A- A+

Increase Your Volunteer Hours This Month in DSM

National Volunteer Month

From Monday, April 1 through Tuesday, April 30, National Volunteer Month celebrates those who give back and inspire others with their commitment to the causes most important to them. In Greater Des Moines (DSM), the opportunity to give back isn’t hard to find. From devoting time to a local event or festival — the Downtown Farmers’ Market is gearing up for the 2024 season and you can help the World Food & Music Festival celebrate 20 years in August! — to lending a hand to a nonprofit in the region, once you know where to look, finding a place that fits into your lifestyle is easy.

Want to help with setup and teardown of an event? Or maybe you want to mentor youth, advocate for seniors or provide transportation? Whatever your strengths and skills, there’s a volunteer opportunity for you in DSM. Note: Depending on the organization, a volunteer orientation may need to be completed prior to volunteering.

So, how can you connect with organizations in DSM? Businesses and organizations looking for volunteers post their opportunities on social media and their own websites, but you can also utilize Volunteer Iowa, VolunteerMatch, Iowa MENTOR and others to sort through opportunities. See the list of volunteer opportunities below that you should consider this month, and help a local organization meet their goals and support the community!

Volunteer Opportunities in Greater Des Moines

  • ALS Association: Sign up this month to attend the Walk to Defeat ALS on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Prairie Meadows in Altoona. Start a team, join a team, walk as an individual or donate to a walker, or sign up as an event committee volunteer, pre-walk volunteer or walk day volunteer.
  • Animal Rescue League of Iowa: The ARL of Iowa welcomes new and returning volunteers, as well as one-time, community service and student volunteers. Once you’ve attended a volunteer information session, you can help with administrative, adoption and animal care tasks. There are opportunities available at community events, too.
  • Blank Park Zoo: At the Blank Park Zoo, you can volunteer in animal care, events, guest services and more. This month, beginning Friday, April 5, the Wild Lights Festival presented by MidAmerican Energy Company is taking place and goes through Monday, May 27. Note that you do not need to complete an application when volunteering for events. Just email volunteer@blankparkzoo.org. For all other volunteer opportunities, complete the application.
  • Catch Des Moines: This April, the Drake Relays are happening at the blue oval from Thursday, April 25 through Saturday, April 27 in Downtown DSM. Take a shift to help with awards or athlete hospitality.
  • ChildServe: Help with administrative support, landscaping, special event setup and fundraising. The annual Bubble Ball is a great opportunity to help fundraise, and it’s happening this month on Saturday, April 20!
  • Economic Development Partners of the Greater Des Moines Partnership: The Partnership’s 11 counties and numerous cities offer volunteer opportunities at various times. Help with the City of Windsor Heights’ Earth Day Celebration this month, take part in the City of Grimes’ Spring Tree Planting or become a Jester Park volunteer or Water Quality Monitor of waterways within Polk County.
  • Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden: Looking for an outdoor opportunity? Did you know April is also National Garden Month? An Outdoor Garden Maintenance volunteer can assist with planting, weeding, pruning, watering and more so you can take part in two national celebrations this month! The Botanical Garden has many other volunteer opportunities as well, including Garden Coach Volunteer, Tour Guide and more.
  • Greater Des Moines Health Organizations: Broadlawns, MercyOne and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines all have volunteer opportunities for those looking to make a difference in a hospital setting. Don’t delay in signing up as these opportunities require you to apply and oftentimes attend an orientation or go through a screening process.
  • iJAG: Volunteer to help mentor, serve as a judge at the Career Development Conference or with another iJAG opportunity. Fill out this form to get started.
  • LifeServe Blood Center: Volunteer at a drive or help with building and grounds maintenance, donor recruitment or administrative support at LifeServe.
  • WesleyLife: WesleyLife Hospice volunteers are needed in Ankeny and the surrounding communities.
  • World Food Prize: While volunteers are always needed during the World Food Prize annual events in October, you can support the organization year-round. Email volunteers@worldfoodprize.org to show your interest in April.
  • YMCA of Greater Des Moines: Across the region, the YMCA of Greater Des Moines offers a variety of opportunities, including serving meals, hosting activities, coaching a sports team and filling care packages.

For more information on volunteering in Greater Des Moines, check out greaterdsmusa.com. You can also reach out to Amelia Klatt, Director of Events, for more information on Partnership-specific events.

Improving the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community through volunteering and community service is a priority for many. Thanks to community engagement opportunities and leadership connecting local businesses to causes that provide services to improve the region, DSM continues to be a place that provides support for those who live, work and play here.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.