Pre-Approved Volunteer Opportunities

Questions about the Silver Cord volunteer program?
Take a few minutes to review the Silver Cord Online Handbook

Pre-Approved Activities

The organizations-opportunities listed below are currently seeking volunteers. All of the organizations-opportunities listed below are pre-approved activities and can be found in the drop down box when submitting your hours for credit. you DO NOT have to submit an individual pre-approval form for these items.

WDMCS District Volunteer Opportunities

Indian Hills – Football Chain Gang September 11, 18 and October 11

Six sideline volunteers are needed at the Indian Hills football games. No experience is needed just a willingness to pay attention to the game and an ability to quickly realign the chains whenever the offense gets a first down. To volunteer please sign-up through the link Home games are on the following dates: September 11, 18, and October 11.  Games are held at either Valley Stadium or Tiger Field. For more information contact Zac Sinram at

Western Hills – Drama Production  Aug. 26 – Nov. 17

This is an exciting opportunity to receive silver cord hours while assisting the Western HIlls drama production of The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood! You will assist students backstage during practice, dress rehearsal and live performances. Activities may include assisting with costumes, lining up students before they go onstage, and supervision of students when they are not on stage. This is a lively and thrilling time for the students and their excitement will overflow so you will have a fun time too. To volunteer sign up online For more information contact Beth Barkley at

VHS – Debate Tournament  September 22-23

The Valley Debate Tournament (“Mid-America Cup”) is scheduled for the weekend of September 22-23, 2018. This is the largest fundraiser for our Valley Debate team. We are expecting around 500 students, coaches and judges from all over the country at this year’s tournament. We’re in need of student volunteers to help with concessions. Shifts are located at Valley and Southwoods and consist of concession and cleanup help. To volunteer use the link: for more information check out the WDM Valley Debate Facebook page  or contact Ann Fogarty at FOGARTY.ANNE@PRINCIPAL.COM.

Westridge – Monster Mash October 18

Come help our Westridge students and families have a great night trick or treating through the halls of Westridge Elem. Volunteers must be dressed up in a non scary, school appropriate costume to help show the spirit of the Monster Mash party. Please arrive by 4:30 to help decorate. Event is from 5:30-7, and clean up from 7-7:30. You will be responsible for either walking around being entertaining in costume, handing out candy at stations, running a family fun game, or welcoming families as they come into the building. Assignments will be made when volunteers arrive. Please come to the main entrance of Westridge in the circle drive and look for the volunteer check in table.  To sign-up use the link

Clive Learning Academy – PTO Meeting Childcare  Monthly starting Sept 19

Clive Learning Academy holds monthly Parent Teacher Organization meetings in the school media center. Parents attending this meeting will often bring their elementary aged children. The Clive PTO is looking for 2 Silver Cord individuals to join us in the Media Center to watch over the children during the meeting. There are four meeting dates this school year, Sept 18, Nov 13, Feb 19, and May 21 and the hours are 6:45p-8:30p. For additional information contact Laura Schieber at

Sign up using the SignUpGenius link: 

VHS Honors Project – Kate Snodgrass – Western Hills Science Club

Volunteers are needed to help with the Western Hills Science Club which will meet every other Tuesday from 3:55p – 5:10p starting September 4. Silver Cord volunteers will work with 5th and 6th grade students at Western Hills so they can learn more about science through hands-on experiments. Topics covered include physics, engineering, environmental science, and more!  No experience is necessary in these areas. To volunteer click here. Or e-mail Kate at

Community Education – ESL Child Care Helpers

You can make a difference in the lives of dedicated adult English language students by helping with child care during class. Volunteers are needed in the Learning Resource Center every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5-7:45 p.m.   Two volunteers are needed each evening to assist the child care provider. You will be responsible for helping play games, reading books, and other various tasks while parents learn. Come have fun! You must be at least age 16, love children, and be patient with and have respect for individuals with diverse backgrounds. To volunteer sign-up through the link  For more information, contact Karen Crosby at  The Learning Resource Center is located at 3550 Mills Civic Pkwy.

Booster Pak – Webmaster Volunteer  

Booster Pak is looking for an individual with graphic design and/or web development skills. Volunteer would work with Board Members and Booster Pak Leadership to make updates to the existing Web Site (WordPress) and implement new features. Volunteer would also assist with implementing the organization’s social media campaign.  Expected commitment would be up to 10 hours a month and very flexible. Experience with WordPress, Facebook and Twitter required. To apply contact Melanie Menkin at

VHS- Booster Club-Concession Stand

Silver Cord volunteers are eligible to help in the various concession stands at Valley and VSW sporting events. Each time the concession stands are open a sports team is responsible for providing volunteers. To help fill the gaps (one) Silver Cord student can also volunteer in any shift that is not assigned to their own VHS/VSW team. Only One Student Per Shift Can Sign Up, No Pairs Or Groups. Effective Immediately, The Only Concession Spots That Silver Cord Students Can Sign Up For Are Labeled Silver Cord Only. All Other Shifts That They Sign Up For Will Be Deleted. This Will Be For All Sports Seasons. The shifts are two hours long and it’s fun to be a part of the action! To sign-up use the link: more information contact the Volunteer Coordinator at

