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Give Back: Monetarily or Voluntarily

Learn how you can give back to local non-profit organizations to keep our community #WDMstrong.

Animal Rescue League of Iowa

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) is Iowa’s largest nonprofit animal shelter, caring for many thousands of pets each year. The ARL serves people and pets from across the state of Iowa through its programs, which include pet adoption, humane education, pet behavior training, spay/neuter, animal cruelty intervention and much more. The Animal Rescue League is dependent on individual and corporate contributions to care for its animals. We also have volunteer opportunities involved at our multiple facilities. We have fun and unforgettable events to participate in as well. Contact CEO Tom Colvin with interest.

Alzheimer’s Association

In light of COVID-19, the Alzheimer’s Association’s educational programs, support groups and care consultations are now offered virtually.  Their 24/7 helpline (800.272.3900) and website are valuable informational resources. 

Fundraising efforts supporting these services are severely impacted during the pandemic.  Help them continue to assist those affected by Alzheimer’s during this crisis by making a tax-deductible donation today. View volunteer opportunities here

Big Brothers Big Sisters

For over 50 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 5 through 14. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. Learn more here about being a Big. Learn more here about the Honorary Board, Board of Directors, and Big Impact Board. 

Can Play Sports

In January of 2021, Opportunity on Deck and Courage League Sports merged to form Can Play in an effort to grow our impact for those with physical, medical, social, mental, financial or other barriers to play.  The organization offers four distinct programs in West Des Moines and throughout our state in order to make our programs accessible to a diverse range of participants.  Our Courage program providing adapted recreation for those with special needs, HERS program providing young girls with developmental programming, Opportunity program providing no-cost sports and development in low-socioeconomic areas, and our licensing program for communities outside of central Iowa.  To learn more about our programs or how you can help support our cause please visit our website.

City of West Des Moines

The City of West Des Moines has established a variety of boards and commissions which give residents an opportunity to use their skills to benefit our community. Service on a board or commission allows dedicated individuals to provide input on the policies that shape their government and their city. There are currently 11 boards and commissions that advise the Mayor and City Council on a variety of issues. Most are appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council.

Membership on a board or commission is beneficial to those who serve as well. Members meet other West Des Moines residents with parallel interests, learn about the City and its processes, and help mold the future West Des Moines. Being on a board or commission entails a significant commitment of time and energy.

Learn more here about current openings such as the Bicycle Advisory Commission

Count the Kicks

Count the Kicks is deeply worried about the adverse impacts on expectant women during this crisis — as early research is showing they are more likely to lose their babies to miscarriage or stillbirth due to the pandemic. They are watching closely to see how this pandemic is affecting pregnant women, and they’re providing factual, evidence-based information on COVID-19 and pregnancy on a special COVID-19 webpage and on social media. Learn more about the organization and how to donate here, or learn more about volunteer opportunities here

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Iowa Chapter’s mission is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with CF the opportunity to lead long, fulfilling lives by funding research and drug development, partnering with the CF community, and advancing high-quality, specialized care.  While we have made amazing progress in the fight to manage this disease, we will not stop until CF stands for Cure Found. Email or call us (515-252-1530) to learn more about volunteer and fundraising opportunities. If you’re interested in joining our Board of Directors, our Executive Director will meet with you to discuss the opportunity and determine if it is a good fit.

DMARC

For over six decades, DMARC has worked to meet the basic human needs of our community. Today, the DMARC Food Pantry Network, a network of 14 partner pantries and over 20 different mobile food pantry sites, annually assists nearly 56,000 unique individuals. For DMARC, the COVID-19 pandemic has –

  • Led to increased costs of some basic food items; rice, for example, has increased 36% in the last 30 days.
  • Led to challenges in how we work with volunteers to gather and sort contributed food.
  • Led to the postponement of our community’s LARGEST food drive for DMARC, Stamp Out Hunger©, an event hosted by the annual National Association of Letter Carriers, and one which annually supplies over 66,000 pounds of food.
  • Led to a much higher number of first time users to the network.  From March 16-31, DMARC assisted 1,200 first-time pantry users, which is four times higher than the number of new pantry users seen in the first half of the month; more than half (54%) of new food pantry users are unemployed.  

