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Volunteer Opportunities

There are many benefits to volunteering while you are in college! At Drake we work reciprocally with local neighborhoods and community organizations to identify opportunities for students to serve. Annually, Drake partners with over 100 community agencies and schools on a variety of projects from lunch hour reading programs with kids at King elementary to building houses with Habitat for Humanity. Whatever your interest there is an opportunity for you to get involved! Check out below for some of the requests we've received recently or search the United Way of Central Iowa Volunteer Hub for 100s of opportunities. 

Volunteering in times of Coronavirus

If you're looking to volunteer this year or partner with a non-profit organization, please watch this 3-minute training video first and read these safety tips

We encourage you to wear Drake gear as you volunteer out in the community to celebrate our Bulldog pride. 

One-time Volunteer Opportunities
  • Click here for Covid-related opportunities
  • Civic Action Week will take place April 5-10. Visit here for more information. 
  • Volunteer Day in the Sprout Garden, Friday, April 9, 9am-3pm. Help stain the wood, lay mulch, and organize the shed. Wear clothes you can get dirty. Come for any time you are free during that time period. If it is raining, we won't meet during that time, however if it clears up we'll plan to work. Sign up. 
  • Global Youth Service Day in the Sprout Garden, April 16, 3:30-5:00pm. Assist youth from the community in a variety of activities, help hand out snacks, etc. Contact for more information. Project made possible thanks to a grant from Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation and Youth Service America. 
  • Interfaith @ Drake is partnering with AlRazi Academy to provide a hot meal for anyone in need, April 16, 6-7:30pm, 1119 5th St., West Des Moines, drive-through. Volunteers are needed - contact This event is open to the public. Ramadan Mubarak.
  • Paul Morrison Spruce Up Event, April 17. Help spruce up the neighborhood with others from the campus and community; sponsored by the Student Alumni Association.  A snack and all supplies will be provided. Masks and social distancing are required. If you cannot join in-person, participate virtually by using #paulmorrisonday to share images on social media of how you are continuing his legacy. You can still sign up to be entered in a drawing for prizes! Follow SAA on social media through "Drake University Student Alumni Association" on Facebook and @drake_saa on Instagram for updates. 
  • Win for All Vaccine Clinic, April 17, Corinthian Baptist Church, shifts from 7:30am-6pm. Help at the registration table, direct traffic, etc. United Way of Central Iowa and Broadlawns Medical Center have formed Win for All to address issues of inequitable access to healthcare, personal protective equipment, and vaccines among communities of color due to COVID-19. 
  • United Way National Volunteer Week Event, April 22, 3-4pm. Learn about the challenges facing people experiencing homelessness in the first part of this virtual event, and then create Street Outreach kits. Must provide own materials for kits. 
  • Project with HOME, Inc, April 24, shifts from 9am-5pm. Volunteer with the Many Hands Thrift Market to table for HOME, Inc. and assist in the thrift market - a portion of profits will go to HOME, Inc. Markets are in Grimes and Clive. Contact to sign up or for more information.  
Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities:
In-Person Opportunities
  • Children & Family Urban Movement Reading Mentors: Meet one on one with your mentee (virtually during COVID) and read books, while supporting literacy skills in an enthusiastic and caring environment. Please contact Marty Katz at for more information. 
  • UnityPoint HELP Program Volunteers: The HELP Program was developed by Yale University to prevent delirium and physical decline in hospitalized older patients. Delirium is a significant contributor to longer hospital stays and a more difficult recovery. Volunteers are specially trained to carry out daily interactions and recommended activities for HELP patients. Volunteers must apply and complete onboarding process. A commitment of 2-4 hours per week for 6 months is required. Contact
  • UnityPoint Patient and Family Support Team Volunteer: Set up Zoom video calls with patients' families and friends and set up iPad or provide technology assistance; provide companionship. Must be available for a 3-hour shift each week for 2 semesters. Contact
  • Free Meals - Hope + Elim Church across the street from campus, 2500 University, will begin serving hot meals Wednesdays from 5-6pm starting March 3. No ID needed - drive through for a hot meal and non-perishable goods. Volunteers are needed - contact
  • Eat Greater Des Moines - Operation: Fresh Produce Drop. Wednesdays from 10am-2pm. Volunteers will load and unload 30-pound boxes of produce, dairy and meat to partners using a drive-through method. Wear a face mask, close-toed shoes, and warm clothes. Sign up. 
  • Food Bank of Iowa - Help sort food and bag produce on site. To see the calendar of openings and sign up, click here
  • Habitat for Humanity - The Drake Habitat for Humanity chapter is recruiting volunteers for the semester. Covid precautions are in place - all events are outdoors, masks are required, and there is a cap of 10 people at a time. Learn more about volunteer opportunities.  Contact or with any questions. 
  • Science Center of Iowa needs volunteers to help deliver customer service, clean exhibits, be a general source of information, remind visitors to social distance, etc.  Training required. Contact
  • Sprout Garden - starting later this Spring, there will be opportunities to volunteer in the Sprout Garden on campus. Volunteers are needed to water, weed, and harvest, and lead activities for youth. Contact
  • Joshua Christian Academy - Joshua Christian Academy, housed in Hope Lutheran Church across from campus, is looking for volunteers to help with morning check-in from 7:15-8:15am, and lunch/recess from 11:15am-12:30pm. Looking for consistent volunteers. Reach out to Kourtney Perry at
  • Drop off canned goods and toiletries to one of the Drake Neighborhood's Little Free Pantries, or a little library or little pantry in your own community. Does your student organization, group, or department want to "adopt" a pantry for a week this spring? Reach out to  
Do-It-Yourself Projects
Remote/Virtual Projects
  • Tutor Hero - Evelyn K Davis Center for Working Families - Tutor Heroes, a free tutoring program for 6-12th graders, will offer free virtual tutoring this year. Tutors need to be available from 5-7pm on either Tuesdays or Thursdays. Seeking subject matter experts in Maths, Sciences, and Spanish. Apply here. Contact Jason at with questions. 
  • Everybody Wins! Iowa Volunteer Opps:
    • Power Read Online - Mentors meet online for 30-45 minutes via Zoom each week to engage in literacy activities and conversation with a student. Mentors are paired with the same student each week. 1 semester commitment required. Apply here. 
    • Pen Pals - Mentors and students will write letters back and forth to each other on a bi-weekly basis
    • Make Reading Videos - Make a video of your favorite children's picture book that you think a student in grades K through 5 would enjoy. Start with an introduction stating the title and author, then read the book (either by acting the book or simply reading it). End with a note of encouragement for the students. OR, make a video telling about your favorite children's book - again start with an introduction that states the title and author, and then tell about the book and why you enjoy it. End with a note of encouragement. Send videos to Email Anna at that email address with any questions. 
  • Willkie House Tutoring Opportunity - The Willkie House will be opening for all day programming during their 'virtual learning' days. They are seeking volunteers that can work with youth either in person or virtually to assist with tutoring. Due to COVID, they will be doing temperature checks, require masks, and group social distancing. Volunteers are needed Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 12:45 to 3:00 pm. Contact for more information on how to get involved.

