Service Opportunities

Almost every week there's a different volunteer opportunity on or off campus.

From working with Kids Against Hunger to packaging boxes of food to creating blankets for babies at local hospitals or performing service at the House of Hope, there's no shortage of ways to get involved and make a positive impact on the community. In fact, each student club or organization performs two service projects each year. Campus Ministry also offers a wide variety of service opportunities throughout the yearIf you are from a local non-profit agency who has volunteer opportunities available, please fill out the following volunteer request form and we will post the information up on this website for faculty, staff, and students. Thank You!

**Track Your Volunteer Hours**

Once you have finished a volunteer project, please fill out our volunteer tracking form so that we can keep track of all the service being done in the Cedar Rapids community by our faculty, staff, and students.  

*Highlighted Service Opportunities*

Mount Mercy University will have its first Habitat for Humanity Youth Build on Saturday, January 17th.  Join Laurie and Bill Hamen as we work to finish the final touches of the Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity’s 2014 Youth Build.  The work day will last from 8:30-4:30 PM.  To sign-up, please visit the following link.  Any questions can be directed to Isaiah Corbin at icorbin@mtmercy.edu.

Garfield Elementary is looking for a young man who could volunteer and work with one student as a role model.  The volunteer would have to commit for 30-60 minutes once or twice a week.  If interested, please contact Isaiah Corbin at icorbin@mtmercy.edu for more information.

January 19th is MLK Day of Service.  MLK Day of Service is part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative.  It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.  You can choose from three separate volunteer opportunities.  First, from 11:00-1:00, we will be working with our local Moose Lodge to help make fleece scarves for the homeless.  Second, from 3:30-5:00, Kids Against Hunger will be on campus to help hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children that will be sent to nearly 70 countries around the world.  Finally, a community food and resource drive will take place from Jan 12th-16th to provide resources for a United Way event to help the homeless.  To sign-up for a project, please fill out the following form or contact Isaiah Corbin at icorbin@mtmercy.edu.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake will begin in February.  By bowling with Big Brothers Big Sisters, you help them carry out their mission of providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationship that change their lives for the better.  Get a team of 6 people together and reserve your lane at the Cedar Rapids Bowling Center.  Each bowler is expected to raise $70+ for the event.  For more information, please contact Isaiah Corbin at icorbin@mtmercy.edu or Trina Roos at trinar@beabigcr.org.

Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade.  They teach life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games.  The program culminates with girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event.  They are in need of volunteer coaches at Kenwood and Wright Elementary.  Coaches commit to 10-20 practices over the course of the 10-week session with the seasons beginning in September and mid-February.  For more information, please contact Hailee Sandberg at hailee@girlsontheruniowa.org.