Children’s Cancer Connection Blankets—Sept. through May Only—No Summer Drop Off

The Children’s Cancer Connection is collecting blankets to send with kids to camp. Handmade polar fleece tie blankets for both boys and girls ages 5-18 are needed. Please put the blankets in a bag and drop off at the Valley Counseling center or the VSW main office. Make sure to include a note with name, grade, and date. Two hours of Silver Cord Credit can be earned by purchasing the fleece, making the blanket and turning it in to Mrs. Bonus at VSW or her office in the VHS Counseling Office.  Students can make one blanket a month.  PLEASE note: in order to get credit you must remember to cut off the salvage of the fleece as well as make sure you knot the strips (not just tie them once). To learn how to make a blanket please review the attached directions. Blankets will not be accepted after May 31st.  Blankets will again be accepted September 1st.


Metro Area Volunteer Opportunities

NEW WDM Girls Softball – Fall Concession Stand Volunteer     Sept 10 – October 11

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashion concession stand! If you are wanting to earn hours in a fast and fun way consider volunteering for WDM Girls Softball. Volunteers are needed to help in the concession stand September 10 through October 11. Shifts are four hours long and up to four volunteers can help during the shift. The WDM Girls Softball fields are located at 1401 Railroad Ave in WDM. For more information contact Kari Scully at  To volunteer sign up through the VolunteerSignup link:  

WDM Police and Youth Justice Initiative – Y.J.I. Fun Run Walk   September 29

Volunteers are needed Saturday, September 29 from 8:15a – 11:00a to help with the Youth Justice Initiative Fun Run to be held at Raccoon River Park Biddle Shelter. Duties include helping with registration, packet pick up, paperwork, and handing out t-shirts. To volunteer please contact Scott Davis at Volunteers are encouraged to wear Valley gear.

Illumifest – City of WDM Fall Festival of Lights    September 22

Illumifest, a City of West Des Moines Fall Festival, is needing 45 volunteers to help on Saturday, September 22  at various events throughout the day. volunteer spots are organized  into two different 5 hour shifts. Students can sign up to either help assist with set-up or with the various activities which include the lantern painting project, assisting with the Royal Promenade around the pond, assisting with crowd control near the hot air balloon ride line and helping with the inflatables/games.  To volunteer please sign-up through the link: For more information contact Courtney Bench at   Illumifest will be held at the WDM City Hall campus.

NEW Izaak Walton League – Iowa Outdoor Expo Volunteer  Sept 22 and 23

The Izaak Walton League located in Water Works Park on George Flagg Parkway will be hosting activities during the Polk County Conservation Outdoor Expo, September 22 and 23.  Volunteers are needed to help kids and adults with different hands on activities such as making bird feeders, fish prints, nature necklaces, fish games for kids, archery, canoes, kayaks and paddle boards. To volunteer fill out the attached form and e-mail with the subject line EXPO volunteer  to Lisa McIntyre at

Polk County Conservation – Outdoor Expo September 22-23

Volunteers are needed for the Polk County Conservation Iowa Outdoor Expo, September 22-23, held at Water Works Park in DSM. Volunteers will assist at the Fishing Village, the Archery Village, Conservation Habitat tent, Kids Zone, Canoeing/Kayaking Village and registration. Get outdoors, meet fellow outdoor adventurers, and earn some volunteer hours! There are several shifts to choose from, to sign up click here. For more info. contact Lori Foresman-Kirpes at

Animal Rescue League of Iowa – The Iowa Dog Jog  September 22

Come help Iowa’s largest Dog Jog. The Animal Rescue League is gearing up for the annual Dog Jog the weekend of September 21 and 22.  This event will take place at 6300 Pioneer Pkwy in Johnston. To check out all of the volunteer opportunities use the VolunteerLocal link  Contact Chris Hubbard at for more information.

WDM Police and Youth Justice Initiative – Y.J.I. Fun Run Walk  September 29

Volunteers are needed Saturday, September 29 from 8:15a – 11:00a to help with the Youth Justice Initiative Fun Run to be held at Raccoon River Park Biddle Shelter. Duties include helping with registration, packet pick up, paperwork, and handing out t-shirts. To volunteer please contact Scott Davis at Volunteers are encouraged to wear Valley gear.

Bras for the Cause – Gallery Days Musicians  September 28-30

Bars for the Cause is looking for volunteer musicians (band, vocal, orchestra, or acoustic) to play during the Bras for the Cause public voting being held at the former Gap Store in Valley West Mall. Public voting takes place September 28-30, Friday, 5:00a-9:00p, Saturday, 10:00a-9:00p and Sunday, 11:00a-6:00p. To volunteer contact Barbara Nobile at and let her know what time you are available to perform.

