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Your guide to volunteering and charitable giving in central Iowa this holiday season

Looking to give back this holiday season? Here are opportunities around the Des Moines metro to get involved and spread some holiday magic.

DES MOINES, Iowa — 'Tis the season of giving!

Whether you want to engage with your community as a volunteer or make a monetary donation to help people in need, there are plenty of ways to make a difference this holiday season. 

Here are opportunities around the Des Moines metro to get involved and spread some holiday magic.

See something that we missed? Let us know at news@weareiowa.com or text 515-457-1026.

Knock and Drop Iowa

As regular volunteers head out for vacation, Knock and Drop Iowa is seeking extra volunteers to help at the food pantry. Volunteers would help set up the food pantry line, greet visitors, restock food as needed and clean up. 

  • When: Dec. 21, Dec. 28, Jan. 4 and Jan. 11; 3-6:30 p.m.
  • Where: 4801 Franklin Ave #152, Des Moines, IA 50310  
  • Cost: Free
  • Time Commitment: 3.5 hours

Orchard Place Holiday Drive

Want to make a child's dream come true? Participate in the Orchard Place Holiday Drive to help the organization provide holiday magic to up to 1,000 children in the Des Moines metro. 

Sign up to provide holiday gifts to a child in need, or donate cash and/or gift cards to ensure every family gets a gift.

  • When: Sign-ups close Dec. 9, all gifts need to be dropped off by Dec. 14 
  • Where: PACE Center (620 8th St, Des Moines, 50309) or Child Guidance Center (808 5th Ave, Des Moines, 50309) 
  • Cost: $75 on average
  • Time Commitment: 1-3 hours, including shopping and drop-off time

Single Moms Christmas Dinner

The Single Moms Christmas Dinner is an opportunity for single mothers and their children to relax and experience a special night. To put on the event, the Single Parents Provision needs 400 volunteers. 

This is the 11th year the organization has put on the event. In addition to volunteering in person, you can also choose to sponsor a family, purchase items for gift bags, fill a blessing bag or make a financial donation. 

  • When: Thursday, Dec. 10 (4 p.m.-8:30 p.m.)
  • Where: Community Choice Convention Center
  • Cost: Free
  • Time Commitment: 4 hours

New Directions Shelter 

Volunteers are needed at New Directions Shelter to get ready for the holidays.

Tasks include organizing, cleaning and preparing spaces in the shelter. Your efforts help families staying at New Directions have a clean, safe space to celebrate. 

  • When: Through Dec. 7, sign up here
  • Where: New Directions Shelter (3001 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312)
  • Cost: Free
  • Time Commitment: Generally 2 hours per shift

Waukee Area Christian Services Gift of Food

Help Waukee Area Christian Services give the gift of food this holiday season.

The organization hopes to supply full Christmas dinners and gifts to more than 200 families across Waukee. 

  • When: Donations are accepted throughout December
  • Where: Drop off donations at 1155 SE Boone Drive, Waukee, IA 50263
  • Cost: $25-$275
  • Time Commitment: Varies

West Des Moines Human Services Holiday Assistance Program

Make a difference by supporting this nonprofit agency dedicated to providing assistance to those in need across West Des Moines. Give back in a way that fits your schedule by 'adopting a family', donating new toys or gift cards, providing a grocery gift card to help with a holiday meal or making a monetary donation to the department. 

  • When: Deadline to 'adopt a family' is Thursday, Dec. 1; other opportunities continue throughout the holiday season
    • Drop off donations Monday-Friday, between 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Where: West Des Moines Human Services Office (139 6th St, West Des Moines, IA 50265)
  • Cost: $25+
  • Time Commitment: Varies

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