Many of us consider helping within our community, but sometimes we don’t know how we can help. The information in this feature will make it easier to choose where adults and children, alike, can put their skills to good use to make a difference in other people’s lives.

Waypoint Center needs volunteers in many capacities including; food pantry support where volunteers must be 16 or older, or daytime resource program volunteers who must be 18 or older (training provided). Event support is needed throughout the year and includes the Waypoint Wonderland Holiday Event, which provides holiday gifts to families served by Waypoint who are living in a lower income family or are affected by domestic violence and are in need of the holiday help. Last year Waypoint provided gifts to over 800 children in need and a gift to each mother. Contact Ashley Taylor at or 319.365.1458, ext. 6114 to request additional information about helping with Waypoint Wonderland. You can volunteer at other events later in the year as well such as the May Baskets for the Homeless event, The Ride 4 Youth bike ride throughout the corridor supporting United Action for Youth in Iowa City and Waypoint, and Gentleman Campaign Events, which is an effort to prevent domestic violence in our communities. Volunteers must be 21 years old to volunteer at this event. For more specific information, visit Waypoint’s website or contact Brittany Appleton at or call 319.365.1458, ext. 6118. At the Madge Phillips Center the need is for a shelter volunteer assistant who must be at least 18, a cleaning person, a domestic violence victim advocacy and support person (training provided) and a support group volunteer, must be 21 with training provided. The KidsPoint program is in need of a classroom aid, which requires a background check and a minimum age of 18, experience with children or childcare is preferred.

The Families Helping Families mission of FHF is meeting the needs of youth who have been abused or neglected and allowing these children a chance to be healthy and productive citizens. They need volunteers to assist with clothing organizing, event preparation; and donation pickup and drop off. FHF Events in December are an annual Christmas party, December 17, for all children in foster care, relative or other approved placements, and those adopted from foster care to celebrate the holidays. This event allows kids to receive a present, visit with Santa and socialize with others. Gifts are donated through local businesses that host a giving tree for toys and necessities for children, and could not happen without public donations. All monetary donations are 100% tax deductible. They accept gently used shoes and clothing of all sizes for all ages. Visit their website at or their office at 3516 Center Point Rd NE in Cedar Rapids, or call 319.294.9706.

Green Square Meals serves daily meals to anyone in need, Monday through Friday at 605 2nd Avenue SE and they are open between 3:00 and 6:00 pm. Volunteers are always needed and must be at least six years old with a parent helper. Donations may be made through the website at and food donations may be made at the site during business hours. They are in need of turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. For more specific information, please call 319.365.6652.

House of Hope is a beautiful Victorian house located at 1744 2nd Ave SE, behind Collins Credit Union. The House is a safe place where women meet for personal growth. Visit their website at for specific information on their program and how to make donations. Volunteer needs are divided into five categories; events team, facilitator team, hospitality team, house management, and special projects. Helping hands are welcome and may be individual or group volunteers. Their annual Festival of Hope Christmas open house is coming up December 2. Check out how you can help today. Their Facebook page is or contact them at 319.366.4673.

Horizons Family Services provides a multitude of services to people in need. Their headquarters are located at 819 5th Street SE. Horizons is always in need of volunteers of all ages and they have a multitude of opportunities available ranging from delivering Meals on Wheels to helping out in their various departments such as financial wellness, mental health counseling, or special events. Help is always needed at upcoming events too, such as the annual Turkey Trot in November and the Toy Drive in December. Volunteer to wrap Christmas gifts for a child, or help during the event. Donations are needed to provide necessities to families and children such as food, clothing, and services such as debt management and mental health counseling. Check out their website at

Catherine McAuley Center provides transitional housing and is the only agency in our area to offer one-on-one educational tutoring for women, to help them overcome poverty and homelessness. Volunteer and donation opportunities are specified on their website at or call 319.363.4993 for further information.

Food Pantry volunteers are needed at the nine area locations to organize, stock, and distribute food. This time of year is a difficult time for many low income families, so consider making a donation of food or money to help them better serve the needy. Visit their website at for more information.

This holiday season or any time during the year, contact one of these non-profit organizations and take the kids along to serve your community. It will be a fun life lesson in giving back and paying it forward.

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