National Alliance on Mental Illness – NAMIWALKS  September 29

Join NAMI on Saturday, September 29 during the annual fundraising walk to benefit those living with mental illness. Volunteers are needed in the morning from 7:00a to 12:00p to help set up and tear down, direct walkers on the course, and assist in the kids area and pet area.  Breakfast, snacks, and lunch are provided. The NAMI Walk will be held at Terra Lake Park 6300 Pioneer Parkway in Johnston. To volunteer contact the office at office at 515-254-0417 or contact Zach or Cindy at or

Veridian Credit Union – Shred Day  October 6

Veridian Credit Union (a not-for-profit institution) is hosting a free Community Shred Day on October 6, 2018 from 8:30a to 12:30p at the 5910 University Avenue branch. Volunteers are needed at this event and will be unloading boxes of shred materials from attendee’s cars into shred bins. (Students will not be emptying the bins into the shredding machine).  To volunteer contact Krysta Johnson at

Above + Beyond Cancer Adventure Triathlon October 14

The 4th annual Above + Beyond Adventure Tri is taking place at Water Works Park Sunday, October 14. Volunteers are needed to help with the canoe course, finish line, packet pick up, and set up and tear down.  To volunteer use the sign-up link.  Cheyanne Lepird is the contact person for this event.  She can be reached at

Help a Heart – Super Hero Heart Run October 14

The Superhero Heart Run is a 2K.5K race that helps support families that have been affected with kids with congenital heart defect issues.  This event will take place at the River Park on Sunday, October 14 from 10:00a – 3:00p and over 500 runners/walkers are expected to participate. There is a kids race and some other children’s activities. Duties include helping with setup and stuffing packets, water stations, and tear down.  To volunteer sign up through the Super Hero link. For more information contact Jeremy Haack at

NEW Living History Farms – Halloween Celebration   October 18 -28

Come out and enjoy an old fashioned Halloween by volunteering one or more nights during the Living History Farms Halloween Celebration scheduled for Oct. 18-21 and 25-28. There are a variety of ways to help including greeting guests, helping in the volunteer center, pumpkin bowling, ring toss, and selling raffle tickets. Volunteers under 16 will need to be accompanied by an adult. To see what’s still available just click on the VolunteerLocal link For additional information contact Jan Milroy at Living History Farms is located at 2600 111th Street in Urbandale.

Blank Park Zoo – Night Eyes at the Zoo October 18 – 21 and October 25 – 28

Lights, Costumes,Treats! 2018 marks the 28th year of Night Eyes, the sweetest Halloween tradition in Central Iowa! With hundreds of guests expected volunteers are needed each night in all areas of the zoo including treat stations, character actors,and the Fun Zone (just to name a few openings!) Sign-up early because the volunteer spots for this fun opportunity fill up FAST! To volunteer for Night Eyes, use the link

Children and Families of Iowa – Princess Party October 20

The Foundation for Children & Families of Iowa (CFI) is hosting our annual Princess Party on Saturday, October 20 at Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines. Princess Party hosts a morning filled with fun and activities! There will be a meet and greet with the princesses, breakfast provided by Panera Bread, kids spa activities, various games, and more. In order for this charity fundraising event to be successful, we will need the help of over 80 volunteers. The event time frame is 6:30 AM to 11:00 AM, with many volunteer stations and roles available. Volunteer check in will be at the entrance by the movie theater in Jordan Creek town Center. All volunteers are required to be 14 years or older. To volunteer for this fun event go sign up here. For more information contact Heather Lee at

NEW Girls on the Run – 5K (Mercy Live Up Loop)   October 20

Volunteers are needed to help cheer on runners and provide water at the Mercy Live Up Loop run to be held at Gray’s Lake. This run will take place Saturday, October 20 from 7:30a to 9:00a, 2101 Fleur Drive in Des Moines. To volunteer use the SignUpGenius link  Questions? Email Christa Vander Leest at

NEW Greater Life Community Church – Trunk or Treat  October 31

Volunteers are needed at a Trunk or Treat scheduled for Wednesday, October 31 from 5:30p to 8:30p  at Iowa Christian Academy, 2501 Vine Street in West Des Moines. Opportunities for this event include; helping with games, passing out candy, setup and cleanup.  To volunteer email Rebecca at

Single Parent Provision – Break Time West Sept. 15 and Nov. 3

Single Parent Provision is a non-profit organization working to strengthen the lives of single parents and their families in central Iowa. Volunteers are needed September 15 and November 3 at the Single Parent Provision being held at the Valley Community Center, 4444 Fuller Read in West Des Moines. Duties include helping children from infant to age 14 with planned activities, board games, legos, and playdough. To volunteer go to the Single Parent Provision sign up and select Break Time West. Hours will be from 5:00p to 9:15p. For additional information contact Cheryl Prall at

The ALS Association Iowa Chapter – Des Moines Walk to Defeat ALS  October 6

Volunteer to help at the ALS Association Iowa Chapter, 2018 Walk to Defeat ALS on Saturday, October 6, 7:30a 11:30a. The walk will take place at Principal Park, 1 Line Drive, Des Moines. Opportunities include kids inflatables, Plinko game, registration, and walk route. To volunteer please contact Sarah Lettow at

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation – UpCycle Stewards June – September

Get outdoors and help restore one of Des Moines’ most popular parks! Volunteers will remove invasive plants from the woodlands around Gray’s Lake Park.  After the event, organizers will take the plants to Blank Park Zoo where they will be “upcycled” into foo for the zoo animals. UpCycle Stewards is a joint effort between Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines Parks and Recreation and Trees Forever.  Volunteer events are held the third Thursday of each month June – September from 5:30p – 7:30p at Gray’s Lake Park. To volunteer contact Melanie Louis at

WDM Library- Monthly Group Service Project  Monthly, Sept – May

The Library is looking for volunteers to help with a monthly group service project – A monthly, two hours volunteer opportunity for students in 9th – 12th grades. A variety of tasks will be performed to help out the Library including cleaning and straightening shelves, organizing materials, preparing program supplies, and more. No experience or training necessary! To participate students must fill out a completed Group Service Project Application. To obtain the application or for more information please contact or 515-222-3412. Or check out the volunteer opportunity webpage.

