Feeling charitable? Donate to an Iowa nonprofit that’s Iowan-approved.

By Amie Rivers

December 20, 2023

It has to be the most popular question we’ve ever asked our readers: Which charity helping Iowans should folks donate to this year?

Hundreds of worthy causes across the state were mentioned by Iowans on our Facebook page.

From all of the charities mentioned in the 364 comments that had been posted at the time of this story’s publication, we made a list of the ones that are officially a nonprofit charity, have a location in Iowa, and have a functioning website or Facebook page.

Some organizations fell outside of that (or were mentioned after publication), but would still be worthy causes—you may view the entire list here.

Choosing one to donate to? Well, that’s the tough part! Our readers have their own priorities:

“Anything that helps and supports our youth—they are our future leaders,” said Junior L.

“We should be spending money on fixing the problems this Republican-led legislature made with their terrible anti-freedom laws,” said Jennifer O. “Help women get health care, help LGBTQ (people) get health care, and fight to save our democracy.”

“Every one of these organizations are worthy of support, but many are competing for the same dollars,” pointed out Amber G.

But Sue D. drew hope from the list: “In every corner of this state, there are unmet social needs. And in every community, there are Iowans committed to making whatever difference they can for their neighbors. That is *still* who we are.”

Whatever your priorities, we’ve categorized Iowans’ favorite charities below to make giving to or volunteering with them a bit easier. And if your nonprofit didn’t make this year’s list, submit it to that same Facebook thread above so folks can see it—or keep an eye out for next year’s question on our socials, when we do this again!

Disclaimer: We cannot vouch for any of these nonprofits; please do your due diligence in selecting worthy charities for your hard-earned dollar and time. Charity Navigator is one such resource, though some nonprofits are too small to appear on that site. Any legitimate organization will welcome your questions, so use the links provided to find out more information.

Favorite Iowa Charities Helping Iowans:


Support for Iowa’s youth through the arts:

ArtForce Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Empowerment and resilience of youth through art. Website: https://artforceiowa.org/

CAP Theatre: Class Act Productions (Altoona). Supports: Confidence building through children’s community theater. Website: https://www.captheatre.org/

Eastern Iowa Arts Academy (Cedar Rapids). Supports: After-school arts programming for K-12 students in Eastern Iowa. Website: https://www.easterniowaartsacademy.org/

Harmony School of Music (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Inclusive music education. Website: https://www.harmonycr.org/

Starts Right Here (Des Moines). Supports: Educating, equipping and empowering disadvantaged young people via the arts and other programming. Website: https://startsrighthere.org/

Support for Iowa’s youth through mentoring:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids and East Central Iowa (Cedar Rapids). Supports: 1-1 mentoring between children and adults in Cedar Rapids. Website: https://www.bigcr.org/

Big Brothers Big Sisters Heart of Iowa (Marshalltown). Supports: 1-1 mentoring between children and adults in Marshall County. Website: https://www.heartofiowabigs.org/

Mentor Iowa (Polk County). Supports: Mentoring for court-involved children in Central Iowa. Website: https://mentoriowa.org/

Support for Iowa’s youth through reading and literacy:

Annie’s Foundation (Johnston). Supports: Unhindered community access to books with diverse and complex characters, free books, advocacy against banned books. Website: https://anniesfoundation.com/

Everybody Wins! Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: 1-1 reading and mentoring for elementary school children in the Des Moines area. Website: https://everybodywinsiowa.org/

Free2Read Book Project (Clear Lake). Supports: Free inclusive and representative books for youth. Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100086567381360

1619 Freedom School (Waterloo). Supports: After-school literacy program focusing on instruction on Black American history in Waterloo. Website: https://www.1619freedomschool.org/

Support for Iowa’s youth through sports and recreation:

Can Play (Ames, Carroll, Des Moines, Iowa City, Quad Cities). Supports: No-cost sports and recreation opportunities. Website: https://can-play.org/

Ottumwa Boxing Club (Ottumwa). Supports: Physical fitness and mental discipline for youth in Ottumwa. Website: https://www.facebook.com/ottumwaboxingclub/

Raise the Bar Initiative (Johnston). Supports: Strength training for women and girls. Website: https://www.raisethebarinitiative.com/

Support for Iowa youth with medical needs:

ChildServe (Johnston, Ames, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Iowa City). Supports: Specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services for children with special healthcare needs. Website: https://www.childserve.org/

Little Al Foundation (Monroe). Supports: Financial help for families needing to travel for the medical care of a child. Website: https://www.littlealfoundation.com/

Make a Wish Iowa (Urbandale). Supports: Experiences and opportunities for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Website: https://wish.org/iowa

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Temporary lodging for families traveling to seek medical care for their child at Blank Children’s Hospital or MercyOne Children’s Hospital in Des Moines. Website: https://www.rmhdesmoines.org/

Tori’s Angels Foundation (Panora). Supports: Financial assistance for children with life-threatening medical illnesses in Central Iowa. Website: https://www.torisangels.org/

YSS (Ames, Boone, Des Moines, Marshalltown, Mason City, Webster City). Supports: Addiction treatment and mental health therapy for youth. Website: https://www.yss.org/

Support for Iowa’s youth (general):

Des Moines Children’s Museum (Des Moines). Supports: Promoting the power of play. Website: https://dsmchildrensmuseum.com/

Dubuque Dream Center (Dubuque). Supports: Youth, families and community in the Dubuque area. Website: https://dubuquedreamcenter.org/

Families Helping Families of Iowa (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Funding for activities, clothing, shoes, haircuts, senior photos, tutoring and more for children in foster care throughout Iowa. Website: https://familieshelpingfamiliesofiowa.org/

Friends of Iowa CASA: Court-Appointed Special Advocate (Des Moines). Supports: Promoting and supporting voluntary advocacy for abused and neglected children. Website: https://www.iowacasafriends.org/

Four Oaks (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Affordable housing, foster care and adoption, children’s mental health treatment and more. Website: https://fouroaks.org/

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Supports: Confidence-building and leadership skills in girls. Website: https://www.girlscoutstoday.org/

Iowa Safe Schools (Des Moines). Supports: Safe, supportive and nurturing environments for LGBTQ+ youth in Iowa, as well as advocacy and organizing. Website: https://iowasafeschools.org/

Kids First Law Center (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Services and legal representation for children involved in divorce, custody and other parental conflicts. Website: https://www.kidsfirstiowa.org/

Kings and Queens Local (Okoboji). Supports: Foster and adoptive families in the Okoboji area through connection, resources, and community awareness. Website: https://www.kqlocal.org/

Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County (Iowa City). Supports: Programming and activities to support students and families in Johnson County. Website: https://ncjc.org/

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Advocacy and awareness of child abuse and assistance to community partners. Website: https://pcaiowa.org/

Project Renewal (Davenport). Supports: Educational, recreational, and social activities for children in Davenport. Website: https://projectrenewal.net/

Tanager (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Prevention, treatment, and outreach programming for young people in Linn County. Website: https://tanagerplace.org/

United Action for Youth (Iowa City). Supports: Young people and their families in Johnson County through programming, services, counseling and more. Website: https://www.unitedactionforyouth.org/

Variety the Children’s Charity Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Funding children’s nonprofits in Iowa for help with tangible needs, transportation and more. Website: https://www.varietyiowa.com/

Willkie House (Des Moines). Supports: Promoting academics, social skills, health and recreation in young people. Website: https://www.willkiehouse.org/

Young Women’s Resource Center (Des Moines). Supports: Supporting, advocating for and education girls and women ages 10-24 in the Des Moines area. Website: https://ywrc.org/

Support for disabled Iowans:

The Arc of East Central Iowa (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Opportunities and support for disabled Iowans and their families. Website: https://arceci.org/

The Arc of Iowa (West Des Moines). Supports: Opportunities and support for disabled Iowans and their families. Website: https://www.thearcofiowa.org/

Camp High Hopes (Sioux City). Supports: Recreational experiences for those with disabilities. Website: https://www.camphighhopes.com/

Central Iowa Center for Independent Living (Des Moines). Supports: Peer support, employment services, benefits planning, advocacy and more for disabled Central Iowans. Website: https://www.cicil.org/

Community Support Advocates (Des Moines). Supports: Services to disabled Iowans in Central Iowa. Website: https://teamcsa.org/

Council Bluffs C.A.R.E.S. (Council Bluffs). Supports: Training and employment for individuals with disabilities through arts and crafts. Website: https://www.councilbluffscares.com/

