You can make a huge impact in our community

What are you passionate about? What skills do you have that you could share? United Way has a variety of ways to get involved in the community. You can volunteer in person, virtually, at work, or even at home.

Check out the current and upcoming opportunities below, and donate your time to make an impact on central Iowa.

Volunteer Opportunities

Family-Friendly Opportunity
Family-Friendly
Opportunities
Small-Group
Small-Group
Opportunities
Virtual
Virtual
Opportunities
Hands-on
Hands-On
Opportunities
Collection-Drive
Collection
Drive

 

HOLIDAY HELPING HAND

Use our guide to volunteer or organize giving opportunities with your family, friends, co-workers, or church or social group this holiday season. Explore opportunities in many categories, including adopting a family or child, donating canned food, donating toys or books, and much more.

Hands-On Opportunity

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HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS

United Way of Central Iowa is collecting board games, cleaning products, and gift cards for 48 families in need this holiday season. This opportunity will benefit families participating in HOPE for Stable Families to set goals, remove barriers, and find support in moving out of poverty to long-term financial stability.

Collection-Drive

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VITA TAX PREP

United Way offers free tax preparation to eligible individuals. This program is great because of our fantastic volunteers. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals to serve as Greeters, Tax Preparers, or Quality Reviewers. People over age 55 may also qualify for mileage reimbursement to/from volunteering. No experience is necessary.

Hands-on

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LITERACY
KITS

Always Available

Literacy kits are used in elementary schools and at early childhood centers to help inspire a love of learning and reading. Employees say making literacy kits is a meaningful break in their workday while connecting with their fellow co-workers.

Small-Group OpportunityHands-On Opportunity

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NOTES OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Show people in central Iowa how much you care and how much they matter by writing a note of encouragement. We will deliver your notes to the people who need them the most, including teachers, students, home-bound senior citizens, healthcare workers, and more. 

Virtual

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UNITED 55+
AmeriCorps Seniors

UNITED 55+ is a great way for adults to get involved in the community. A  partnership with AmeriCorps Seniors Program, the program provides support and guidance to volunteers aged 55+. Benefits include mileage reimbursement and networking opportunities.

VirtualHands-On Opportunity

Learn More about United55+

SCHOOL HYGIENE DRIVES

Many families struggle to afford hygiene items like shampoo or deodorant. This can cause teasing or make kids skip school. Make a difference by hosting a school hygiene drive at your workplace. We have opportunities to support Des Moines Public, Saydel, Carlisle, and Perry schools. However, you could hold a drive for any school in your area.

Collection-Drive

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ADVOCACY LETTER WRITING

ON-DEMAND VIRTUAL EVENT

This event focused on essential needs and giving back to youth and adults experiencing homelessness. This is a two-part event. Part one is education, part two is a call to action with a hands-on volunteer/donation activity. Recording of the event is available to use on-demand.

Family-Friendly OpportunityVirtual OpportunityCollection-Drive

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HOMELESSNESS EDUCATION PANEL

ON-DEMAND VIRTUAL EVENT

This event focused on essential needs and giving back to youth and adults experiencing homelessness. This is a two-part event. Part one is education, part two is a call to action with a hands-on volunteer/donation activity. Recording of the event is available to use on-demand.

Family-Friendly OpportunityVirtual OpportunityCollection-Drive

Learn More

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK

April 2022

National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognize and thank volunteers who lend their time, talent, voice, and resources to meet the critical needs of our community. United Way has created a toolkit for you to recognize your employees.

VirtualCollection-Drive

Learn More

STUFF THE
BUS

May 2022

Stuff the Bus is our annual book drive. Together last year we collected nearly 24,000 books. Sign up to help Stuff the Bus and we will provide you with resources and tools to help make it a success.

Family-Friendly OpportunityCollection-DriveHands-On Opportunity

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DAY OF ACTION

September 2022

Day of Action is a day when our nonprofit partners team up with corporate volunteers to help accomplish projects, big and small. Visit this page to see photos and results from the 2021 Day of Action. The next Day of Action will happen in 2022.

Small-GroupCollection-DriveHands-On Opportunity

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LEADERSHIP
LINK

An online portal that connects individuals in central Iowa seeking leadership roles with nonprofit organizations that have opportunities. Find listings for Boards of Directors, Committees, Task Forces, Councils, Ad Hoc Steering Committees, and more.
Small-Group Opportunity

Explore LeadershipLink

MAGIC READING CARPETS

Create Book Buddy students their very own Magic Reading Carpet -- small blankets that they can sit on or hold while they are reading. They will use their Magic Reading Carpet twice weekly throughout the school year and will get to take it home with them upon completion of the program.

Hands-On Opportunity

Learn More

BOOK
BUDDY

Book Buddy is a 1:1 reading program that pairs volunteers with preschoolers for regular reading. The caring adult reads in person to the student at a local childcare center. You may pair up with a friend to share this weekly volunteer opportunity.

Hands-onSmall-Group

Learn More

Looking for other volunteer opportunities?

United Way's Central Iowa Volunteer Hub can connect you with hundreds of volunteer opportunities posted by local nonprofits. You'll find ongoing initiatives like board positions and advisory committees to one-time opportunities and everything in between.
Browse the Volunteer Hub

Looking for volunteers?

Register your agency's or program's volunteer opportunities on United Way's Central Iowa Volunteer Hub (formerly GetConnected) to find and manage volunteers from across the state.
Volunteer Hub for Agencies & Programs

"Our volunteers show incredible dedication to our community, and I am proud to help make those opportunities available to central Iowans with a wide variety of skills, knowledge, and influence."

Ramona Moni Gaukel

Ramona "Moni" Gaukel

Volunteer Engagement Officer

Ramona.Gaukel@unitedwaydm.org   (515) 246-2513