Waukee Community Closet – Volunteer

High school volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis to help at the Waukee Community Closet. Duties include organizing and helping during shopping and donation hours. To learn more check out the Waukee Community Closet web page and look for the volunteer tab. The Waukee Community Closet is located at 77 Carefree Lane in Waukee. Questions? Contact Cindy Torvic at

Clive Community Services – ESL Class

Clive Community Services is seeking Junior & Senior aged Silver Cord Volunteers to serve as Classroom Assistants for ESL (English as a Second Language) classes this summer. Classes are scheduled for every Monday, 12:00 – 1:30 PM and Wednesday, 10:00 – 11:00 AM in June, July, and August. Classes will be held at Clive Community Services, 2190 NW 82nd Street, Suite A.  You need not speak any languages other than English since students may speak different languages and it may vary by day.  However, CCS serves many Chin speakers and so Chin speaking students who are proficient in English may be interested. Please contact Pam Mohr, Education Director at with questions.  Or visit our signup via our signup genius site:

Meals from the Heartland WDM Packaging Center

Did you know that the main Meals from the Heartland packaging center is located right here in WDM! It is located just south of Valley Junction at 357 Lincoln Street in West Des Moines! Severals times a week including Saturday’s Meals from the Heartland has open packing opportunities for volunteers. For more information check out the Meals from the Heartland website  To volunteer use the online registration form Volunteer at Meals from the Heartland

Kiwanis Miracle League – Angels in the Outfield  2018 season

The 2018 Kiwanis Miracle League season is now underway. Miracle League Buddies (volunteers) act as “angels in the outfield” to assigned players who have physical or mental challenges. Volunteer duties include providing a safe experience and to be enthusiastic and encouraging during the game. Buddies will receive training and will commit to the “Buddy Pledge”.

For more information contact Jan Burch at

Video: Kiwanis Miracle League Video

Application: Miracle League Application

Directions: 529 Southwest 5th Street, Des Moines, IA – Google Maps

West Des Moines Lions Club – Volunteer Webmaster

The West Des Moines Lions Club is looking for a student or students to help keep the local Lions Club website up to date. Duties will include working with Lions Club International on building and enhancing the website and showcasing the local clubs activities, pictures, and upcoming events. To be considered for this position please contact Mike Hammen, Club President, at The hours for this volunteer opportunity are flexible and the work will be done at Mike Hammen’s office, Advantage Financial Services, 1776 22nd Street, West Des Moines, Iowa.

Des Moines Children’s Museum – Museum Volunteer  Ongoing

Des Moines Children’s Museum is a 501 (c)(3) 100% volunteer run organization with the long term goal of opening a permanent location. Our mission is :The Des Moines Children’s Museum will provide a fun, safe, and educational environment for young children and their families to explore the arts, nature, and the world around them. We will provide hands-on exhibitions and programs to encourage a love of learning, and be a positive resource for parents, children, and the surrounding community. Volunteers will assist with the day-to-day operation of the museum.  Tasks will include things like welcoming visitors, sanitizing toys, and keeping exhibits tide. The Des Moines Children’s Museum is located at Valley West Mall.  To volunteer sign up on the Des Moines Children’s Museum volunteer page Questions?  Contact Julie Burtnette at

NEW Plymouth Place Senior Living – Tech Time      ongoing during the school year

Are you looking for a good way to get your Silver Cord hours? Are you good with computers, phone, i-pads, and tablets? Plymouth Place Senior Community, an independent living community for seniors, is looking for students to come and help at “Tech Time” on Wednesday afternoons from 3:00p -5:00p or Saturday mornings 10:00a to 12:00p throughout the school year. All you have to do is help the seniors with their electronic gadgets! Most tech questions will be very simple, like how to turn off/on WiFi or finding apps and using apps. Interested volunteers need to be patient, have a heart for the elderly, and the ability to explain things very clearly. Plymouth Place is located at 4111 Ingersoll Ave in Des Moines. To get on the schedule check out the open dates through the link: or for more information contact Carla Moon at

West Des Moines Community Equity DiscussionsOctober through July 

Silver Cord volunteers are invited to participate in a series of community discussions on the issue of equity and the development of an anti-bias community. Beginning in the spring of 2016, a group of West Des Moines Valley parents met to discuss ways to support the West Des Moines school district and community on the issue of equity and the development of an anti-bias community. The parents reached out to the administration of Valley High School, City Government and to West Des Moines elected leaders with an expression of support and a desire to help. Valley Administration, West Des Moines City Government and West Des Moines elected leaders responded with interest and the idea of holding community discussions was formed. The focus of the 2017-2018 discussions will be based on the Welcoming America – Building a Nation of Neighbors Program ( For additional information contact Mark Hillenband at

The discussions are open to the public and will be held at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway in WDM on the 2nd Thursday of the month beginning October 12 from 7:00p-9:00p. Students who participate in the discussions can sign-in when they arrive and will receive two hours of Silver Cord credit.

