Iowans value volunteering. In 2020, 47.1% of Iowans donated their time, despite (or because of) the COVID-19 pandemic. The state also ranks fourth in overall volunteer rates nationwide.
Many older adults find that they finally have the time they need to give back to their communities. However, volunteer jobs in Des Moines offer more than just the opportunity to help others. In fact, volunteering is good for your health and well-being. It can help you make new friends, improve your communication and relationship skills, and inspire you to step outside your comfort zone. It may encourage you to become more physically active or spend more time in the great outdoors. Volunteering also increases happiness over time and may even lower your blood pressure.
These volunteer opportunities in Des Moines can enrich your life and improve your community:
WesleyLife Volunteer Opportunities in Des Moines
WesleyLife is on a mission to transform aging from something people fear to something they embrace as life’s next chapter. We offer several volunteer opportunities, including delivering for Meals on Wheels, working with residents in our communities, or supporting those in hospice care.
Build Kits With the United Way
The United Way of Iowa encourages individuals and groups to build kits for various causes. This is a great DIY volunteer opportunity if you would rather give back while listening to your favorite podcast or snacking with friends. Some kit-building opportunities include:
- Literacy kits for children
- Care baskets for people moving into YMCA supportive housing
- Magic reading carpets for preschoolers
- Notes of encouragement for various beneficiaries of United Way nonprofit programs
View a complete list of opportunities and learn how to participate here.
Other United Way Opportunities
The United Way coordinates volunteer and nonprofit projects to build a better Iowa and a better world. They offer dozens of volunteer opportunities. Join a one-time project or commit to regularly volunteering on your own or with a group. Search for volunteer opportunities on the United Way website.
Des Moines Parks and Recreation
If you want to soak up some vitamin D, become more physically active, and get to know the natural splendor of Des Moines, consider volunteering with the region’s Parks and Recreation department. Clean up litter, restore monuments, or work with a group to adopt a park or trail.
Iowa Crisis Chat
Mental health crises are common, but many people do not know where to turn when they are going through one. Be a part of the solution by joining Iowa Crisis Chat. You’ll learn how to support people in crisis, connect them to resources, and offer reassurance that their lives matter and they are not alone.
Americorps is a federal agency that sends volunteers to areas that need them most. Americorps Senior provides foster grandparents, support to isolated older adults, and more. If you want to serve others, Americorps offers a wealth of opportunities.
Des Moines Area Religious Council
The Des Moines Area Religious Council is committed to putting religious promises into action by helping unhoused individuals, working to end poverty, and ensuring no one falls through the cracks of the social safety net. Join them as a food pantry volunteer, donation coordinator, committee member, or one of many other roles.
Volunteering is one pillar of a healthy life, nurturing a sense of well-being and growth. To learn more about healthy living as you age, check out our free guide, “The Complete Guide to Healthy Senior Living in the Des Moines Metro Area.”