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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.

Iowa Senior Games - June 2 - 11

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the 2023 Iowa Senior Games. The Iowa Senior Games (ISG) is an Olympic-style sports festival for men and women who are at least 50 years of age. Nearly 1,000 athletes are expected for the 37th Annual Iowa Senior Games.

We are reaching out to make you aware of the numerous volunteer opportunities we have available this coming summer! From June 2nd, 2023 through June 11th, we will be hosting the Iowa Senior Games in the West Des Moines area. We have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for high school students to take advantage of! Several different days and times, as well as many different opportunities, are available for our volunteers. Click “Sign-Up” next to the opportunities you would like to volunteer for.

Using the link below, you will find all of the volunteer opportunities along with dates, times, and the number of people needed for each.
This post was updated in March 2023.
Music Under the Stars - June 11, 18, and 25 & July 2, 9 and 16

Location:  Iowa State Capital (west side)

Times:  5:30pm  – 9:00pm Sunday

Dates:  June 11,18,25, July 2, 9 (Lauridsen Amphitheater), 16 (Lauridsen Amphitheater)

Duties: Concert set-up & tear down; help with sound equipment, distribute programs to audience members, other duties as assigned.  There will downtime to listen to the concert.

Volunteers are encouraged to dress comfortably, bring water, lawn chairs, etc.

Music Under the Stars provides free concerts on the west steps of the capital, featuring the Des Moines Metro Concert Band and Jazz Band.  We are beginning our 76th summer season.


Interested Volunteers can sign-up via e-mail @ or at the “contact us” link at our website

This post was updated in April 2023.

Catch Des Moines - June 7 - 11 and July 26

IRONMAN 70.3 Des Moines – June 7th-11th
IRONMAN 70.3 Des Moines is returning this summer! Looking for a way to get involved with the triathlon? Sign up to learn more about volunteer opportunities here.

AAU Junior Olympic Games – July 26th
AAU Junior Olympic Games will be hosted in Greater Des Moines in 2023 and will include 14 different sporting events, the largest annual premier multi-sport event for amateur youth conducted in the United States. This event needs 2,500 volunteers to run smoothly, sign up to volunteer here!

Cajun Fest - June 17

Below, please find a link to the registration page to review and sign up for volunteer positions across multiple volunteer jobs.

The event will be held on June 17th at Cowles Commons in Downtown Des Moines. 

Contact: Karter Smith at or 515-803-3370.

Iowa Games (various events) - June 29 - July 16

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the Summer Iowa Games.   We ask that if you are age 14 & below that you have an adult volunteer with you.

Volunteers will receive an Iowa Games Volunteer t-shirt (received day of volunteer shift), water, and if working over the lunch/dinner hour a volunteer meal.

Prior to signing up please read over the Iowa Games volunteer information and waiver.

A detailed confirmation will be sent 7 days prior to your shift to the email address that you provide.  Details on location of shift, where to park, what to wear will be included in your confirmation.

Questions can be directed to:  Discover Ames – Veronica Tarello | 515-817-6314 |

This post was updated in May 2023.
Can Play Programs - Multiple Opportunities in June through August

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:

Parkview Summer Tree Watering - June through August

Our Parkview community recently planted 8 trees through a Trees for Kids grant from the DNR and we are looking for families to adopt a week this summer to help water our beautiful new trees.

The commitment would be to water twice a week. Each watering session should take about 30 minutes and we have all the equipment (buckets, hoses, wheelbarrow) on site. You would just need to check out a key to access the water from the main office on the days you choose to water. Volunteers can choose which days of the week they would like to water.

Office hours this summer to check out the key will be 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM (M,T,W,TH) and 7:30 AM – 11:00 AM (F)

You can signup here.

This post was updated in May 2023.
Urbandale Girls Recreation Association - June
What – Rec softball umpire (non-certified) for our Minors division (grades 3rd & 4th).
When – Monday & Wednesday evenings in May & June (a more detailed schedule can be provided if your are interested in the opportunity).
Where – UGRA Softball Fields : 4401 104th St. in Urbandale, IA 50322
Additional Info – A set of rules can be provided in advance for review prior to your shift.  We are not looking at certified umpires for this age division; it will be very low-key as this is a rec program. What we are really looking for is a neutral party  to help make game decisions in situations where the coaches are not able to make a decision. They will not be behind the plate calling balls and strikes, but would need to keep track of how many runs are scored each inning, where the base runners are, calling runners safe or out if a play is close, etc.  They will have the support of a Board Member on Duty in the event that parents/coaches/players are not acting appropriately.  They do not need to have a background in baseball or softball, but that would certainly be helpful.
Contact with questions.
This post was updated in May 2023.
Ankeny Hawks Baseball and Softball Concessions - June through July

Please review the available slots below and click on the button to sign up. Thank you!