Beverdale Estates Retirement Community- “My Story” Interviews

Beverdale Estates is seeking volunteers to work with seniors for a project titled: “My Story”. This would involve interviewing residents one on one  helping them capture their life stories to put together for their families. They would also like the possibility of capturing interviews of the residents on video and/or taking photos of the residents. Interviews would be conducted during business hours, they are open 7 days a week. A brief orientation is required before being assigned to a resident Contact Katie at Beaverdale Estates to get involved in the project at

WDM Library- Teen Advisory Board

Are you interested in making the library a better place for teens? Then the WDM Public Library’s Teen Advisory Board is for you! By becoming a member of TAB you can take a leadership role in your community, give input in teen activities, and help develop the collection of young adult materials at the Library. TAB members also host fundraisers for teen programming at the Library, participate in community activities, help with Children’s programs at the library and more. TAB meets September through May on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Library’s Classroom. Interested student must apply.  For more information regarding the application process contact Jenna Ehler at

 Manor Care (HCR ManorCare) – Activities Volunteer

HCR ManorCare is looking for students to volunteer at their facility in West Des Moines. Volunteers will assist with fun activities such as: bingo, arts and crafts, cards, board games, trivia, Wii games, name that tune, and more! They also have a piano where volunteers may play songs for our residents. The hours are flexible through the end of the school year; M-F to 6:00p and Sat-Sun 9:00a-6:00p. To volunteer please e-mail Amy Gochanour   HCR ManorCare is located at 5010 Grand Ridge Drive in West Des Moines

Clive Community Services—Pantry & Clothing Volunteers

Clive Community Services is seeking regular volunteers to help in our Food Pantry & Clothing Room. Pantry volunteers will work with clients as they shop. Clothing volunteers will assist & monitor clients as they shop. Clive Community Services is located at 2190 NW 82nd Street, Suite A in Clive. This is near the intersection of 86th & Hickman and near Crestview Elementary. Please contact Lisa at for more details. Sign up at  More information about Clive Community Services can be found here.

Make A Wish- Office Assistant

Make a Wish is recruiting an office helper on Wednesday’s after school from 2:30p-4:30p.  Volunteer duties will include scanning, filing and shredding.   To volunteer please email Rachel or call and speak with her at the office, 515-334-2636.  This volunteer position will run through the month of March, interested candidates must by 17 or older.  If you are a junior or senior needing to get service hours done this is a great pre-approved opportunity.

Ongoing Opportunities


Food bank of Iowa     

Pantry Volunteers needed! Join Food Bank of Iowa as we assist community members shopping for food items in our on-site pantry!  Volunteers in this role will help us with restocking the pantry and getting groceries out to the vehicles of pantry clients. Shift times are Tuesdays 3:30p – 7:30p. Qualifications: able to stand, move, bend, and lift 25 lbs, able to safely use box cutters, packing tape, and packing tools. Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older.  Go to to sign up directly on our volunteer calendar. The Food Bank of Iowa is located at 2220 E. 17th Street in Des Moines. For more information contact Michaela Devaney at

National Speech and Debate Association    

Volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis to help prepare honor society mailings and certificates for students and coaches participating in speech and debate across the county.  This is a flexible volunteer opportunity. To arrange volunteer shifts contact Amy Seidelman at The National Speech and Debate Association is located at 401 Railroad Place in West Des Moines.

GiGi’s Playhouse-Adult Percussion Group

GiGi’s Playhouse, a Down Syndrome achievement center located in Windsor Heights, would like to start a percussion group by partnering Valley band percussion students and GiGi adults who are interested in playing a percussion instrument. Student volunteers would need to bring their own instruments (tambourine, bells, moroccas, snare drum; instruments that are easily transportable) Times for this activity have not been determined. This is flexible, as it could be weekly or biweekly or during the fall and spring.  For more information please contact Lisa Woiwood, GiGi’s Playhouse board member at

Botanical Garden – Plant Pot Washer

The Botanical Garden is in need of volunteers to wash plant pots! This is an easy task to learn and one that allows you to put in your ear buds or just get lost in thought while earning Silver Cord hours. It is also a very needed volunteer role!

Lots of pots are used at the Botanical Garden and these need to be sanitized before reusing to prevent the possibility of spreading any disease or contaminates. This is a simple process of brushing out excess dirt, dunking the pot in a cleaning solution and setting it out to dry. Volunteers may also be asked to put away clean pots.

The chemical used to sanitize is Zerotol and it is diluted in water. It is very similar to diluted bleach. Botanical Garden staff will prepare the solution. Rubber gloves and safety glasses are available for use. Staff is happy to discuss the solution composition with anyone who has questions.