DMARC never turns anyone away, and is committed to having food available whenever it is needed.  You can make a difference and help DMARC continue to meet the needs of our community by:

  1. Making a personal gift through our virtual drive.
  2. Hosting YOUR OWN virtual drive by contacting Leslie Garman at DMARC at LGarman@dmarcunited.org or 515-277-6969 x 13.
  3. Challenging a friend to do the same!

Employee and Family Resources

Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Employee & Family Resources (EFR) has seen an increased need for mental health and substance abuse services. The global health crisis has left thousands grappling with new or worsened mental health conditions, increasing their risk of suicide and substance abuse. For half of these adults, mental health services are out-of-reach due to the high cost of treatment. Amid the mental health crisis, EFR’s mission is to provide affordable mental health and substance use services to individuals and our communities. To learn more about how we help in schools, workplaces, and communities, visit us at efr.org or check out our Facebook page. You can help us address the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders and provide affordable treatment by donating to one of our programs here. By becoming a donor, you can help EFR deliver a lasting impact to individuals, families, and communities in need. If you want to learn more about volunteer opportunities, contact Louise Crall

Iowa Sports Foundation – Adaptive Sports Iowa

Our goal is to provide meaningful competitive and recreational physical activities to enhance the quality of life of participants with disabilities in Iowa. Adaptive Sports Iowa allows everyone from beginners to seasoned pros to participate in our activities! ASI provides these opportunities with no programming or equipment fees. Take a few minutes to browse through our website to learn more about the amazing opportunities available. Donations are welcomed here.

Justice League of Food

Our focus is to reduce homelessness in Central Iowa through skills training and job placement in the food and beverage industry. Help us Teach a Man to Fish and get the fisherman a job. We couldn’t do what we do without your generosity. Learn more here about how to get involved. 

Life 107.1

Life 107.1 is a local, listener-supported Christian radio station serving central Iowa from our West Des Moines studios. In the midst of a global pandemic, and beyond, we share hope with our community 24/7 through uplifting songs, stories and conversations. And who doesn’t need that?! With the Life 107.1 budget year coming to a close on June 30, you can help close the gap on our remaining financial need by making a gift here.

Make-a-Wish Iowa

Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. When a wish comes true, it creates strength, hope and transformation in a child – and a community. Research shows a wish can give kids the strength to fight against and even overcome a critical illness. You can learn how to support Make-A-Wish Iowa by visiting wish.org/iowa. There you can learn more about the impact of a wish, see our upcoming events, learn how to support, see
volunteer opportunities and donate. 

Volunteers are the backbone of our organization, so there are many roles and opportunities,
including wish granters, interpreters, event volunteers, and skilled base volunteers. Those who are
interested can email volunteer@iowa.wish.org for an application. Make-A-Wish fundraisers play
a crucial role in helping raise awareness and funds for Make-A-Wish. When it comes to
fundraising for Make-A-Wish Iowa, the only limit is your imagination. Fundraise online, engage
your school, company or organization and join a community of supporters who transform lives.
Begin planning your fundraiser here.

Many Hands for Haiti

Many Hands envisions a world where people transform together, through the presence of Jesus Christ, to be called people, living with purpose, unleashing God-given talents and resources to bring Good News in a broken world. If you’re interested in learning how to get involved, contact our Volunteer & Events Coordinator, Emily Van Gent. You can also visit our website to see some of the opportunities available. If you’re interested in joining our Board of Directors specifically, you can email info@mh4h.org.

March of Dimes: March for Babies

Social distancing can’t stop us from fighting for healthy moms and babies who need us now more than ever. This year, #MarchForBabies is going virtual – so everyone, anywhere – can Step Up! with us.

