban Movement-Supper Club

Children and Family Urban Movement Supper Club provides an evening meal Monday-Saturday for 120-180 adults and children. Many of the guests that come to Supper Club are among the growing number of working poor that live in the metro area.  Each evening 6-10 volunteers are needed from 4:15p-6:16p to help set-up, serve food, and clean-up. To volunteer please contact WesLynn Caldwell at  Children and Family Urban Movement is located at 1548 8th Street in Des Moines.

 Operation Christmas Child-Shoe Box Room

Volunteers are needed year round to prepare the gifts for the annual collection which occurs each year third week of November. In addition, volunteers may assist in or host community and church “packing parties” where items are pooled together and gifts are packaged corporately. Hundreds of hours are spent locally preparing items for inclusion in the boxes for these events in and around central Iowa. Candy needs to be bagged. Soaps and washcloths need to be bundled together. Pencils need to be sharpened. School supplies, toys and stuffed animals need to be gathered. Boxes need to be wrapped. Project work of this nature is based out of “The Shoe Box Room” in Urbandale.  Sign up for project work or to organize a packing party by calling Heather Rowley 515-333-1237 or email

Meals from the Heartland NEW WDM Packaging Center

Meals from the Heartland is excited to announce the opening of their new office/packaging center at 357 Lincoln Street in West Des Moines. Beginning in April there will be meal packaging several times a week and also on Saturdays.  For more information check out the Meals from the Heartland website To volunteer use the online registration form  Volunteer at Meals from the Heartland

Valley Church-The Respite Event/Hand in Hand

Volunteers are needed to spend a little time with a child with special needs during fun safe events.  Duties include setting up, serving as a one-o-one buddy with a child and cleaning up.  Interested students need to e-mail Beth Castile at and she will contact you regarding the dates and times.  The Hand in Hand events usually take place on Saturday’s.

Help a Heart Support Group

Volunteers are needed the second Monday of each month from 6:15p-8:45p  to help with childcare for parents who are attending a support group for children with heart defects.  Volunteers will watching the children, keeping them entertained, taking them to the bathroom if needed and assisting with snacks. This support group meets at the Westview Church, 1155 SE Boone Drive, Waukee.   Help a Heart offers support to families of children with heart defects and it is VERY important that volunteers are healthy. (no coughs, fevers, or illnesses 24 hours before volunteering)  To volunteer please contact Kasey Vermillion at

ASAP- Downtown DM After School Arts Program, 2016-17

The After School Arts Program brings elementary and middle-school students to the heart of Des Moines for quality after school enrichment programming in visual, musical/performing, literary, culinary and other applied arts.  During each 7-week session, most ASAP volunteers spend one afternoon a week working directly with students alongside professional teaching artists.  Volunteers undergo a brief training and background check for the safety of all participants. Volunteer opportunities include working as an Arts Program Assistant, chaperoning students on the bus or helping with snacks and studio set-up before the students arrive.  The 2015-16 session starts the week of October 6, 2015 and runs through  and runs through May 15.  For more information please review the attached links.  To volunteer contact DeAnna Axness at  

Position Descriptions

Program Overview

Catholic Charities-St Joseph Emergency Family Shelter

Volunteers are needed each Saturday and Sunday from 1:00p-3:00p  to help organize donations, clean the shelter and garage, and help with yard work.  Student volunteers must complete and return the attached consent for minor form to participate.  To volunteer contact the Shelter Coordinators, Celeste Egger or Dixie Webb  The St Joseph Emergency Shelter is located at 1535 11th Street in Des Moines.

Volunteer Form

Courage League Sports

Volunteers are needed to serve as  Courage League Sports “Team Mates” to  children and adults not able to go “full speed” due to disability, illness, or emotional challenges.   Team Mate volunteers  offer  minimal to moderate assistance with sports leagues, fitness classes, and special events. The population served consists of toddlers age 2-6,  school-aged youth age 7-18  and adults with special needs.   Volunteers will be helping participants developing new skills, meet new friends, build self-confidence, and have fun!  Courage League Sports is located at 4405 121st Street in Urbandale, Iowa.