This role can be done any day except for Sunday and within these time restrictions.

Weekdays: Be able to arrive no later than 2:30 p.m.

Saturdays: Be able to arrive between 8 and 10 a.m.

Please plan to assist for a minimum of 2 hours. If volunteering only short-term, we ask that volunteers commit to helping a minimum of four hours (over two sessions).

To enquirer about volunteering e-mail Susan Cory at and provide your contact information plus the days and times your are wanting to volunteer.

Susan G. Komen of Iowa –Office Assistant

The Susan G. Komen of Iowa office is in need of volunteer office assistants.  Duties include answering the phones and other administrative tasks as assigned by the Operations and Finance Director. Students can sign up by contacting Tracy Greene at The shift times are flexible, anytime between 9:00a and 5:00p. Weekend and weeknight hours may be available upon request.  For a  detailed job description click the link.  The Susan G. Komen of Iowa office is located at 3850 Merle Hay Road, Urbandale.

Johnston Partnership for a Healthy Community

Volunteers are needed to help serve clients in our food pantry and clothing closet. Volunteers will help clients select food, pack and carry out to their vehicles. Responsibilities will also include restocking shelves, counting/sorting donations and daily cleaning. Volunteers must be at least 16 to volunteer without a parent. First-time volunteers need to arrive 5 minutes early to receive a brief orientation. Shift times: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9am-Noon

Saturdays 10am-2pm.  The Johnston Partnership for a Healthy Community  is located at 5870 Merle Hay Rd Suite D in Johnston, Iowa. To volunteer please sign up through the link  

Questions? Contact Andrea Cook at

Arbor Springs Skilled Care -Elderly Visits

Arbor Springs is a skilled care nursing facility specializing in people with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. The are looking for volunteers to visit with residents for 45 min-1 hour.  The visits can include simple conversations with the residents, reading the newspaper/books, ipad games, jigsaw puzzles, craft projects and listening to I-pods.  Interested students can contact the Activity Assistant Teawna Stark at  To learn more check out the Connect With Seniors Video. Arbor Springs is located at 7951 EP True Pkwy in WDM.

Walnut Creek YMCA-Learn and Play Center

The Walnut Creek YMCA is looking for students who are interested in helping with childcare at the Learn and Play Center. This is an ongoing volunteer opportunity with flexible hours making it a great Silver Cord opportunity for busy students. To volunteer please apply through the YMCA website

Iowa Lutheran Hospital-Volunteen Program

Unity Point Health-Iowa Lutheran Hospital-Volunteen Program gives high school students an opportunity to volunteer in a hospital.  Volunteen duties might include making health folders, talking with patients, making floral arrangements and delivering flowers, magazines, and beverages to patients.  To be considered for this opportunity please visit the Unity Point-Iowa Lutheran Hospital-Volunteer webpage For more information please contact Brad Fuglsang at

Valley Volunteen Testimony: I like helping the patients feel better by giving them flowers and magazines. I am learning to work with other people, and also how to be a part of a team.

Children and Family Urban Movement-Supper Club

Children and Family Urban Movement Supper Club provides an evening meal Monday-Saturday for 120-180 adults and children. Many of the guests that come to Supper Club are among the growing number of working poor that live in the metro area.  Each evening 6-10 volunteers are needed from 4:15p-6:16p to help set-up, serve food, and clean-up. To volunteer please contact WesLynn Caldwell at  Children and Family Urban Movement is located at 1548 8th Street in Des Moines.

Operation Christmas Child-Shoe Box Room

Volunteers are needed year round to prepare the gifts for the annual collection which occurs each year third week of November. In addition, volunteers may assist in or host community and church “packing parties” where items are pooled together and gifts are packaged corporately. Hundreds of hours are spent locally preparing items for inclusion in the boxes for these events in and around central Iowa. Candy needs to be bagged. Soaps and washcloths need to be bundled together. Pencils need to be sharpened. School supplies, toys and stuffed animals need to be gathered. Boxes need to be wrapped. Project work of this nature is based out of “The Shoe Box Room” in Urbandale.  Sign up for project work or to organize a packing party by calling Heather Rowley 515-333-1237 or email

Valley Church-The Respite Event/Hand in Hand

Volunteers are needed to spend a little time with a child with special needs during fun safe events.  Duties include setting up, serving as a one-o-one buddy with a child and cleaning up.  Interested students need to e-mail Beth Castile at and she will contact you regarding the dates and times.  The Hand in Hand events usually take place on Saturday’s.

Help a Heart Support Group

Volunteers are needed the second Monday of each month from 6:15p-8:45p  to help with childcare for parents who are attending a support group for children with heart defects.  Volunteers will watching the children, keeping them entertained, taking them to the bathroom if needed and assisting with snacks. This support group meets at the Westview Church, 1155 SE Boone Drive, Waukee.   Help a Heart offers support to families of children with heart defects and it is VERY important that volunteers are healthy. (no coughs, fevers, or illnesses 24 hours before volunteering)  To volunteer please contact Kasey Vermillion at

Catholic Charities-St Joseph Emergency Family Shelter

Volunteers are needed each Saturday and Sunday from 1:00p-3:00p  to help organize donations, clean the shelter and garage, and help with yard work.  Student volunteers must complete and return the attached consent for minor form to participate.  To volunteer contact the Shelter Coordinators, Celeste Egger or Dixie Webb  The St Joseph Emergency Shelter is located at 1535 11th Street in Des Moines.