By joining March for Babies Step Up! you can fundraise in new, exciting ways, including through our new step-counting app and with fun virtual fundraising challenges. Learn more about how to get involved here

Meals from the Heartland

Donations fund ingredients and materials, distribution of food around the world and ongoing operation of Meals from the Heartland. With your generous support we can continue our efforts to end hunger around the world and in our own backyard. Ending hunger starts with one grain of hope. Learn more here about how you can volunteer. 

National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA)

As the national authority on public speaking and debate, the National Speech & Debate Association provides the infrastructure for speech and debate competitions around the world. We create a platform for youth voices to be heard and celebrated, which culminates with an annual National Tournament, the pinnacle of public speaking. The NSDA doesn’t have specific local opportunities for volunteering at the moment, but would encourage the support of speech and debate programs at local schools via judging at
tournaments, helping teams fundraise, or advocating for speech and debate programs where they are none. The NSDA can support those efforts with messaging and materials or help you identify local programs. As far as our Board of Directors, the majority is elected by membership. We recruit for the remaining positions on a national scale based on highest need at the moment, beginning with referrals from current board members. 

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, works tirelessly to create a world where children don’t know fear, don’t experience neglect and never encounter abuse. Most efforts involve treating children and families after abuse has already occurred. However, we focus on prevention, which research proves is a far more effective use of resources to help children reach their full potential as adults. Learn more here about how you can help.

Taste of the Junction

Taste of the Junction celebrates the people, cultures, and cuisines of Historic Valley Junction. We honor the contributions of the descendants, preserving the culture, kindred, and history of Valley Junction. Visit our website to learn more about our programs and events. Contact Rachelle Long, Founder (515-650-9352) for more information on getting involved. 

The ALS Association

The Iowa Chapter supports people living with ALS and their loved ones through services and education. They leave no stone unturned in search for the cure of this progressive neurodegenerative disease. The work of the ALS Association will continue amid COVID-19. Learn more here about how these changes impact the organization and how you can donate.

Wildwood Hills Ranch

Wildwood Hills Ranch provides hope, healing, educational programming, leadership development, job skill training and equine therapy to over 1,000 youth at-risk and veterans in need annually. At no-cost to the participant and solely funded by donations, youth and veterans can attend life changing programming in St. Charles, Iowa’s 400-acre wooded sanctuary. The Ranch works with youth at-risk from age 8 to age 18, forming a ten-year commitment with them. The organization also boasts state-of-the-art resort accommodations for meetings, camps, business functions and more. 100% of proceeds from the rentals go towards providing scholarships for youth at-risk. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this past year financial crisis and isolation has increased, driving up the incidences of child abuse nationwide. The need for our services is greater now than ever before. To learn how you can volunteer, donate, or rent our facilities please visit: WildwoodHillsRanch.Org today! You can also contact Kaitlin Lundeen (641-396-2414) to schedule and inquire about current opportunities to volunteer. 

West Des Moines Historical Society

The West Des Moines Historical Society is a 501(c)3 volunteer-based organization dedicated to community enrichment through education, preservation, and celebration of the history and the heritage of the greater West Des Moines area and its environs. Volunteers for special events, ongoing projects and committee membership are always needed and welcome. In addition, as we look to expand our hours, we’ll need more tour guides/docents. This is an on-call position and pays a stipend. If interested in any volunteering opportunities, please email info@wdmhs.org or fill out our volunteer application online. If you prefer to print off an application, click here). If you’re interested in joining the Board of Directors, submit a resume to Gale Brubaker and we’ll set up an interview. Board Members are generally added in January at our annual meeting. 

West Des Moines Human Services

As a department of the City, West Des Moines Human Services provides basic living needs to low-income, elderly, and disabled individuals in their service area. Among other things, they offer a food pantry and emergency financial assistance to avoid evictions and utility disconnections for income eligible households. Learn more about volunteer opportunities here

Young Women’s Resource Center

It is an increasingly difficult time for their participants. Many were already facing challenging home lives, tight family budgets, and issues of anxiety or depression before COVID-19. They are working hard to continue provide resources and support while following best practices to protect everyone’s health. Your donation will help. Learn more here about how you can volunteer. 

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