Easterseals Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Services for children and adults with disabilities throughout Iowa. Website: https://www.easterseals.com/ia/

IRIS: Iowa Radio Reading Information Service (Des Moines). Supports: Free news literacy for visually and cognitively impaired Iowans. Website: https://iowaradioreading.org/

Lutheran Services in Iowa (20 offices throughout Iowa). Supports: Services for people with disabilities and immigrants/refugees, home visits, therapy sessions and behavioral health. Website: https://lsiowa.org/

Nancy’s Place (Des Moines). Supports: Quality affordable housing for Central Iowans with disabilities. Website: https://www.nancysplace.org/

North Star Community Services (Waterloo). Supports: Community living, adult day services and other services for adults with disabilities in the Waterloo area. Website: https://www.northstarcs.org/

Special Olympics Iowa (Grimes). Supports: Empowerment and confidence of disabled Iowa youth through sports training and competition. Website: https://www.soiowa.org/

Supporting Iowans facing mental illness:

CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank (Iowa City). Supports: Crisis helplines, food bank, financial support, and youth crisis stabilization in the Iowa City area. Website: https://builtbycommunity.org/

Inside Out Wellness and Advocacy (Woodward). Supports: Transitional living, crisis stabilization and other mental health support services in Audubon, Dallas and Guthrie counties. Website: https://insideoutiowa.com/

NAMI Iowa: National Alliance on Mental Illness Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Advocacy, education, and support for Iowans living with mental illness. Website: https://namiiowa.org/

Support for older Iowans:

The Bird House Hospice Home of Johnson County (Iowa City). Supports: Compassionate end-of-life care in a residential setting. Website: https://thebirdhousejc.org/

Heritage Area Agency on Aging (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Services and resource connections for older adults, disabled adults and caregivers in seven Eastern Iowa counties. Website: https://www.heritageaaa.org/

Wesley Life Meals on Wheels (Johnston). Supports: Meal delivery for seniors in Central Iowa. Website: https://www.wesleylife.org/meals-on-wheels

Support for Iowans facing cancer:

Beyond Pink Team (Waterloo). Supports: Breast cancer prevention, education, support, and advocacy for quality care in the Cedar Valley area. Website: https://www.beyondpinkteam.org/

Can Do Cancer (Ankeny). Supports: Non-medical needs, including meals and house cleaning services, for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in Central Iowa. Website: https://candocancer.org/

Children’s Cancer Connection (Johnston). Supports: Camps, educational resources and outings for Iowa families affected by childhood cancer. Website: https://ccciowa.org/

Gems of Hope (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Emotional support to cancer patients in Cedar Rapids. Website: https://www.communitycancercenter.org/gems-of-hope/

Hawkeye Cans for Cancer (Washington). Supports: Financial help with gas, food, and lodging for families experiencing cancer in the Washington area. Website: https://hawkeyecansforcancer.site123.me/

Unravel Pediatric Cancer Iowa (West Des Moines). Supports: Funding for pediatric cancer research. Website: https://unravelpediatriccancer.org/iowa/

Wings of Hope Cancer Support Center (Council Bluffs). Supports: Emotional guidance and support for those with cancer, their families, and health professionals. Website: https://wingsofhope.org/

Support for Iowans facing domestic and sexual violence:

Chains Interrupted (Cedar Rapids, Waukee). Supports: Awareness and prevention of human trafficking and policy advocacy. Website: https://www.chainsinterrupted.com/

Domestic Violence Intervention Program (Iowa City). Supports: Comprehensive support and advocacy for victims/survivors of domestic and dating violence, stalking, and human trafficking in eight Eastern Iowa counties. Website: https://dvipiowa.org/

Friends of the Family (Mason City, Waterloo, Waverly). Supports: Housing services and support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Website: https://www.fofia.org/

Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (Des Moines). Supports: 22 survivor programs across Iowa, survivor resources, and policy advocacy. Website: https://www.icadv.org/

Iowa CASA: Coalition Against Sexual Assault (Des Moines). Supports: 22 victim service programs across Iowa, victim services, and policy advocacy. Website: https://www.iowacasa.org/

Kinna’s House of Love (Davenport). Supports: Housing support and clothing/coat closet for girls and women facing domestic violence in the Quad Cities. Website: https://kinnas-house-of-love.business.site/

