Many options exist for giving back

Volunteering is a rewarding experience that affects not only your community, but also yourself, you can  actually enjoy doing it. Whether that means volunteering with friends or finding something you are truly passionate about, doing your part in your community may seem small, but nevertheless has a big effect on the world.

What you could do based on interests:

Working with the Elderly

If you love bringing a smile to seniors faces maybe you should volunteer at a nursing home.

– The ladies love it when they can get their hair and nails done so you could plan a spa day for them.

– Since they are always just in their rooms all day, you could take them out on a little walk or have a picnic with them outside. That way they can get some fresh air.

– Playing games such as bingo or entertaining them with some music is also a great way to get them having some fun.

Working with Kids

If you enjoy playing with kids or getting them more active, you should consider hosting an event or maybe just babysitting.

– If you have little ones crawling around your neighborhood, you could volunteer to babysit them for a night. This is greatly appreciated by adults because it gives them an opportunity to go on a date night or just relax.

– Kids love story time. You could read your favorite children’s book to a preschool or kindergarten class or even put on a puppet show at the library for the little kids who are there every day.

Working with Animals

If you are one of those people who cry every time they see the SPCA commercials, helping animals could be for you.

– Food for pets can become very expensive for one person to handle. If you see someone buying cat or dog food in front of you at the grocery store, volunteer to help them out by paying for it.

– Dogs and cats wanna play too, but their toys are always getting worn out so fast. If you have old T-shirts in your closets that you don’t know what to do with, consider turning them into dog toys or pet blankets. (

– If you don’t have a pet but have always wanted one, you should pet sit. If you have a relative or neighbor who is going to be out of the house for a couple of days, you could check on their pet by making sure it is getting its food and water, being walked or just getting some lovin’.

Curing World Hunger

If you hate throwing food away because you know there are others out there who would die to have just a bite, you should help promote curing world hunger.

– Packaging food whenever local events occur or at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank (  is a promising first step to ending world hunger. Just think if everyone took a hour out of their weeks to do this, we would be curing world hunger in no time.

– Making food for the people you see on the streets helps them get by. It’s hard to give people on the streets money because you don’t want them to go get cigarettes or alcohol, but giving them food is helping them stay alive and putting an end to their hunger.

– Sorting food donations and stocking shelves at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank is also very much appreciated and a well needed job in the community. For all the families with a lot of kids who need a little bit of help to get by, you would be doing them a great deed.

– Hosting a canned food drive of your own to then give to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank helps them restock and then give out to families in need.

Giving Thanks to Veterans

If you think that veterans, firefighters or police officers are underappreciated, make your voice heard by giving them your thanks and making them smile.

– Making cards with a heartfelt message makes just about anyone’s day, especially veterans. Giving them thanks and showing your appreciation really means a lot. Plus, it doesn’t take long to do.

– Baking your favorite cookies or brownies to give out at the police station or fire station gives the police officers and firefighters a chance to eat a quick yummy snack before they go out and save lives.

– Donating money and items needed to the Iowa Veterans Home is greatly appreciated and helps give back to those who risked their lives to save ours.  (

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle

Obesity has become a big problem in the United States, so promoting a healthy lifestyle to future generations would be a great way to prevent this later in their lives. You could host a 5K or even just present a fun video to kiddos showing them why it’s so important to create healthy habits now.

– Hosting a dance marathon in a school gym or local church is a great way to get kids active while raising money for a good cause. Choose the organization you would like to give the proceeds to, make a fun dance playlist and you are set.

For any questions about volunteering opportunities, you may contact the Volunteer Center of the Cedar Valley 

Phone – (319) 272-2087

Email –

Website –

Happy volunteering!

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