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The Impact of Volunteerism on Community and Your Wellbeing

Volunteering in DSM

May 21, 2019

Volunteering and creating connections play an important part in immersing yourself in your community. According to the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS), 32.5% of Iowa residents volunteer as of the latest study in 2015. This ranks the state 10th among all states in volunteering. Iowa volunteers contribute hours through many different activities, including distributing and preparing food, fundraising, mentoring, tutoring and more. Read on to find out more about volunteer opportunities in Greater Des Moines (DSM).

Volunteerism in DSM

There are many different organizations that help bring volunteers together in DSM. By helping to foster civic engagement and collaborating to build a better DSM, these organizations are giving back and creating a community that continues to thrive and grow. The following local organizations offer volunteer opportunities within the region: Volunteer Iowa, United Way of Central Iowa, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, LeadershipLink and Iowa Mentoring Partnership. Find out more on our Give Back page.

Calling All Young Professionals

Young professionals can volunteer through opportunities offered by the Young Professionals Connection (YPC). Not only does YPC have ongoing volunteer opportunities throughout the year, but the group also holds an annual YPC Volunteer Fair featuring more than 70 nonprofit organizations. The event is free to attend! Along with the Fair, YPC has created an event called One Des Moines. This one-day event is for nonprofits, young professionals and community members to unite for a city-wide day of service. Learn more about these two signature YPC events.

But how do young professionals in DSM feel about volunteering with local organizations? Read Karter Smith’s recent blog post on the subject to find out: Here’s How to Make the Most of Your Volunteer Time Off.

Building Connections Through Volunteerism

Long-time residents and young professionals looking to connect virtually through social networks have the opportunity to become a DSM USA Ambassador and help spread the word about DSM events and developments. This is a way to give back without even leaving the comfort of your own home, or workplace.

If volunteering to support your community is important to you but you do want to get out of the house, a great way to do that is through local events. The Greater Des Moines Partnership is always looking for volunteers for major events like the Downtown Farmers’ Market, World Food and Music Festival, DSM Book Festival and more.

Volunteering and Overall Wellbeing

Volunteering has an impact on more than just the organizations you choose to serve. According to CNCS, there are many health benefits to volunteerism as well. Social interaction is vital to strong mental health.

Because volunteering gets you out and about in your community, these activities can also keep residents from feelings of isolation. For older residents interested in volunteering, these activities provide purpose and can be extremely beneficial. Psychology Today suggests it may even help prevent dementia.

Along with mental health benefits, volunteerism has numerous physical health benefits which lead to improved and longer lives for those that commit to one or two hours of volunteer time per week.

If you’re ready to get started, learn more about how to give back to the local DSM community.

Greater Des Moines (DSM) has one of the best business climates in the country. The region is nationally recognized for having a talented and educated workforce, a cost of doing business 17 percent below the national average, a low cost of living and an exceptional quality of life.

Courtney Shaw

Courtney Shaw is senior vice president of communications for the Greater Des Moines Partnership.