Riverview Center (Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Dubuque, Waterloo). Supports: Counseling and other services for those impacted by sexual violence in Eastern Iowa. Website: https://riverviewcenter.org/

Support for Iowans’ reproductive rights and sexual health:

Emma Goldman Clinic (Iowa City). Supports: Quality reproductive health care, including abortion, gynecology, promotion of safe sex and education. Website: https://www.emmagoldman.com/

Eyes Open Iowa (West Des Moines). Supports: Comprehensive sex education for adolescents that is LGBTQ+ inclusive, medically accurate and age-appropriate. Website: https://www.eyesopeniowa.org/

The Family Planning Council of Iowa (West Des Moines). Supports: Access to family planning, contraceptives, and federally-funded clinics across Iowa. Website: https://fpcouncil.org/

Iowa Abortion Access Fund (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Abortion care for Iowans and those in the Quad Cities area of Illinois for those who can’t afford it. Website: https://www.iowaabortionaccessfund.org/

Planned Parenthood North Central States (Ames, Des Moines, Iowa City, Sioux City, Urbandale). Supports: Sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion; education and advocacy. Website: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-north-central-states

Support for expectant parents and pregnancy loss:

Count the Kicks (Clive). Supports: Stillbirth prevention through educational resources to expectant parents and healthcare providers. Website: https://countthekicks.org/

Every Step Care and Support Services (Des Moines, with offices across southern Iowa). Supports: Pregnancy and parenting, home care, hospice, community health, grief and loss services. Website: https://www.everystep.org/

The Fletcher Foundation (Ankeny). Supports: Financial assistance and hope to families who experience miscarriages or stillbirths. Website: https://thefletcherfoundation.org/

Healthy Birth Day (Clive). Supports: Replicating the success of Count the Kicks (above) by bringing the program to all 50 states to prevent stillbirths. Website: https://healthybirthday.org/

YPN (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Evidence-based child and parent development programming in the Cedar Rapids area through prenatal and parenting groups and home visits. Website: https://www.ypniowa.org/

Support for college readiness and job training:

Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families (Des Moines). Supports: Job training for Central Iowans. Website: https://evelynkdaviscenter.org/

Project Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Support and training services for career advancement. Website: https://www.projectiowa.org/

Zach Johnson Foundation (Cedar Rapids). Supports: College readiness. Website: https://zachjohnsongolf.com/foundation/

Support for Iowa’s new immigrants and refugees:

Catherine McAuley Center (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Programs for immigrants, refugees, and women experiencing crisis in the Cedar Rapids area. Website: https://cmc-cr.org/

Des Moines Refugee Support (Des Moines). Supports: Resources and opportunities for newly-arrived refugees to Central Iowa. Website: https://dsmrefugees.org/

Filipino-American Society of Iowa (Urbandale). Supports: Preserving and promoting Filipino culture, resources and support for Filipino Iowans, advocacy and education. Website: https://www.fasiowa.com/

Genesis Youth Foundation (Des Moines). Supports: Empower immigrant children and families through athletic play, education, dance and music. Website: https://www.genesisyouthfoundation.org/

Hope to Shine Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Resources for refugee and immigrant women. Website: https://www.hopetoshineiowa.org/

Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice (Des Moines). Supports: Legal services and advocacy for Iowa’s immigrant and refugee populations. Website: https://www.iowammj.org/

Latinos for Washington (Washington). Supports: Meals, citizenship classes and other services and programming for Latino people in the Washington area. Website: https://www.facebook.com/latinosforwashingtoninc

Mary J. Treglia Community House (Sioux City). Supports: Identifying and responding to the needs of the immigrant populations in the Siouxland area. Website: https://marytreglia.org/

Monsoon Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity (Des Moines). Supports: Victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking in Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Iowa. Website: https://monsooniowa.org/

Open Heartland (Iowa City). Supports: Advocacy, legal and housing assistance, emergency assistance and more for Latinx families in the Iowa City area. Website: https://openheartland.org/

Proteus (Des Moines). Supports: Services to empower farmworkers. Website: https://www.proteusinc.net/

Salud! (Storm Lake). Supports: Equity in health care. Website: https://www.salud-stormlake.com/

