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Volunteer Opportunities

A variety of opportunities are listed below, but your opportunities are not limited to just those listed below. Some opportunities are once per year while others are ongoing. There is usually much more information available than we can post here. Use the contact information to get more details.

Anyone wishing to post information about volunteering may contact one of our Silver Cord Coordinators: Will Dotson (ACHS) via email and Nick Nelson (AHS) via email.

You will receive your Silver Cord at Senior Spotlight Night.  If you are unable to attend you will then receive your Silver Cord during graduation practice.

Urbandale Girls Recreation Association - September 22nd - 24th and September 24th - October 15th

Perfect Game Tournament
Volunteers will work in the concession stand assisting in preparing and selling food, drinks, and fundraising items. Duties also include: stocking drinks, emptying the trash, cleaning at the end of the day. Please arrive on time for your shift. If on the day of, you are unable to make it to your shift or are running late, please contact the concessions manager; Taylor Lawson (515)-669–8607. Please wear closed toed shoes and have hair longer than shoulder length pulled back.

September 22nd-24th –

Additional opportunity:

Line judges & scorekeepers for UGRA Volleyball rec league :

Dance Without Limits - September 17 - November 12

Dance Without Limits is a non-profit that provides a dance program for children with disabilities who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the joy of dance. We run 7-10 week sessions each fall and spring and are seeking volunteers for our fall 2023 session! Dance experience is not required.

Classes are held on Sunday afternoons at the School of Classical Ballet and Dance in West Des Moines. Each class is approximately an hour long and you can volunteer for up to three. Volunteers stay with their same class(es) throughout the session.

Dates: September 17-November 12 (every Sunday except October 15). November 12th is our recital at Urbandale High School at 2pm.

Please email to receive a link to sign up to volunteer.

To find out more about our program, visit

Location: School of Classical Ballet and Dance, 1509 42nd St, West Des Moines, IA 50265

Facebook page:

Iowa Rush Soccer Club's Rush Fall Cup - September 22 - 24

As we approach the tournament date, I would like to have a list of volunteers that can help on location as field marshals.

The Rush Fall Cup will be held on September 22-24 in the Des Moines area. We will be running three sites including Prairie Ridge Sports Complex (Ankeny), James W Cownie Soccer Park (Des Moines), and Spring Creek Soccer Complex (Altoona). You can find more information at and volunteers can sign up

Contact Lisa Dauterive with questions at

DMACC Alumni 5K - September 30

Saturday, September 30, 2023 at DMACC Ankeny Campus

Time: Approximately 6:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Volunteer positions may include assisting with set-up (setting up tables, chairs, placing table cloths, setting up water stations), staffing the water station by handing out cups of water, serving as course security, and clean-up (removing signs from course, picking up any trash, folding tables and chairs, etc.).

Sign-up online

Contact: Breck Hunt, Associate Director, DMACC Foundation – email:

This post was updated August 2023.

2023 Des Moines Walk to Defeat ALS - October 7

We are so excited for our 2023 Des Moines Walk to Defeat ALS! We need volunteers for this year’s event and would love to have your students join us!

Date – Saturday, October 7
Time – Shifts range from 6:30 am-12:30 pm
Location – Jordan Creek Town Center, 101 Jordan Creek Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50266
Activities/Tasks – Varied based on job chosen. Visit the registration website below for more info!
Click here to register as a volunteer!
*Please note that some volunteer positions have age restrictions and require a background check

Ankeny Fire Department - October 8 and 9

The Ankeny Fire Department is requesting Silver Cord volunteers for our Fire Prevention Week activities at the following times:

Sunday, October 8: 6:00-8:00 p.m. Open House set up

Monday, October 9: 6:00-8:00 p.m. Open House set up

Wednesday, October 11: 5:00-8:00 p.m. Set-up for open house, and open house. The open house runs

from 6:00-8:00. Coming at 5:00 will allow time to finalize jobs and get set up.

Interested individuals should contact Karen Peters, at or (515)965-6478.

North Pole Craft Sale - November 3 and 4

Volunteers needed Nov. 3 & 4 to help at Prairie Ridge Middle School Gyms for the Santa’s North Pole Village Annual Craft Sale!

This event generates funding for the Ankeny Art Center and Ankeny After Prom.

Two-hour shifts involve set up, admissions table tasks, or event tear down. Please review the available slots below and click on the button to sign up. You may sign up for as many shifts as you would like. Silver Cord students, adults, and children 12 and up are welcome to volunteer. Thanks!

State Large Group Speech Contest - February 2 and 3

We need students to volunteer at the State Large Group Speech Contest here at Centennial High School on Friday, February 2, and Saturday, Feb 3. Students can volunteer Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, or multiple shifts. Duties include activities such as setting up rooms, serving as room timers, serving food, reminding people outside of performance rooms to be quiet, cleaning up at the end of the event, etc. See Mrs. Lofgren in room 1102 at Ankeny Centennial for more information or to sign up.

Can Play Programs - Multiple Opportunities in September through December

Can Play strives to increase the positive impacts on youth through the growth and evolution of adaptive and no-cost recreation programs. Both organizations have created programs for underserved youth to give them the opportunity to play and build self-confidence.