  • Genesis Youth Foundation - Looking for someone who is patient, open-minded, adaptable, and kind to tutor students in all subjects including ESL. The goal is to help students increase their grade level, advance their college readiness, and help them with everyday class assignments. There will be virtual and in-person options. If interested contact
  • Tutors at Tawba Islamic Center - Tutor kids VIRTUALLY in math and reading/writing on Sundays at 2pm. Sign up. If you have any questions, concerns, or technical issues, please reach out to
  • IRIS, a free radio reading service that reads print information aloud to visually impaired listeners throughout Iowa is looking for volunteers! Each morning Monday-Friday an IRIS volunteer records themselves reading the Council Bluffs newspaper that will later be aired on the radio for visually impaired listeners. Reading can be done in-person or remotely, takes about 2 hours, and must be done before noon each day. Volunteers must complete a 30-minute training before their scheduled reading. For more information or to sign up please contact IRIS Coordinator, Taylor Fisher at
AmeriCorps Opportunities
  • Mercy College of Health Sciences is recruiting for a year-long full-time AmeriCorps VISTA member starting this July that would help start a community garden and develop and strengthen partnerships between Mercy College of Health Sciences and non-profit partners working on racial disparities and social justice issues. Contact Madison for more information:
  • Lutheran Services in Iowa is recruiting for a Summer AmeriCorps VISTA to work with the Refugee Global Greens Program. June 1-Aug. 10. Comes with a stipend and education award. Apply by April 16.
  • USCRI is recruiting for a Community Engagement AmeriCorps VISTA member. This individual will focus on outreach, volunteer management, and event planning. This is a full-time, year-long program. Apply.



Commitment to Racial Justice

The Office of Community Engaged Learning & Service affirms our commitment to racial justice. The objectives of our office are for students to be able to know themselves, understand the complexities of the world, and take creative action. This newsletter shares ideas on how individuals can educate themselves on topics of racial justice and take action to create change. Visit the  for an Equity-Based Service Learning Toolkit and many other resources. 

Looking to participate in a demonstration or counter-demonstration while guarding your safety and health? A little planning can go a long way, visit the Office of Equity & Inclusion Website for tips on How to Stay Safe & Healthy at a Demonstration.

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