Community Outreach and Educational Opportunities

  1. Garfield Elementary is looking for volunteers on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.  There are a diverse number of activities that you can help with including helping in the classroom, reading to students, listening to students read, cafeteria helper, and more!  If you are interested, please contact Barb Hart by phone at (319) 558-2175 or by email at bhart@cr.k12.ia.us.
  2. Horizons is looking for volunteers to help with their Meals on Wheels program in Cedar Rapids.  Volunteers are needed to help with the food line and the delivery of meals between 8:00 AM and 2:30 PM every day of the week.  If you are interested, please contact Brett Proskovec at bproskovec@horizonsfamily.org.
  3. Care Initiatives Hospice is looking for caring, compassionate people to become hospice volunteers.  As a hospice volunteer, you may hold a hand, listen to memorier and stories, read a story, share a special talent, give a hug, touch a heart, and change a life.  Volunteers are matched with a patient and the volunteer determines thier own schedule.  Volunteers will be visiting someone in thier own private residence or a nursing facility. Training will be provided.  For more information, please contact Sarah Walters at (319) 390-4161 or by email at swalters@careinitiatives.org.
  4. Theatre Cedar Rapids is always looking for volunteers to usher at their productions. Theatre Cedar Rapids always has productions taking place, and there are available opportunies to usher for the show. If you usher, you get to see the show for free and you help make attending the show better for the audience. Please visit their website if you would like to sign-up to usher. There are limited opportunities available but there will be a new season starting in September with Into the Woods.
  5. Feed Iowa First in collaboration with other agencies has a volunteer opportunity available. Volunteer would serve as a Produce Advocate and would display fresh produce at local food pantries and provide nutritional education while interacting with clients. The volunteer would have to set up/take down the farmer’s market stall, weigh and record pounds of produce before and after shift, provide referrals to appropriate clients (training provided), and actively engage clients on produce nutrition, facts and healthy eating habits. Time Required to Volunteer: 2-3 hours per week. Various times and locations available. Volunteer Qualifications: need own transportation with proof of insurance and must be able to lift 30 lbs. Volunteer Skills Needed: Creativity, cultural awareness, organization and presentation skills, teamwork, and verbal communication skills.Training is provided prior to start. Benefits to the Volunteer: Obtain experience working with non-profits, interact with people from various backgrounds, freedom to use marketing skills and creativity to promote healthy eating habits, and do something rewarding while helping out local families. Contact: Samantha Wittrock at samwitt@iastate.edu for more information if interested in getting invovled. Feed Iowa First is a local non-profit agency in Cedar Rapids and you can learn more about the organization at their Facebook page or at their website.
  6. The Willis Dady Emergency Shelter- Homeless Shelter is in need of Overnight Volunteers!  The overnight shift would start at 10 PM and end at 6 AM.  Your job would be to answer the phone and be at the shelter in case of the rare emergency. During these hours, the volunteer can watch tv, work, sleep, etc. Overnight volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, though a child may volunteer with a parent. Contact Joseph Sorensen at the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter at (319) 362-7555 or by email at services@willisdady.org to get more information and to volunteer.
  7. Families Helping Families is looking for a volunteer to manage bookkeeping processes for their organization.  The commitment is 6-8 hours per month. Bookkeeping experience is required. To learn more and sign up click here.
  8. PUSH-CR is also in need of crews of two to three people, once or twice per month, to pick up items from peoples' homes and/or hotels and them to our PUSH storage location on 2nd Avenue SE, close to downtown. This would be a four hour shift, once or twice per month and a Four Oaks, AHNI, or Jane Boyd employee would drive the box truck.
  9. The Blue Zones Project Cedar Rapids is in need of volunteers. You can visit this link to get more information and get signed up to be involved. This is a great way to get involved in a community effort.
  10. For those interested in volunteer with Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity, please visit their online signup form to get signed up to volunteer and learn about volunteer opportunities. If groups are looking for larger group opportunities, please email Nate Kakazu at volunteer@cvhabitat.org.
  11. HACAP Food Reservoir is looking for volunteers who would be willing to come in and help with the sorting and packaging of food. Volunteers are  welcome to contact the HACAP Food Reservoir to set up a time to come volunteer based on their schedule. Please contact the HACAP Food  Reservoir through Greg Goodell at ggoodell@hacap.org or by calling 319-739-0593.
  12. The Arc of East Central Iowa is always looking for volunteers for their upcoming events. Contact Allison Roehrich at ARoehrich@arceci.org if you want to find out more information. The Arc has a lot of short term and long term volunteer opportunities.
  13. Garnett Place is in need of student volunteers to spend time with residents. There are many different opportunities including serving snacks and beverages during weekly Happy Hour, playing games after supper, watching movies, leading craft activities, calling out BINGO, or playing cards.  For more information, please contact Erin Troll at enrichlife@garnettplace.net.
  14. DeMolay is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. DeMolay opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing civic awareness, personal responsibility, and leadership skills. The Cedar Rapids Chapter meets on the third floor of the Cedar Rapids Scottish Rite on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month with other activities on the 2nd and 4th Thursday. They are currently looking for young leaders who are willing to help guide and mentor members and also participate in activities. For more information, please contact Kyle Martin at iasmc@0304@yahoo.com.
  15. Mentorship Connection has a minimum of 1 year commitment and requires at least four hours of one on one time per month with additional contacts by phone, email, etc. on a weekly basis. No limit on amount of volunteers needed for this opportunity. The mission of The Arc's Mentorship Connection program is to provide opportunities for community members to be matched in one-to-one friendships with individuals who have an intellectual and/or developmental disability. This gives people with disabilities the opportunity to form relationships and spend time out in the community that they would likely not get in any other way. It is an invaluable experience for both the mentor (community member) and the mentee (person with I/DD).
  16. Children of Promise is a nonprofit organization that works with youth ages 6-17 who have parent (s) who are currently involved with the judicial system or are incarcerated.  They are seeking mentors who are 18+ years of age to mentor youth enrolled in their program.  Mentors are asked to volunteer for four hours a month, or an hour a week, over the course of one year with their mentee or little.  These interactions are always based on having fun and being a great role model for these young people.  For more information on how to get involved, please contact Jenny Evans at jenieve5133@hotmail.com.
  17. Young Parents Network is in need of volunteers for their prenatal class.  The class is for pregnant and parenting families under the age of 27 with children under 5 years of age.  The program offers weekly group meetings on Thursday night, and they are looking for volunteers to help provide on-site childcare.  For more information, please contact Crystal Hall at chall@youngparentsnetwork.org or by calling (319) 364-8909.
  18. The Iowa Department on Aging is seeking volunteers for their Volunteer Ombudsman Program (VOP).  The volunteer will spend a minimum of three hours per month in unannounced and varied visits to residents in long-term care facilities.  They will observe, listen, and interact with residents to identify their concerns.  The program will help aid and empower residents in resolving those concerns.  For more information, please contact Cairn Reisch at cairn.reisch@iowa.gov or by calling (515) 725-3340.

Additional Resources for Volunteer Opportunities

If you are interested in finding more volunteer opportunities that are availble, please visit the Volunteer Now database provided by the United Way of East Central Iowa. You can find opportunities based on your interests and can receive all the information required to sign-up and get involved. If you do not live in the area covered by the United Way of East Central Iowa, check out your hometown area United Way Agency for opportunities.