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 year. Once you have finished a volunteer project, please help out the Office of Volunteerism and Service Learning by filling 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. If 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!

*Highlighted Volunteer Opportunity*

Mount Mercy University is teaming up with Coe College to help clean up the Mound View neighborhood. Join us as active partners in the community as we all pitch in to help pick up trash and debris on the streets. By simply picking up litter, we make a huge impact on our community, including the crime rate, property value, and keeping the sewers clear. Bags and gloves will be provided and dress for the weather. The event will take place on Sunday, September 14th from 11:45-3:00. We will meet in front of Busse and depart to Central Park from there. To register, complete the online registration form. For more information, please contact Isaiah Corbin at icorbin@mtmercy.edu.

The Arc of East Central Iowa is looking for volunteers for their annual Sundae Fun Day!  The Sundae Fun Day is a family fun event for all consumers, friends, and families associated with The Arc.  They will be having live music, lawn games, professional face painting, and other activities, along with treats!  The event will be held on Sunday, September 21st from 1:30-3:30 at Clark Park in Hiawatha.  Volunteers should plan to be there around 1:00.  For more information, please contact Allison Roehrich at ARoehrich@arceci.org.

We are need of volunteers for Good Sports Day at Mount Mercy University.  Good Sports Day gives students at Arthur and Erskine Elementary to learn what it means to be a good sport.  They are taught how to deal with other topics including bullying, being healthy, and anger management.  Erskine will be visiting on October 10th and Arthur will be visiting on October 31st.  We will need volunteers from 12:00-2:00.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Isaiah Corbin at icorbin@mtmercy.edu.

Community Outreach and Educational Opportunities

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The Willis Dady Emergency Shelter- Homeless Shelter is in desperate need of Overnight Volunteers! This involves staying overnight at the shelter and is the largest volunteer need esepcially for the summer. The shift starts at 10 p.m. and ends at 6 a.m. 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 Denine at the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter at 1-319-362-7555 ext. 106 or email Denine at wdesera1@willisdady.org to get more information and to volunteer.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. St. Matthew's Catholic Parish is looking for catechists and volunteers for their youth groups. For more information about how to get involved, please contact Sara Gardner, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at sgardner@stmatthewcr.org.
  12. St. Pius X is looking to teachers to participate in their religious education program. They offer 2 sessions on Wednesday evenings that last from 4:45-5:55 for K-5 students and from 6:15-7:30 for K-12 students. Training is available for the classes, and they will start on September 17th.  There is a $10/class stipend offered, and teachers can also opt to volunteer with no stipend. For more information, please contact Deanna Gerber by phone at 319-393-4533 or by email at DBQ032RE1@dbqarch.org for more information.
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. 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.

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.