Kids and Education


Simpson students are eligible for two mentoring opportunities. Community-based mentoring allows the volunteer to meet with the child outside of the school setting.  This program requires 4 hours a month for the volunteer to take the child into the community to do activities.
Contact: Mike Hemmer
Phone:  515-288-9025


Mission:”To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” Volunteer Opportunities: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa is seeking well organized highly motivated volunteers to play a supporting role in many of their programs.

Contact: Mary Lou Warner, Chief Operations Officer
Address: 1031 Office Park Rd., Suite 1
Phone: 515-262-5695


Mission: To provide instruction, support and services to help prevent child abuse in Warren County.
This non-profit organization is governed by a board of community volunteers. CAPC operates the Wee Care respite nursery and the Young Parents program and also coordinates community awareness activities. Volunteers are needed as board members, to help with special community awareness projects, to raise funds for the programs and to work with young children in the nursery (see below)

  • Wee Care:  Free respite nursery for children 6 wks through kindergarten age. Parents can run errands, go to medical appointments while their child is in a state-licensed child care program for 2 hours per week. Volunteers are needed to work with the children in the nursery and to help with special projects. Contact Lisa Gray, 515-961-4716
  • Young Parents: Support/Information program for pregnant or parenting teens and young adults. Group meets weekly on Tuesday evenings at the First United Methodist Church in Indianola. Onsite child care and free meals for the parent and children is provided.  Volunteers are needed to help supervise children in the nursery. Contact Dixie Olsen, 515-321-6242

For more information regarding the Child Abuse Prevention Council, contact Colleen Reisener at 962-9171.


Mission:  To improve the well-being of children and to support the healthy development of families through safe, stable and nurturing environments.

Contact: Kellie Doffin, Volunteer Coordinator (515-697-7968)
Address:  1111 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA  50314
Phone:  (515) 288-1981


Mission: To provide students (K-8th Grade) with an enrichment of their educational experience through positive and creative activities that promote cooperative learning.  Volunteers are needed to hang out with kids, help with homework, assist with crafts and recreational activities.

Contact:  Linda Danielson.
Address:  1548 8th St., Des Moines, IA 50311
Phone:  515-282-3242, Linda’s cell: 515.710.5964


Mission:  ChildServe, formerly the Convalescent Home for Children, is a not-for-profit organization based in central Iowa. ChildServe partners with families to help children with special health care needs live a great life.  Direct service opportunities include spending time with the children, reading, rocking, assisting recreational therapy activities and much more.
Indirect service opportunities include assisting our staff with tasks around facilities like leaf raking, gardening, and painting.
There are opportunities for individuals, groups such as service organizations, church groups, children’s clubs, and even families, as there roles available for both adults and children.

Individual Volunteering
Contact:  Kaylene Steele, Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: 515-331-8139

Group Volunteering
Contact: Nicole Hallada, Customer Service Supervisor
Phone: 515-727-2354

ChildServe Center, 5406 Merle Hay Road, P.O. Box 707, Johnston, IA 50131
Volunteer Application

Executive offices, ChildServe Foundation offices, and Care, Staff and Business Offices are located here. Six Des Moines-based community services are provided and coordinated here, including homecare, therapy, adaptive equipment, respite, supported community living, and case management.


Mission:  Power Lunch is a lunchtime literacy and mentoring program in which preschool and elementary school students are matched one-to-one with volunteers from companies and community organizations.  Volunteer reading partners promote reading for pleasure by reading aloud with the students, sharing favorite stories and talking about books.  Volunteer reading partners are also role models who enhance students’ self-esteem and encourage their success through consistent, positive weekly interaction.  The schools with whom the agency partners are varied.

Contact:  Karen Ligas, Executive Director
Address: 901 Walnut Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: 515-277-7590


Mission: Girl Scouts offers a comprehensive, informal education program accessible to all girls, ages 5 through 17 years. The Girl Scout program is based on an ethical code, teaches the skills for good citizenship, and stresses the importance of moral leadership. Girl Scouting is a preventative program that strives to give girls a solid base for their future direction and decisions. Girls learn and practice skills for living, full, responsible lives under the leadership and guidance of adult volunteers. And of course, girls have fun!  Volunteers have many opportunities to be active with the Girl Scouts, including leading a troop and helping with programs.