Every child CAN PLAY. All children have the courage to play, but barriers such as limited family budgets or the need for an adaptive environment can keep them from participating. Can Play supplements the cost of recreation programs and adapts the play to the skill level for each child. Creating the opportunity to play despite the barriers.

Can Play is based out of West Des Moines and provides sports programming to children in low socioeconomic areas at no cost and adapted sports to children and adults with disabilities.

This link is ongoing and will have programs added throughout the year. Each program should have a description under it explaining what will be expected of volunteers:

This post was updated August 2023.

Adaptive Sports / Iowa Wild - Multiple Opportunities in October through April

The Iowa Wild hockey team has invited Adaptive Sports Iowa to be the recipients of the “Split the Pot” raffle that takes place at all home games throughout the 2023/24 season. Adaptive Sports Iowa provides sports and recreation opportunities for Iowans with physical disabilities. The volunteers will assist in selling raffle tickets throughout the games up until the end of the second intermission. At that point, a drawing will take place and the proceeds raised during the game will be split between the winning ticket and Adaptive Sports Iowa. This is a tremendous fundraising opportunity for our organization that will have profound effects on our ability to serve our mission.

The system in place for the volunteers is extremely user-friendly. Each volunteer will have a wireless device that will print the ticket as well as update a real-time amount ticker on the scoreboard.

Each volunteer will receive free admission into the game and a free ticket to another game!

Please sign up online at

For further questions, please contact us at 888-777-8881 ext. 714 or email

This post was updated September 2023.

Ankeny Art Center - Ongoing Opportunities

The Ankeny Art Center values all our dedicated volunteers! Volunteering is a wonderful and fulfilling way for individuals and organizations to give to the arts and to the community. We have many different events and opportunities to volunteer at to help support a local non-profit!

View opportunities at:

This post was updated August 2023.

Ronald McDonald House Charities

At the Ronald McDonald House, we aim to provide a home away from home for families with seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. Families need more than just medical treatment during this difficult time. Our goal is to provide them with a supportive and comforting environment where they can focus on their child’s health and well-being.

There are a variety of ways that your students can get involved.

  • Baking or Making To-Go Meals for our families
  • General Deep Cleaning
  • Tab Tops Collection

We also offer Service-Learning Opportunities for students 16 years or older. This program is an excellent way for students to complete their Silver Cord hours. The student will assist the house manager and volunteer coordinator with daily activities. The duties include:

  • Welcome families, shadow check-in procedure and make families feel at home.
  • Assist with House operations and upkeep.
  • Assist with intake and documentation of donations.
  • Assist with managing volunteer groups.

If you have any questions in regards to our volunteer opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact Maggie Siwinski at or 515-204-2005.

Volunteer at Ronald McDonald House Charities

This post was updated in April 2023.


Every day there are families recovering from dangerous and violent situations who wake up every morning wondering “how did we get here?”  They often are so perplexed it is difficult to plan for the most basic needs that most take for granted every day such as finding a safe place to live.

As a non-profit organization, the Freestore works with domestic violence and sex trafficking agencies, as well as multiple other human services agencies in the Des Moines area.  We provide donated furniture and household goods for families starting new and productive lives in a safe and secure environment, allowing them to focus instead on rebuilding their lives.

We are asking for your assistance in accomplishing our mission.  Volunteers are needed.

The Freestore is unique in that the organization is totally run by volunteers – no one at the Freestore receives a salary. With your help, many more families escaping abusive home environments will be able to move on with their lives.

There are a variety of ways for your company or organization to become involved!

  • Pick up donations or deliver furniture and other household goods to qualified families with the use of our trucks.
  • Assist in the warehouse with various tasks such as putting together modular furniture, sorting donations, organizing stock, etc.
  • Sponsor a “fill-up-the-truck” drive at your chosen location to receive gently used household goods or monetary donations for the purchase of much-needed items.

We need teams of 3-6 to assist either on an ad hoc basis (you pick the time and date that works for you) or on a regularly scheduled ongoing commitment as infrequently as once every 4-6 weeks.

One final thought – with Earth Day just around the corner, consider the positive impact the Freestore has on the environment.  Gently used furniture and household goods are going to some of the most vulnerable in our community instead of to a landfill!  The Earth Day theme this year is “Invest in our Planet”.  Why not consider investing in the Freestore as an Earth Day initiative?

Please reach out to us at or for any questions you may have or to schedule a volunteer event. We would love to have you on board!

This post was updated August 2023.

Ankeny Service Center - Elderly Assistance

The Ankeny Service is looking for volunteers to help with the needs of the elderly. Our program is focused on helping seniors who live at home do everyday tasks.  Tasks vary from taking out the garbage all the way to explaining the remote.  The requests from seniors come in all the time and having volunteers willing and ready to help is a great way for us to quickly help with needs.

We are located at

You can turn in your application to volunteer online or in our office at
641 S. Ankeny Blvd., Suite H
Ankeny, Iowa 50023

For more information please contact us at

This post was updated August 2023.