Tapestry Farms (Davenport). Supports: Reclaiming underutilized urban land in the Quad Cities to grow culturally-specific fresh produce and flowers. Website: https://www.tapestryfarms.org/

Support for LGBTQ+ Iowans:

Iowa Trans Mutual Aid Fund (Des Moines) Supports: Financial resources for gender-affirming care for transgender Iowans. Website: https://www.iowatransmutualaidfund.org/

Lavender Legal Center (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Legal representation and advocacy by and for Iowa’s LGBTQ+ populations. Website: https://www.lavenderlegalcenter.org/

One Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Education, training, advocacy, and empowerment of Iowa’s LGBTQ+ populations. Website: https://oneiowa.org/

The Q Exchange (Des Moines). Supports: Providing a safe, affirming and welcoming space for Central Iowa’s LGBTQ+ community and supportive allies. Website: https://www.facebook.com/theqexchangedsm

Support for pets and companion animals:

AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport (DeSoto). Supports: Saving homeless pets, shelter assistance through rescue transport of animals, education on animal welfare. Website: https://www.aheinz57.com/

Animal Alliance Rescue/Shelter (Red Oak). Supports: Homeless and stray animals in the Red Oak area. Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100067093089037

Furry Friends Refuge (West Des Moines). Supports: No-kill animal shelter in Clive and Urbandale. Website: https://furryfriendsrefuge.org/

Good Shepherd Pet Alliance (Madison County). Supports: Homeless and stray animals in Madison County. Website: https://goodshepherdpetalliance.org/

Humane Society of Wright County (Clarion). Supports: Support, services and finding homes for abandoned animals in Wright County. Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100079659243000

Iowa Humane Alliance (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Affordable, high-quality spay and neuter services to control pet overpopulation. Website: https://iowahumanealliance.org/

Lucy’s Pet Pantry (Newton). Supports: Pet products and services to keep pets from being abandoned in Jasper County. Website: https://lucyspetpantry.org/

Oh My Dog Rescue (Madrid). Supports: Fostering and transporting dogs in Central Iowa. Website: https://ohmydogrescue.org/

People for Paws (Shenandoah). Supports: Homeless and abandoned pets in Southwest Iowa. Website: https://www.peopleforpawsshelter.com/

The Pet Project Midwest (Des Moines). Supports: Food donations to keep pets in homes across Iowa. Website: https://www.thepetprojectmidwest.org/

Safe Paws (Ogden). Supports: Rescuing and fostering animals in Central Iowa. Website: https://safepawsia.org/

Whispurring Hope Rescue (Dyersville). Supports: Rescuing and fostering lost, abandoned, sick, and abused animals in Northeast Iowa. Website: https://whispurringhoperescue.weebly.com/

Combatting hunger in Iowa:

Community Kitchen of North Iowa (Mason City). Supports: Free lunches six days a week, evening meals four days a week, in seven North Central Iowa counties. Website: https://communitykitchennia.com/

DMARC Food Pantry: Des Moines Area Religious Council (Des Moines). Supports: Wholesale food distribution to 14 Central Iowa food pantries. Website: https://www.dmarcunited.org/food/

Feed Iowa First (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Combatting food insecurity through growing fresh food and helping farmers. Website: https://www.feediowa1st.com/our-organization/

Food at First (Ames). Supports: Daily free meal and perishable food distribution. Website: https://foodatfirst.com/

Grow Johnson County, Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development (Amana). Supports: Improve healthy food access through sustainable farming and education. Website: https://www.growjohnsoncounty.org/

Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank (Mason City). Supports: Emergency food assistance. Website: https://www.facebook.com/hawkeyeharvest

Hunger Free Dallas County (Dallas County). Supports: Decreasing food waste and increasing healthy food security. Website: https://foodgridia.org/

LIFE 5b: Local Iowa Food Empowerment (Farragut). Supports: Food security and sustainable agriculture practices in seven Southwestern Iowa counties. Website: https://www.sycamoreridgesmallfarm.com/life5b

Mobile Food Pantry (Vinton). Supports: Once-a-month food pantry serving Benton County. Website: https://mobilefoodpantryvinton.weebly.com/

Northeast Iowa Food Bank (Waterloo). Supports: Food distribution to 142 nonprofits and pantries in 16 Northeast Iowa counties. Website: https://www.neifb.org/

