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 https://mtmercy.wufoo.com/forms/service-or-volunteer-activity-20142015/  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 https://mtmercy.wufoo.com/forms/nonprofit-volunteer-request/ and we will post the information up on this website for faculty, staff, and students. Thank You!

*Highlighted Volunteer Opportunity*

United Way is asking individuals to volunteer to serve meals delivered by Horizons. There are Summer Meal sites located at Westdale Court Apartments (outdoor site) 2155 Westdale Dr SW at 11:15, Cedar Terrace Mobile Home Park 1834 Gretchen Dr SW at 11:15, Nixon Elementary 200 Nixon Drive, Hiawatha at 11:15, Kenwood Elementary 3700 E Ave. NE at 11:00, Hawthorne Hills Apartments 2263 C St SW at 12:00, Cedar Valley Townhomes 3000 J Street SW at 12 :00, and the Marion Public Library 1095 6th Ave, Marion at 11:30. It would be great if you could commit to one day (or more) each week for the entire summer. We would love for you to get involved. Here at United Way we are sponsoring a site and providing all of the volunteers needed for that location; if your agency is interested in this type of opportunity we would be happy to match them with a site. Please feel free to share this opportunity with others who may be interested. Dates: June 16 – August 22. Days: Monday through Friday. Length of time: One hour per day. Number of people: 2 -3 individuals per site per day to serve meals. Volunteers must be 18. Serving start time: Varies between 11 and noon. If you have any questions please contact Sue Driscoll or Linda Bigley, Summer Meals Volunteer Coordinator, at: Linda Bigley Volunteer – Summer Meals Volunteer Coordinator United Way of East Central Iowa Phone: 319-398-5372 ext. 14 or summermeals@uweci.org or www.uweci.org/summermealsvolunteer. You can also contact Horizons directly by contacting Brett Proskovec at bproskovec@horizonsfamily.org or by calling 319.398.3943 Ext. 1202. 

Community Outreach and Educational Opportunities

  1. Theatre Cedar Rapids is always looking for volunteers to usher at their productions. Theatre Cedar Rapids is underway with its production of Les Miserables and there are still available openings 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 follow this link http://www.theatrecr.org/usher/ if you would like to sign-up to usher. There are limited opportunities available for Les Miserables but there will be a new season starting in September with Into the Woods.
  2. There is a big fundraiser which helps support Waypoint Services taking place on Saturday, July 26th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Now Be a Dad BIG Truck Event at Hawkeye Downs. This event is free to the public as long as they bring a donation of either hygiene products or school supplies. Waypoint Services will receive a portion of the donations that will help us provide basic needs to our clients. We are looking for a handful of volunteers from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm to assist in the following areas: 1. Assisting visitors to locate things (ex. restrooms, concessions, etc.) 2. Assisting with general crowd control as necessary (ex. in the event of an emergency, help with keeping the crowd back) 3. Helping to keep the visitors safe (ex. reminders that some vehicles are off limits for climbing, etc. These will be clearly marked) Please contact Ashley Taylor at 319-365-1458 ext: 6114 or ashley.taylor@waypointservices.org by Thursday, July 17th if you are interested in volunteering.
  3. The Catherine McAuley Center has their Annual CMC Picnic. As of right now, the date is set for Wednesday, August 13th.  They will need volunteers for setup, food, check in, kids games, and tear down. Set up should start around 3:30 and the event and cleanup should run till 8:00 pm. If you would like to help with either event, please contact Tina Gossman at tina@cmc-cr.org.
  4. 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 @ 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 https://www.facebook.com/FeedIowaFirst or at their website at http://www.feediowa1st.org/.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0B4EAAA72CA0FE3-volunteer. This is a great way to get involved in a community effort.
  9. For those interested in volunteer with Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity, please visit http://cvhabitat.volunteerhub.com 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  • 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).

 

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 at http://volunteer.truist.com/united-way-of-east-central-iowa/volunteer/. 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.