Contact:  Moingona Girl Scout Council
Des Moines, Iowa  50322-3733
Phone:  515-278-2881


Description: House of Mercy is dedicated to providing for the unmet health, wellness and human services needs of those most at risk in our society. The agency provides a residential facility for homeless, chemically dependent, pregnant and/or parenting women who have a substance abuse problem and are in need of assistance with recovery, self-sufficiency, parenting and life skills. Childcare is provided at the John R. Grubb/House of Mercy Child Development Center. On average, 20-30 percent of the children residing at House of Mercy have been affected by drugs taken by their mothers during pregnancy and as a result have special needs. Simpson students may assist with nurturing and caring for children residing at House of Mercy.
Contact: Lynn McCormick
Address:  1409 Clark St., Des Moines, IA 50314
Phone:  515-643-6500


Mission:  Lutheran Services in Iowa responds to the love of Jesus Christ through compassionate service.
Contact:  Elly Gentry, Volunteer Specialist
Address: 3200 University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50311
Phone:  515-271-7387         E-mail:

In-Home Child Care Literacy Volunteer (Refugee Community Services)

LSI’s Refugee Community Services Program is seeking volunteers who are able to provide literacy education for women from the refugee community who have started in-home child care businesses. The goal of the project is to empower providers to incorporate literacy into their programs through modeling and education. Volunteers will meet in providers’ homes once a week for 10 weeks and follow a curriculum of reading books and facilitating activities with providers and children. Volunteers will leave providers with ideas and items for their child care program to continue using with the children and work towards facilitating literacy activities on their own.

Volunteers in need of a flexible volunteer opportunity are welcome to apply. Scheduling can be mutually determined by the volunteer and child care provider. An interpreter will join on the visit, as needed.

Childcare Assistant (Refugee Community Services)

LSI’s Refugee Community Services program is seeking volunteers to assist with child care. Volunteers will help care for the children while their parents attend a monthly child care provider support group and/or English classes at various locations around the community. Help provide a warm, caring and positive atmosphere modeling patience, encouragement and respect.

Volunteers in need of a flexible volunteer opportunity are welcome to apply. Scheduling can be mutually determined by the volunteer and child care provider. An interpreter will join on the visit, as needed.

ESL Teacher (Refugee Community Services)

Make a world of difference for students as you learn from them and their diverse experiences. Help refugees overcome one of the largest barriers of becoming self-sufficient in the United States, the English language. LSI is looking for dedicated volunteers to teach ESL classes. We have two opportunities:

1. Elderly ESL: Current classes for our Elderly ESL Program are Monday-Wednesday from 10:15 AM-12:15 PM each week at LSI’s Refugee Connection Center. We ask volunteers to commit to one or two classes per week for the duration of the session.

2. Community-based ESL: These classes are held at a variety of locations across the Des Moines area on weekday mornings, evenings, and weekends. Classes meet twice a week, for 2 hours each class. We ask volunteers to commit to one 2 hour class per week for the duration of the session. Each class will have a team of volunteer teachers who work together.

No experience is required. Volunteers go through a 12 hour pre-service training that addresses cultural components as well as teaching methods. In-service trainings are offered monthly.

Work Readiness Volunteer (Refugee Community Services)

Work Readiness is a course that prepares refugees to find employment. Students will learn the basics in completing applications, creating resumes, and practicing job interviews. Volunteers will assist with tasks in daily classes. Classes are held Monday through Thursday from 12:30-2:30 pm. A 5 week commitment is requested from potential volunteers. Preference will be given to volunteers with availability on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Workwise Volunteer (Refugee Community Services)

Volunteer will provide support in an intensive work-readiness program for incoming refugees with low levels of English proficiency. Students will develop skills through volunteer projects and the Workwise volunteer will be asked to attend. In addition, we could use mock-interviewers and employers who can provide tours, expertise and training – consistently or as one-time volunteers.