Available Shifts:

Monday – Thursday: 4:30-6:30 PM Saturday: 9:15 AM – Noon
Monday – Thursday: 5:30-7:30 PM Saturday: 12:15 PM – 3 PM

If interested in volunteering at Courage League Sports, please check out their website  volunteer flyer or volunteer submission form

For questions or to sign-up directly please email Ashley Paulsen at

Susan G. Komen of Iowa –Office Assistant

The Susan G. Komen of Iowa office is in need of volunteer office assistants.  Duties include answering the phones and other administrative tasks as assigned by the Operations Manager.  Students can sign up by contacting Tracy Dubon at The shift times are flexible, anytime between 8:00a and 5:00p. Weekend and weeknight hours may be available upon request.  For a  detailed job description click the link.  The Susan G. Komen of Iowa office is located at 3850 Merle Hay Road, Urbandale.

Office Assistant Description

Botanical Gardens-Green Thumbs Teen Volunteer Corps

The Botanical Gardens in Des Moines is seeking summer volunteers  interested in environmental sciences, speech/public speaking, theater/drama or a combination of all three to serve as Green Thumbs Teen Volunteers.  Green Thumb Volunteers offers multiple opportunities throughout the gardens.  Volunteers are selected through an application/recommendation process.  To apply please use this link   This volunteer opportunity is for students ages 15 and older.

Green Thumbs

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church ESL Child Care Helpers

Volunteers are needed at Shepherd of the Valley every Tuesday and Thursday to help with childcare during ESL classes.  Classes are held from 7:00p-9:00p and will run through the end of the school year.  Two volunteers are needed each evening and will be playing games, distributing snacks, reading books, and taking attendance.  Students may email Angie Spann at or text to 515-556-6508 to sign up for one or more dates to volunteer. Students may sign up individually or as a pair if they so choose.

Urban Bicycle Food Ministry-Burrito Rides

The Urban Bicycle Food Ministry goes out on to the streets of Des Moines to provide radical hospitality! We will be riding our bikes into the downtown Des Moines area to provide burritos, peanut butter sandwiches, water, fruit, cookies and bug spray while building a relationship with those who are in need.  To find out more go to the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry Facebook page where the dates and rides are listed.

Students under the age of 18 will need to ride/volunteer with a parent or other responsible adult.

Vine Street Children’s Center-After school volunteer

Is  looking for individuals after school  who are passionate about children and enjoy working with them, playing with them, and caring for their needs!  In order to volunteer  with the children, all volunteers under age 18 will need to bring in a written permission slip from your parent/guardian giving us permission to run a background check. To volunteer please contact Mandy Lechtenberg at

Central Iowa Shelter Services

Central Iowa Shelter Services (CISS) provides free shelter and meals to homeless adults regardless of physical or emotional conditions.  Volunteers are needed in many different ways including the food pantry, clothing closet, food prep and meals, food rescue, and garden help.  For more information check out the CISS volunteer page.  To get involved contact Jorie Hidri at or 515-564-5752

Gigi’s Playhouse-Ongoing Programming Help

GiGi’s Playhouse has volunteer opportunities to leading and/or assisting with programming, serving on fundraising committees, helping on the day of events and fundraisers, & much more! As a helper you will You will help the program host in many ways including greeting, welcoming, and signing in participants. You will engage and assist participants during activities.

Before signing-up all new volunteers must fill out the Volunteer Registration Form (fill out here: and attend a Volunteer Orientation which provides an overview of our organization, programming, events, and fundraising. We want each and every individual, family, and volunteer to have the best possible experience at Gigi’s Playhouse.