You can signup here.

This post was updated in May 2023.
Iowa Games (Triathlon and Duathlon) - July 9

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the Summer Iowa Games Triathlon & Duathlon!

Signup at:

Click “Sign Up” next to the slot you would like to volunteer for, then click “Submit and Sign Up”.

The Summer Iowa Games Triathlon & Duathlon volunteer registration system allows you to register for one slot per day. Volunteer opportunities are listed by day and time. To register multiple people, add the number of volunteers you will be bring (including yourself) under the quantitiy drop-down.

For questions regarding volunteer opportunities with the Summer Iowa Games Triathlon & Duathlon contact Tre Stanton at or call 888-777-8881.

This post was updated in May 2023.
The Cornbread/Corn Bred Festival - July 22

The Hip Hop Hope and the South Central STEM Hub are seeking volunteers for a brand new event called The Cornbread/Corn Bred Festival.

Within that event, the SC STEM Hub is hosting a Mini-STEM Festival with exhibitors from John Deere, East Penn Manufacturing, 4H, and maybe more. Here’s our website:

The Cornbread Festival is led by organizer Bo James of Hip Hop Hope. We love this description from the website:

  • “This Festival is unapologetically corny!  It’s designed to bridge the gaps between Iowa’s urban and rural cultures in education, agriculture, arts, innovation, technology and careers. There will be a live stage, contests, tournaments, exhibits, a corny job fair and lots and lots of Cornbread!”

Help at the STEM Fest w/in the Cornbread Festival.

THEN stay and help at the event in-general. Feel free to just sign-up for this opportunity, also. The entire event is open from 9AM – 9PM plus set-up and clean-up). Volunteers are needed throughout the day and could come away with over 12 hours of service.

Catch Des Moines - July 24 - 27
RAGBRAI is coming through Des Moines this year and Catch Des Moines is looking for volunteers to help with set up and welcome on July 24th -27th. It is a great opportunity for students looking for some silver cord hours or just wanting to enjoy the sun and the many bikers of Iowa! There are lots of openings so they can work with a group of friends or family as well. The shifts include parking at Water Works Park, assisting bikers with camping spots, welcoming people to the park, and set up.
Here is the link to sign up: RAGBRAI Volunteer Sign Up 
Clowns at the Carousel - August 6

Clowns at the Carousel will be held August 6 from 4-7 pm at Union Park in Des Moines.  This will be our 20th year of hosting this event.  It is an all-free family event with inflatables, stage shows, food, carousel rides, and Health & Safety Street.   We need volunteers to assist with handing out pizza, popcorn, fruit and drinks.  Volunteers are also needed to deliver water to exhibitors on Health & Safety Street, for help in keeping the park clean and making popcorn and lemonade.  Volunteers can work the full three hours or only an hour if they wish.

Visit the website at

Volunteers may email Katy Sowden with Blank Children’s Hospital at to register.

Living History Farms - Summer Day Camp Volunteers

Living History Farms is looking for Junior Counselors to help with their Summer Day Camps.

Students must be entering 9th through 12th grades in the fall (or graduating from high school in spring) and must turn 14 years old by June 1.

More information and applications can be found here –

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 in April 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

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

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:

Broadlawns Medical Center Gift Shop
Your time makes a difference! Join our fun crew as a cashier in the Broadlawns Medical Center’s Gift Shop!

A little bit about what you’ll be doing:
* Interacting with staff, visitors, and patients and helping them locate desired gift shop items.
* Operating a computerized register system.
* Answering the phone.
* Taking payment for purchases and making change when necessary.
* Assisting in stocking supplies when needed.
* Assisting in keeping the Gift Shop clean and tidy.
* Providing directions and giving non-medical information when requested.

What we’re looking for:
* Must be at least 16 years of age.
* Ability to volunteer for a weekly shift.
* 6-month commitment (two non-consecutive semesters for students).
* Ability to communicate with people of all backgrounds.
* Familiarity with principals of retailing is helpful.
* Ability to count money and make change.

If you’re looking for a fun and rewarding place to give back to the community by helping those who truly appreciate your time and talents, then this is the place for you! Come share your smile with us!

08:30 AM to 11:30 AM – Monday – Friday shifts available.
11:00 AM to 02:00 PM – Monday – Friday shifts available.
01:30 PM to 04:30 PM – Monday – Friday shifts available.
Students would need to start by filling out an application, which can be found here:

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. 

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 –

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

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.

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.

Contact Us

Nick Nelson Profile
Student and Building Support Specialist