Volunteer Form

Courage League Sports

Volunteers are needed to serve as  Courage League Sports “Team Mates” to  children and adults not able to go “full speed” due to disability, illness, or emotional challenges.   Team Mate volunteers  offer  minimal to moderate assistance with sports leagues, fitness classes, and special events. The population served consists of toddlers age 2-6,  school-aged youth age 7-18  and adults with special needs.   Volunteers will be helping participants developing new skills, meet new friends, build self-confidence, and have fun!  Courage League Sports is located at 4405 121st Street in Urbandale, Iowa.

Available Shifts:

Date Time
Monday – Thursday: 4:30-6:30 PM Saturday: 9:15 AM – Noon
Monday – Thursday: 5:30-7:30 PM Saturday: 12:15 PM – 3 PM

If interested in volunteering at Courage League Sports, please check out their website or volunteer submission form

For questions or to sign-up directly please email Porshia Perkins: or call 515-421-4020

Susan G. Komen of Iowa –Office Assistant

The Susan G. Komen of Iowa office is in need of volunteer office assistants.  Duties include answering the phones and other administrative tasks as assigned by the Operations Manager.  Students can sign up by contacting Tracy Dubon at The shift times are flexible, anytime between 8:00a and 5:00p. Weekend and weeknight hours may be available upon request.  For a  detailed job description click the link.  The Susan G. Komen of Iowa office is located at 3850 Merle Hay Road, Urbandale.

Office Assistant Description

Botanical Gardens-Green Thumbs Teen Volunteer Corps

The Botanical Gardens in Des Moines is seeking summer volunteers  interested in environmental sciences, speech/public speaking, theater/drama or a combination of all three to serve as Green Thumbs Teen Volunteers.  Green Thumb Volunteers offers multiple opportunities throughout the gardens.  Volunteers are selected through an application/recommendation process.  To apply please use this link   This volunteer opportunity is for students ages 15 and older.

Green Thumbs

 Urban Bicycle Food Ministry-Burrito Rides

The Urban Bicycle Food Ministry goes out on to the streets of Des Moines to provide radical hospitality! We will be riding our bikes into the downtown Des Moines area to provide burritos, peanut butter sandwiches, water, fruit, cookies and bug spray while building a relationship with those who are in need.  To find out more go to the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry Facebook page where the dates and rides are listed.

Students under the age of 18 will need to ride/volunteer with a parent or other responsible adult.

Vine Street Children’s Center-After school volunteer

Is  looking for individuals after school  who are passionate about children and enjoy working with them, playing with them, and caring for their needs!  In order to volunteer  with the children, all volunteers under age 18 will need to bring in a written permission slip from your parent/guardian giving us permission to run a background check. To volunteer please contact Mandy Lechtenberg at

Central Iowa Shelter Services

Central Iowa Shelter Services (CISS) provides free shelter and meals to homeless adults regardless of physical or emotional conditions.  Volunteers are needed in many different ways including the food pantry, clothing closet, food prep and meals, food rescue, and garden help.  For more information check out the CISS volunteer page.  To get involved contact Jorie Hidri at or 515-564-5752

Gigi’s Playhouse-Ongoing Programming Help

GiGi’s Playhouse has volunteer opportunities to leading and/or assisting with programming, serving on fundraising committees, helping on the day of events and fundraisers, & much more! As a helper you will You will help the program host in many ways including greeting, welcoming, and signing in participants. You will engage and assist participants during activities.

Before signing-up all new volunteers must fill out the Volunteer Registration Form (fill out here: and attend a Volunteer Orientation which provides an overview of our organization, programming, events, and fundraising. We want each and every individual, family, and volunteer to have the best possible experience at Gigi’s Playhouse.

Community Youth Concepts- Youth Volunteer Corps

Youth Volunteer Corps of Des Moines (YVC-Des Moines) is a supervised, team-based service-learning program hosted by Community Youth Concepts. We create volunteer opportunities to address community needs in Des Moines and to inspire youth ages 11-18 for a lifetime commitment to service. We strongly believe in Youth VOICE, Youth CHOICE- so students who come to meetings are the ones who choose what projects they want to do, and it is students who plan and implement those projects with the help of an adult facilitator. Students can receive Silver Cord hrs. from attending meetings, since meetings themselves consist of service activity planning and preparation!

Simply visit and fill out the volunteer information request form. We will email you a list of upcoming activities you may be interested in attending. Students can also send an email to and request to be added to our email list. Or, simply show up on a Wednesday for our weekly meetings from 4-5:15 PM!