Community Youth Concepts- Youth Volunteer Corps

Youth Volunteer Corps of Des Moines (YVC-Des Moines) is a supervised, team-based service-learning program hosted by Community Youth Concepts. We create volunteer opportunities to address community needs in Des Moines and to inspire youth ages 11-18 for a lifetime commitment to service. We strongly believe in Youth VOICE, Youth CHOICE- so students who come to meetings are the ones who choose what projects they want to do, and it is students who plan and implement those projects with the help of an adult facilitator. Students can receive Silver Cord hrs. from attending meetings, since meetings themselves consist of service activity planning and preparation!

Simply visit and fill out the volunteer information request form. We will email you a list of upcoming activities you may be interested in attending. Students can also send an email to and request to be added to our email list. Or, simply show up on a Wednesday for our weekly meetings from 4-5:15 PM!


This opportunity allows students to assist with Lutheran Church of Hope’s weekend children’s program–HopeKids. HopeKids is a high-energy program for 3 year olds through 5th grade. Student volunteers will help engage kids in worship and breakout activities. This is a fun way to invest in the next generation!  Students can sign up by emailing Lyndsay Korte at

YMCA Healthy Living Center-YMCA Physical Therapy Chronic Disease Initiative

This is an opportunity that is ongoing and preference will be given  to those students who can commit to a longer time period such as a semester. The YMCA Healthy Living Center is looking for student volunteers to help us with keeping our Physical Therapy clinic/pool area/environment as inviting as possible to serve our chronic disease populations. The experience would entail keeping our clinic/facility clean and safe, equipment clean, welcoming our patients and members, helping with making copies of exercise plans, and helping our staff prepare for classes.  To volunteer please contact Sarah Wigen at

This is a great opportunity for students interested in Human Sciences, Pre-Health, or  Physical Therapy.

WDM Human Services-Clothing Closet

West Des Moines Human Services, 139 6th Street in West Des Moines, is seeking volunteers in their Clothing Closet to accept donations, sort and straighten items, and assist clients as needed.  Hours are flexible, anytime Monday through Friday between 8 am and 4 pm.  Volunteers must be age 14 or older.  Please contact Mindy Hotovec at or call 222-3663.

Shepherd’s Flock Early Learning Center

The Shepherd’s Flock Early Learning Center has an ongoing need for volunteers to help with the following; inventory children’s books, toys and games; enter books, toys and games into the computer data base, prepare bulletin boards and classroom decorations, assemble books for teachers, assist with teacher prep work, make photocopies, file, help with mailings, help with playground work day.  To volunteer please contact Diane Hensley at 225-1952 or e-mail her at  S.O.V. is located at 3900 Ashworth Road in WDM.

The HCI Giving Tree

The HCI Giving Tree (Hospice of Central Iowa), 3330 100th Street in Urbandale, is seeking volunteers to help sort clothes, accept donations, carry furniture to cars, and assist at the cash register.  Those interested in volunteering must be 16 years of age or older and willing to make a six month commitment.  For additional information go to the website   To volunteer please contact Katie Gosselink at

Courage League Sports

Volunteers are needed at Courage League Sports, a non-profit adaptive sports, recreation and fitness facility for kids 2-17 with special needs in our community. Our programming will include all sports, volleyball, basketball, tennis, soccer, tag football, fencing, archery as well as exercise classes and an adaptive fitness room. Courage League Sports is located in Urbandale, 4405 121st Street. Volunteers are needed to assist in coaching sports leagues, being teammates with children who may need additional assistance (pushing their wheelchair, assist in throwing a ball  etc…) in addition, volunteers willing to work with kids on basic workouts, sit-ups, push-ups, light weight training with dumbbells and assisting kids in adaptive exercise classes. Times are 4pm-7:30pm weekdays, Saturdays, 9am-7:30pm and Sundays 12-5.  Please email Melissa Clarke-Wharff, Founder, Courage League Sports at: or 423-9930.

