Planning a stay-cation this Spring Break? Why not make it a week of giving back to your community?

For each day of Spring Break week, we offer one idea to volunteer with a local organization that partners with United Way of Central Iowa to improve the health, education and financial stability of all central Iowans. Not only will your family experience the fun of volunteering, but you could start a new tradition of giving back year-round. For all of the opportunities listed below, please contact the organization to confirm its needs and availability before you dive in. 

Monday: Organize a donation drive.

Gather items to give to local nonprofits serving central Iowa families. These organizations have specific requests for items that their clients need:

  • Bidwell Riverside Center is looking for toiletries, diapers, baby food, coats, blankets, and more to give to clients who live in poverty. Learn more.
  • Hawthorn Hill is looking for supplies from its wish list to give to the homeless families and children it serves. Learn more.
  • ChildServe is looking for DVDs and CDs that can be used when children are relaxing in their beds. Contact Kaylene to learn more. 

Tuesday: Make t-shirt bags.

Central Iowa Shelter & Services needs volunteers to help turn bulk t-shirt donations into reusable tote bags for clients to use when shopping in the food pantry or clothing closet. Learn more.

Wednesday: Prepare and serve a meal.

Organizations are seeking volunteers to provide food, cook, and serve meals. Schedule a time in advance.

  • Iowa Homeless Youth Center seeks volunteers to bring an evening meal to one of its transitional living programs or street outreach locations. Groups prepare the meals off site or on site and then serve the meal to 10-30 youth. Learn more or call Taylor at 515-883-2379, ext. 8614.
  • Hawthorn Hill seeks volunteers to provide milk and juice for the women and children staying at New Directions Shelter. Learn more.

Thursday: Gather your favorite books.

United Way's Stuff the Bus Book Drive helps build literacy skills with children who have limited access to books. Through April, you can drop off books to specific locations or the United Way office. The books will be gathered at an event on May 3 at Athene USA. Learn more.

Friday: Make tie blankets.

Purchase the supplies and make tie blankets that go to children served by the following nonprofits:

  • ChildServe is looking for volunteers to make blankets for the children it serves with special health care needs. Contact Kaylene to learn more.
  • Bidwell Riverside Center is looking for volunteers to make blankets for the children in its child development center. Contact Missy to learn more. 

Other ways to volunteer

Find more ways to volunteer in central Iowa through United Way of Central Iowa's volunteer database. We also offer many ongoing opportunities to participate in initiatives that better the lives of central Iowans.

 Volunteer Opportunities

TAGS: Volunteer

Shirley Burgess

About The Author: Shirley Burgess

Shirley Burgess is the Volunteer Engagement Officer for United Way of Central Iowa.