Cedar Rapids has some amazing organizations that provide much-needed services in our community. We’ve put together a resource of places you can donate your goods or volunteer your time! These ten Cedar Rapids area organizations are great places to give back to for the holidays or any time of year!
Mission/Services: Waypoint provides services and programs involving domestic violence victim services, homeless and housing services, and child care programs. This includes counseling, assistance with emergency safety planning, before/after school care, and preschool programs.
How to Give Back: Here is a list of Waypoint’s current needs. They also accept monetary donations that can be designated towards a specific program or to the organization as a whole. In addition, Waypoint offers volunteer and internship opportunities as well.
Address: 943 33rd Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404, United States | Phone: (319) 382-2882
Mission/Services: CFR believes that all people deserve to be treated with love, dignity, and kindness. They provide furniture and household items at no cost to individuals and families who are transitioning out of homelessness and into their own places to live.
How to Give Back: A list of household items and furniture they accept is posted here. They also accept monetary donations. In addition, CFR provides volunteer opportunities at their warehouse or by delivering and setting up furniture.
Mission/Services: Willis Dady provides emergency shelter, homeless prevention, case management, street outreach, and overall aid to people with barriers to overcome homelessness.
Mission/Services: The Cedar Valley Humane Society provides shelter and treatment for animals in our community, education to the community regarding abuse and overpopulation, and adoption services.
How to Give Back: CVHS accepts monetary donations and material donations. Here is their list of needs from their site or you can go to their Amazon Wish list and donate there. They also need volunteers and accept volunteers as young as 8 years old (when accompanied by an adult).
Address: The lower level of the First Presbyterian Church, 310 5th St. SE Cedar Rapids, IA, 52401
Mission/Services: The Linn County Food Bank is a solely volunteer and donation-based organization that provides food to those in need in our community.
How to Give Back: Donate food, monetary donations, volunteer your time, or host a food drive among your family or coworkers.
Cedar Rapids/Marion Chapter Contact: Gretchen Holley 844-432-2337 x5501
Mission/Services: SHP has recently opened a chapter in Cedar Rapids. Their mission is to provide beds for every child in need in our community.
How to Give Back: Sleep in Heavenly Peace can always use volunteers to assist in building beds and delivering beds to homes. They also accept monetary donations and donations for bed materials, including bedding and pillows. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
Contact Info: The Ronald McDonald House has locations in Iowa City, the Family Room at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, and the Family Room at Unity Point – St. Luke’s. Get the contact info for each location here.
Mission/Services: Ronald McDonald House provides assistance to families who have children who are ill or receiving treatment at the hospital. They provide food, a place to sleep, shower, or even a quiet place to rest. This helps prevent separation of families due to travel while their children remain at the hospital.
How to Give Back: Ronald McDonald House has many ways you can help, including through donations for their toy closet, food pantry, or pull-tab program. You can also volunteer to prepare a meal for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Here is their wish list of current needs or you can go on Amazon and order off their wish list there.
Mission/Services: House of Hope is a faith-based organization that provides assistance to women in our community including classes, support groups, therapy, and housing services.
How to Give Back: House of Hope accepts monetary donations and in-kind donations. They also are in need of volunteers.
Mission/Services: YPN provides support and education for pregnant and parenting families under the age of 27, with children under 5 years old. They provide support groups and classes for expectant parents, moms, dads, multilingual services for Hispanics, and a Building Jamii program for African refugees.
How to Give Back: YPN accepts monetary donations towards a baby welcome basket, parenting education, and general agency donations. You can also donate new or gently used baby items to the We Care Shop. The We Care Shop is a program through YPN where families can purchase items by achieving incentive points such as receiving their high school diploma/GED, attending prenatal appointments, attending group meetings, and other healthy behaviors for their families. Here is a list of items that can be donated to the We Care Shop. You can also contact YPN if you have an interest in volunteering.
Mission/Services: His Hands Free Clinic provides for the uninsured or underinsured members of our community through prescription assistance, dental services, medical care, women’s services, mental health services, and more.
How to Give Back: His Hands can always use assistance with volunteers! Medical and dental professionals can also donate their time and skills. They also accept monetary donations and various in-kind donations. Here is a list of donations needed, including office and cleaning supplies, diabetic supplies, and pharmaceuticals.
These organizations are doing amazing work in our community and making a difference in people’s lives. I hope you have learned about a new organization that speaks to you to help by donating items, money or even your time.
If not, try to find a mission that does speak to your soul to help and give back to our community. Make a difference in someone’s life; every little bit truly does count!
A version of this story was published in January ’20 by Megan Moore.
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