Wesley Acres Musical Entertainment

The residents at the Wesley Acres retirement home love to listen to live music of all kinds: singing, instrumentals, solos, quartets, old songs, new songs… everything! Stopping by to share your musical talents will brighten their day (and probably yours, too). Click Here for more information or contact Susan Skinner at 515-271-6789 or

Green and Sustainable Clive

Green and Sustainable Clive is dedicated to enhancing the natural environment and ecology of Clive’s parks and green spaces. With the help of the community, Green and Sustainable Clive plans to develop hands-on volunteer initiatives, provide sustainability educational opportunities and support the Walnut Creek Watershed Enhancement.  For more information or to volunteer please contact Jennifer Easler at 515-205-6222 or Flyer

Animal Rescue League

The Animal Rescue League is looking for four students (they must be at least 16) to volunteer a couple of hours each week working with their Behavior Manager program by creating enrichment toys and treats for the dogs and cats in our care. Students will be interviewed, We will be looking for 1 student to take the lead, who will also be willing to teach the next group coming in. We’re asking for a minimum of one semester commitment with the option of staying on a second semester.All students will need to complete our Volunteer Orientation and Dog Companion training, which we will “fast-track” in order to get them started quickly. They will also be asked to complete our volunteer application and pay the $20 one time fee. To volunteer contact Joy Talmon, Volunteer Coordinator at

After School Arts Program (ASAP)

Connects elementary and middle-school students in the heart of the city of Des Moines, Iowa, with enriching arts experiences. Since starting, ASAP has connected more than 800 students with teaching artists in studios ranging from ceramics, painting, and photography to West African drumming, drama, and dance. ASAP succeeds with the help of dedicated volunteers and generous supporters. To get involved, please contact Michelle Bolton King at

Des Moines Religious Council – Red Barrel Program, Food Pantry Network Warehouse, Sack Saturdays

Do you live near a Walgreens? Want to help out the Food Pantry in your spare time? You can help by volunteering to pick up from one of our Walgreens Red Barrels. Des Moines Area Religious Council: Ways To VolunteerContact John Robinson at 664-0394 for more information.

Food Bank of Iowa/Back Pack Buddies

The Food Bank of Iowa is a private, not-for-profit organization committed to the mission of alleviating hunger through food distribution, partnership and education. The Food Bank of Iowa strives to meet the critical needs of a diverse population through its network of partner agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, nonprofit day care facilities, residential care centers and child and senior programs. Food Bank of Iowa | Learn About Hunger Hunger in America 2010: Food Bank of Iowa

Hope Outreach

Volunteers are needed to help with Hope Outreach Night every Thursday from 3-7:30 p.m. Volunteers can either help serve a free family-style meal or they can volunteer in the gym and assist families while they “shop” for free clothes, food or other essentials. Hope Outreach is located at 925 Jordan Creek Parkway in West Des Moines. To volunteer sign-up at Hope Outreach Night.

St. Timothy’s Community Garden

St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church is in need of volunteers to help tend to the community garden.  Tim Goldman, 223-1782 or

Move the Food DSM is inviting individuals, families, youth groups, work teams and others to actively join us in tending a healthy, strong community. Check out these fall volunteer events in Des Moines. For more information go to the Move the Food web site.

Catholic Worker House

Catholic Worker House needs help in food store or volunteer as needed. Location at 1310 7th Street , Des Moines, IA 50314. Help in food store or volunteer as needed 515-243-0765.

Freedom for Youth: 2301 Hickman Road, Des Moines, IA 50310

Volunteers will be working in the garden, laying landscaping materials and cleaning up around the neighborhood. Contact: Esmerelda Kretzu 282-4822 or or website


Contact Information

Rosemary Brandt

Service Learning Coordinator
Learning Resource Center
3550 Mills Civic Parkway
West Des Moines, IA 50265

Cyndi Bonus

Silver Cord Coordinator
Valley High School
3650 Woodland Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50266