Johnston Public Library

Volunteers Needed for Tech Help with Teens:

Johnston Public Library is seeking volunteers to participate in our new Tech Help with Teens program. Volunteers should be in Grades 10 -12, available at least one Saturday afternoon every other month, and have significant experience with computers and related technology. Tech Help with Teens is scheduled to begin in December 2022 with a training session in November.

Types of Help Include:

Working with

  • Apple products – iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple iOS
  • Microsoft products – Windows, Android iOS
  • Kindle, Nook, eReaders, and other tablets
  • Browsing, searching, and downloading content on the internet
  • Setting up and using Email including Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook
  • Password Management / Google Chrome Password Manager
  • Cloud Storage / How to Save to Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.
  • Microsoft Office Products / Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • First time laptop setup
  • Customer Service / Working with a diverse group of people / Clearly communicating with patrons / Must show a clean and respectable appearance

Training will be provided for all volunteers before the start of the Tech Help with Teens program. In addition to training on the above technology basics, training will include:

  • How to understand Patron needs
  • How to find the answer
  • How to teach the Patron to find resources for future use
  • Privacy and Confidentiality in the Library

Tech Help with Teens will NOT provide the following assistance:

  • Troubleshooting Hardware/Software Issues
  • Physical Repairs
  • Consumer Product Advice/Internet Shopping Product Suggestions
  • Malware/Virus Detection and Repair

If interested in volunteering for Tech Help with Teens, please fill out the application which can be
found at
Any questions regarding the program and/or volunteering can be sent to Stephanie, Public Services Librarian, at

This post was updated August 2023.

Des Moines Public Library

The Des Moines Public Library has the Rosie Reader Outreach and Simple Steps early literacy initiative that provides early literacy activity bags for DMPS preschoolers. The downtown library is looking for students who could commit to a couple of hours each week to help prepare 1,300+ bags.

Interested students can email Ashley Molzen at the DMPL to learn more:

This post was updated August 2023.

Broadlawns Medical Center Gift Shop

We are currently looking for volunteers to fill open shifts for our Gift Shop.   It would be most helpful for those volunteers to have some cashier experience, but not necessary.  It is primarily for comfort level with the process.  Most of our customers to our gift shop at this point are employees so far, so they scan their badges for transactions.  Our gift shop will only be a year old this November.

The shifts are either 8:30-12:30pm or 12-4pm.  Here is a description for the opportunity within this link alongside the application towards the bottom of the page.

This post was updated August 2023.

Foster SQUAD
Foster SQUAD is an organization that aims to support foster parents and children in our community. Every other month Foster SQUAD holds a support group for foster parents. We are looking for 2 volunteers every other month to provide child care during this support group. This volunteer opportunity would be available every other month for an hour and a half in the evening.  If you are interested in volunteering for the Foster SQUAD please email Tara at
Des Moines Botanical Gardens

Join a dynamic team that is helping the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden become one of the most beautiful attractions in Iowa! Volunteers are essential to our success and help carry out our mission by giving over 14,000 hours of service annually. Volunteers are involved in every area within the organization–share your enthusiasm for the natural world by connecting with guests, nurturing plants, educating or supporting events and activities.

Visit the Volunteer Opportunities page. 

This post was updated August 2023.

Meals from the Heartland

Meals from the Heartland’s packaged meals help feed the hungry throughout the world. Meals are delivered directly to locations in Iowa, the U.S. and around the world — wherever people are undernourished or starving. When you volunteer to fight hunger with us, not only are you feeding hungry children, but meal packaging is an enjoyable, rewarding experience. We welcome individuals and teams from businesses, schools, churches, community organizations, clubs and more.

Sign up individually or with your business, church or civic group. Volunteer registration is available here.

Contact Volunteer Coordinator Sandy Niland with questions –

This post was updated August 2023.

Many Hands

PERFECT SCHEDULE for Silver Cord and Student Volunteers!

Come whenever Monday – Saturday whenever the store is open for as long or as little fits into your schedule. At the thrift store, you can sort and process donations, tag clothing items, create displays, help with marketing, and much more. We want you to find the best fit for you. NO Scheduling…flexible hours!

100% of our proceeds go back towards local and global missions. We are a thrift store with a purpose that provides a better way of donating and serving.

Thank you!
Learn more at
Contact Kari McLaren – – 515.238.3482

This post was updated August 2023.

Candeo - Serving Individuals with disabilities

Candeo is a non-profit organization with flexible options where students can choose their level of engagement with our clients. Many of our clients are looking for someone to hang out with or a mentor who will commit to seeing them. Volunteer opportunities may include playing board games, cooking, book reading or assisting with yard work around our clients home. This opportunity is in alignment with Candeo’s mission, to inspire individuals in service to achieve their personal goals. Please contact Gerald Cofie or sign up here.

This post was updated August 2023.

Individual Band Lessons

Are you an accomplished band student that would be interested in delivering remote individual lessons for your younger peers? Please contact Christian Baughman.

This post was updated August 2023.

Contact Us

Nick Nelson Profile
Assistant Principal