Supporting Others

We want to encourage all our fellow citizens to learn, educate, and help to make a difference in our community around these critical issues of justice, systemic racism, and lack of educational and empowerment opportunities by reaching out and supporting or joining some of the local organizations that are making a difference every day. Instead of canceling each other let’s find ways to communicate, coordinate, collaborate, and combine our want of a better world that is more just and equitable.
While this list is not comprehensive, we believe these organizations are all doing critical work in this arena. And, if we omitted a group and you’d like to be listed please kindly send to so we can include you as well.

Urban Dreams

Since 1985, Urban Dreams has been providing Des Moines’ inner city and Central Iowa with a wide range of human service programs that break down barriers for underserved and underrepresented populations.

City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation

The Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department was established in 1892 and is responsible for the management of over 4,000 acres of land and 75 parks across Des Moines. The Guardian Project offers support for special programming at Evelyn K. Davis Park.

United Way of Central Iowa

Since 1917, United Way of Central Iowa has brought together individuals and organizations from every corner of central Iowa to create and implement initiatives focused on producing real results in the areas of education, income and health.

John R. Grubb Community YMCA

Located in the heart of Des Moines, the Grubb YMCA is a community organization that supports youth development and healthy partnering with many organizations./p>

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa

Empowering youth to discover and achieve their goals. Big Brothers Big Sisters is seeking minority and male mentors for its community-based and school-based mentoring programs, which serve low-income youth. It serves Polk, Dallas and Warren counties.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa

Inspiring and enabling young people to reach their full potential, the after-school and summer programs are seeking volunteers to mentor, engage and feed youth at their five area locations. The Boys & Girls Clubs provide a safe space to learn and grow in Polk County.

Children & Family Urban Movement

Creating a community that supports the potential of children, youth and families, CFUM’s after-school and leadership programs are seeking volunteers to work with grades K-5 in a literacy program and grades 6-12 in gender specific programs near the north side of Des Moines.

Creative Visions Human Development Institute

Helping the economically vulnerable, the Creative Visions food pantry and meal program is seeking packing and delivery volunteers and food donations, plus skills to expand outreach. In addition, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau is geared toward minority youth. The majority served live in the inner city.

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers

Working to eliminate homelessness among youth and young mothers in Polk County, IHYC is seeking volunteers to mentor, sort donations and teach life skills. It’s also seeking donated items of new undergarments, hygiene products and nonperishable food. The centers serve Central Iowa.

Jewels Academy

Providing young women the competitive edge through its Young Emerging Scientists and Math Camp programs, Jewels Academy is seeking volunteers to help with an annual fundraiser, plus those with marketing, communications or administrative skills. The academy serves the Des Moines metro.

Pursuit of Innovation

Teaching technology skills to at-risk and low-income youth, P.I. 515 is seeking volunteer instructors to work with and mentor students age 11-17 in project based workshops, which include programming, app design and robotics. It serves greater Des Moines.

Youth Emergency Services & Shelter

Providing emergency services for youth, YESS is seeking mentors, plus recreation and project volunteers for its Emergency Shelter and Crisis Nursery, which serves newborns through age 17. It primarily serves Polk, Dallas, Warren and Jasper counties.

Young Women’s Resource Center

Embracing and inspiring young women, the YWRC is seeking volunteers for its empowerment and young moms programs. It’s also seeking donations of diapers, formula, feminine hygiene, early childhood clothes, school supplies and toys. It serves the greater Des Moines area.

ZKL Educational Foundation

Bridging educational and leadership opportunities, the ZKL Education Foundation is seeking volunteers to expand outreach or help with Project Alpha workshops, which serve young men ages 12-15, and with the Black and Gold Ball, a fundraiser in February with scholarship and student awards. It serves Des Moines.