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Volunteer Opportunities

Drake desires to work reciprocally with local neighborhoods and community organizations. 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 Volunteer Database for 100s of opportunities. To search statewide, including political and faith-based opportunities, visit the Volunteer Iowa website (you can filter by location). 

If you're looking to develop a more ongoing relationship with a community partner, read through this checklist first. 

Want to stay up to date on current volunteer and community engagement opportunities? Sign up for our newsletter. 

Upcoming Service Events  

One-time Opportunities

  • Clothing for a Cause - Jan. 27-Feb. 7. Drake Residence Hall Association and Sodexo are partnering to collect unwanted clothes to be donated, supporting an organization that helps American veterans with disabilities. Drop your donations off in residence hall lobbies. 
  • Point in Time Count - Jan. 29 (noon) through Jan. 30 (noon). Sign up for a 4 hour shift to help the Polk County Continuum of Care take a count of our homeless population. There is a mandatory volunteer training Jan. 23 from 8:30-9:30am or 4:30-5:30pm. Sign up to volunteer. Volunteers also hand out bags with supplies such as water bottles, batteries, socks, granola bars and string bags - donations of these items are needed. Contact
  • Girls in Science Festival - Feb. 8, 9-1:30pm and 1-5pm at the Science Center of Iowa. Help get more girls involved with STEM! Contact to sign up for a shift. 
  • Genesis Celebration of Love Event - Feb. 15, 5-8pm, 8-10pm. Support Genesis Youth Foundation's fundraiser by checking in guests and serving dinner, or serving and cleaning up the event. Sign up for the event using the links above. 

Ongoing Opportunities

  • Shoveling volunteers - Volunteer to help shovel driveways of residents in the Drake Neighborhood. Email if interested in joining the email list. 
  • Burt Boys and Girls Club -  Visit the Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa website and fill out the volunteer interest form. Volunteers must be available to give at least 1 hour a week for at least 1 semester. The club also welcomes student organizations to come in and do programming. Contact for more information. 
  • STRIDE Program Volunteers - Male coaches are needed to help run the STRIDE (YMCA) program at the DMPS Downtown school. STRIDE is a running and leadership/citizenship program that culminates in the kids participating in a 5K in May. The program starts in February and is on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:45-4:15pm. Sign up to volunteer. 
  • Tutor Heroes at Evelyn K Davis Center - tutor students in 7th-12th grade on Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 5-7pm. Apply at 2019 TutorHeroes Volunteer Application or contact
  • Genesis Youth Foundation volunteers - Support refugee or underserved youth in Des Moines. Be an academic tutor (M, T, or Th 5:30-7:30pm); sewing project assistant , or soccer coach. For more information, contact Heather Brady at
  • IRIS Reader - IRIS at Drake records readings of the newspaper to be broadcasted to blind and visually impaired listeners across Iowa out of the Meredith Basement. The time commitment is only 1-2 hours. To sign-up as a volunteer email
  • Tutors at Tawba Islamic Center - tutor kids in math and reading/writing on Sundays from 2:30-3:30 or Tuesdays from 6-8pm. Sign up. 
  • Tutors at CommonBond - Volunteer to tutor in a local housing community for 1-2 hours a week for the duration of 1 semester. Typical sessions run from 3-5pm on weekdays.  Sign up
  • Everybody Wins! Iowa Power Read Program - Some say that reading aloud to a child is the single most important factor in improving a child's literacy skills. Volunteer to read to a child in an elementary school near campus within walking distance - Monroe Elementary School on Thursdays for 30-minute shifts between 11:10am and 12pm, or King Elementary School on Fridays for 30-minute shifts between 10:30 and 11:30am. Learn more at   
  • Next Course Food Recovery - Did you know food is recovered from Hubbell Dining and saved from being sent to the landfill by being donated to local non-profits? Volunteer to pick up and deliver the food - it's quick and easy! Reach out to for more information. 
  • Drake University Head Start Volunteer - Volunteer in classrooms across the metro to be a guest reader or to play with the children. Contact  
  • Girl Scouts - Spend 2 hours a month with a Girl Scout troop near Drake's campus. Help girls K-5 with hands-on activities such as STEM experiments, crafts and more. Meeting times and locations are flexible. One semester commitment minimum. Contact Lainie at or 515-305-0024
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