This opportunity allows students to assist with Lutheran Church of Hope’s weekend children’s program–HopeKids. HopeKids is a high-energy program for 3 year olds through 5th grade. Student volunteers will help engage kids in worship and breakout activities. This is a fun way to invest in the next generation!  Students can sign up by emailing Lyndsay Korte at

WDM Human Services-Clothing Closet

West Des Moines Human Services, 139 6th Street in West Des Moines, is seeking volunteers in their Clothing Closet to accept donations, sort and straighten items, and assist clients as needed.  Hours are flexible, anytime Monday through Friday between 8 am and 4 pm.  Volunteers must be age 14 or older.  Please contact Mindy Hotovec at or call 222-3663.

Shepherd’s Flock Early Learning Center

The Shepherd’s Flock Early Learning Center has an ongoing need for volunteers to help with the following; inventory children’s books, toys and games; enter books, toys and games into the computer data base, prepare bulletin boards and classroom decorations, assemble books for teachers, assist with teacher prep work, make photocopies, file, help with mailings, help with playground work day.  To volunteer please contact Diane Hensley at 225-1952 or e-mail her at  S.O.V. is located at 3900 Ashworth Road in WDM.

The HCI Giving Tree

The HCI Giving Tree (Hospice of Central Iowa), 3330 100th Street in Urbandale, is seeking volunteers to help sort clothes, accept donations, carry furniture to cars, and assist at the cash register.  Those interested in volunteering must be 16 years of age or older and willing to make a six month commitment.  For additional information go to the website   To volunteer please contact Katie Gosselink at

Wesley Acres Musical Entertainment

The residents at the Wesley Acres retirement home love to listen to live music of all kinds: singing, instrumentals, solos, quartets, old songs, new songs… everything! Stopping by to share your musical talents will brighten their day (and probably yours, too). Click Here for more information or contact Susan Skinner at 515-271-6789 or

Green and Sustainable Clive

Green and Sustainable Clive is dedicated to enhancing the natural environment and ecology of Clive’s parks and green spaces. With the help of the community, Green and Sustainable Clive plans to develop hands-on volunteer initiatives, provide sustainability educational opportunities and support the Walnut Creek Watershed Enhancement.  For more information or to volunteer please contact Jennifer Easler at 515-205-6222 or Flyer

Animal Rescue League

The Animal Rescue League is looking for four students (they must be at least 16) to volunteer a couple of hours each week working with their Behavior Manager program by creating enrichment toys and treats for the dogs and cats in our care. Students will be interviewed, We will be looking for 1 student to take the lead, who will also be willing to teach the next group coming in. We’re asking for a minimum of one semester commitment with the option of staying on a second semester.All students will need to complete our Volunteer Orientation and Dog Companion training, which we will “fast-track” in order to get them started quickly. They will also be asked to complete our volunteer application and pay the $20 one time fee. To volunteer contact Joy Talmon, Volunteer Coordinator at

After School Arts Program (ASAP)

Connects elementary and middle-school students in the heart of the city of Des Moines, Iowa, with enriching arts experiences. Since starting, ASAP has connected more than 800 students with teaching artists in studios ranging from ceramics, painting, and photography to West African drumming, drama, and dance. ASAP succeeds with the help of dedicated volunteers and generous supporters. To get involved, please contact Michelle Bolton King at

Des Moines Religious Council – Red Barrel Program, Food Pantry Network Warehouse, Sack Saturdays

Do you live near a Walgreens? Want to help out the Food Pantry in your spare time? You can help by volunteering to pick up from one of our Walgreens Red Barrels. Des Moines Area Religious Council: Ways To VolunteerContact John Robinson at 664-0394 for more information.

Food Bank of Iowa/Back Pack Buddies

The Food Bank of Iowa is a private, not-for-profit organization committed to the mission of alleviating hunger through food distribution, partnership and education. The Food Bank of Iowa strives to meet the critical needs of a diverse population through its network of partner agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, nonprofit day care facilities, residential care centers and child and senior programs. Food Bank of Iowa | Learn About Hunger Hunger in America 2010: Food Bank of Iowa

Hope Outreach

Volunteers are needed to help with Hope Outreach Night every Thursday from 3-7:30 p.m. Volunteers can either help serve a free family-style meal or they can volunteer in the gym and assist families while they “shop” for free clothes, food or other essentials. Hope Outreach is located at 925 Jordan Creek Parkway in West Des Moines. To volunteer sign-up at Hope Outreach Night.

St. Timothy’s Community Garden

St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church is in need of volunteers to help tend to the community garden.  Tim Goldman, 223-1782 or

Move the Food DSM is inviting individuals, families, youth groups, work teams and others to actively join us in tending a healthy, strong community. Check out these fall volunteer events in Des Moines. For more information go to the Move the Food web site.

Catholic Worker House

Catholic Worker House needs help in food store or volunteer as needed. Location at 1310 7th Street , Des Moines, IA 50314. Help in food store or volunteer as needed 515-243-0765.

Freedom for Youth: 2301 Hickman Road, Des Moines, IA 50310

Volunteers will be working in the garden, laying landscaping materials and cleaning up around the neighborhood. Contact: Esmerelda Kretzu 282-4822 or or website


Contact Information

Rosemary Brandt

Service Learning Coordinator
Learning Resource Center
3550 Mills Civic Parkway
West Des Moines, IA 50265

Cyndi Bonus

Silver Cord Coordinator
Valley High School
3650 Woodland Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50266