Classes run Monday through Thursday for 5 weeks. Shifts are available from 9 am-12 pm and 1 pm-4 pm. Volunteers may choose one or both shifts. Weekly scheduling can be determined by the volunteer and supervisor. Next session begins February 10th.


Mission: Helping heal troubled hearts and minds…one life at a time.
Orchard Place is a place for nurturing. It is a place for learning. It is a place for growth. And it is a place for children who have been unable to meet the demands of family life, school, community participation, or the requirements of other treatment programs. Above all, it is a place for a new beginning, a place to bloom…

Orchard Place Administrative Services
925 Porter Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50315.
Telephone:  515-285-6781 Fax:  515-287-9695
Contact: Mikhaela Pamisiea, Director of Volunteers, 515-287-9621



Weeks Middle School
Contact: Audrey Rieken, Principal
Address:  901 East Park Ave., Des Moines, IA 50315
Phone:  515-242-8449
McCombs Middle School
Des Moines:  Children/Preventing Dropouts/Closing the Achievement Gap
Description:  Many students leave middle school unprepared for the individual responsibility and rigor expected in high school.  This opportunity involves working with students individually or in small groups, usually on organizational skills, homework completion, or specific tasks.   Times are flexible, but the ideal time is from 1:45-2:30 any weekday(s).

Contact: Fatma Bachelani
Principal – Nancy Croy
Address:  201 County Line Road, Des Moines, IA  50320
Telephone:  515-242-8447


Emerson Elementary
Principal –  Mark Timmerman, 515-961-9550 Ext. 5100
1109 E. Euclid, Indianola 50125

Irving Elementary
Principal – Amy Jo Naughton, 515-961-9560 Ext. 6100
500 W. Clinton, Indianola 50125

Wilder Elementary
Principal – Craig Sexton, 515-961-9540 Ext. 4100
2303 W. Euclid, Indianola 50125

Whitter Elementary
Principal – Ed Johnson, 515-961-9570 Ext. 7100
1306 W. Salem Ave, Indianola 50125

Indianola Middle School
Principal – Annette Jauron, 515-961-9530 Ext 3100
403 S. 15th Street, Indianola 50125

Indianola High School
Principal – Brian Carico, 515-961-9510 Ext. 2100
1304 E. 1st Ave., Indianola 50125

Indianola Learning Center
Director – Linda Alloway, 515-961-9580
1304 E. 2nd Ave, Indianola 50125


Indianola: At Risk Youth, Education/Literacy, Mentoring
Description: Upward Bound programs are college preparation programs designed to assist high school students in preparing for and succeeding in post-secondary education.  Upward Bound programs provide exposure to college life to Iowa high school students who come from low income families or are first generation college students.  Simpson College selects high school students from the Des Moines, Indianola, Norwalk, and Southeast Warren communities.  Simpson’s Upward Bound program offers year-round services to ensure participants’ success, such as weekly tutoring and advising, as well as the opportunity to come to the campus once a month for workshops related to college preparation and career exploration.  During the summer, students live in campus residence halls for six weeks while continuing to take high school-level courses.  In addition, students visit other college campuses; take part in a variety of cultural activities and events.

Contact: Sandra Erickson
Address:  Simpson College, 701 North C Street, Indianola, IA  50125
Phone:  515-961-1479


Mission: Free respite nursery for children 6 wks through kindergarten age. Parents can run errands, go to medical appointments while their child is in a state-licensed child care program for 2 hours per week. Volunteers are needed to work with the children in the nursery and to help with special projects.

Contact: Lisa Gray
Address: First United Methodist Church-Church Nursery
Ashland and “B” Streets, Indianola, Iowa  50125
Phone: 515-961-4716


Description: Willkie House is a non-profit organization designed to help children from inner-city neighborhoods. It was established in 1917 and is the only independent community center left in Iowa. They have summer programs, after-school programs and a tutoring program.

Contact: Alicia Brookes, Executive Assistant or Ed Barnes, Executive Director
Address:  900 17th St.,  Des Moines, IA 50314
Phone:  515-243-7817