Pella Community Food Shelf (Pella). Supports: Alleviating hunger through access to food and education. Website: https://www.pellacommunityfoodshelf.org/

SILT: Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (West Branch). Supports: Affordable and inclusive land opportunities for beginning food farmers without access to land. Website: https://silt.org/

3G Food Pantry (Runnells). Supports: Food assistance and supplies for those in Runnells. Website: https://www.facebook.com/3gfoodpantry/

Urbandale Food Pantry (Urbandale). Supports: Food assistance, personal care items and meals in Urbandale. Website: https://www.urbandalefoodpantry.org/

Support for Iowa’s houseless population:

Americans for Independent Living (Waterloo). Supports: Transitional housing, home modifications, furniture and resources for military veterans experiencing homelessness in Eastern Iowa. Website: https://www.afil.org/

The Bridge Home (Ames). Supports: Providing shelter and support for people experiencing homelessness in Boone, Green, Hardin, Marshall and Story counties. Website: https://www.thebridgehome.org/

Burlington Area Homeless Shelter (Burlington). Supports: Temporary shelter and support to the houseless population in the Burlington area. Website: https://burlingtonareahomelessshelter.wordpress.com/

Cedar Valley Hospitality House (Waterloo). Supports: Emergency rent, bill help, transportation and resources for the houseless population in Northeast Iowa. Website: https://www.cvhospitalityhouse.net/

Central Iowa Shelter and Services (Des Moines). Supports: Shelter, meals and support services to adults experiencing homelessness in the Des Moines area. Website: https://centraliowashelter.org/

Central Furniture Rescue (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Providing furniture and household items to those exiting homelessness in Eastern Iowa. Website: https://centralfurniturerescue.org/

Houses Into Homes (Coralville). Supports: Providing beds, furniture, and household items to those exiting homelessness and families in crisis in Johnson County. Website: https://www.housesintohomes.org/

Humble Dwellings (Eldridge). Supports: Providing furniture and household items to those in the Quad Cities area. Website: https://humbledwellingsqca.weebly.com/

Humility Homes (Davenport). Supports: Housing opportunities and support services in the Quad Cities. Website: https://www.humilityhomes.org/

Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity (Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, and Washington counties). Supports: New homes and home improvements for low-income Southeast Iowans. Website: https://www.iowavalleyhabitat.org/

New Visions Homeless Services (Council Bluffs). Supports: Addressing basic needs and breaking the cycle of poverty through meals and Christmas gifts. Website: https://www.facebook.com/newvisionshomelessservices

Northern Lights Alliance for the Homeless Shelters (Mason City). Supports: Emergency temporary shelter for men, women and children in eight North Iowa counties. Website: https://northernlightsshelters.org/

Shelter House (Iowa City). Supports: Emergency shelter, employment and mental health recovery in Iowa City. Website: https://shelterhouseiowa.org/

The Warming Shelter (Sioux City). Supports: Shelter to houseless people in Sioux City. Website: https://thewarmingshelter.com/

YMCA Supportive Housing Campus (Des Moines). Supports: Permanent supportive housing and resources for houseless people in the Des Moines area. Website: https://www.dmymca.org/locations/supportive-housing-campus

Support for low-income Iowans:

AYDE: Association of Youth Development and Enrichment (Des Moines). Supports: Skill development in youth, emergency assistance to families. Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100088803064871

Boone Hope Foundation (Boone). Supports: Emergency financial assistance for Boone students and families. Website: https://www.boonehope.org/

Crossroads of Pella (Pella). Supports: Emergency assistance, services, programs and more in Pella. Website: https://www.crossroadspella.org/

Dubuque Rescue Mission (Dubuque). Supports: Meals, shelter and assistance for those in need. Website: https://www.facebook.com/DBQRescue

Families Forward (Des Moines). Supports: Food pantry, child development center, emergency shelter and services, affordable housing help. Website: https://www.familiesforward.org/

Free Clinics of Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Funds 30+ free health care clinics across Iowa. Website: https://www.fciowa.org/

Friendly House (Davenport). Supports: Programs and services for economically-challenged youth, families and older adults in the Quad Cities area. Website: https://www.friendlyhouseiowa.org/about-us.html

Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance (Story County). Supports: Emergency financial assistance. Website: https://gnea.org/

Iowa Mutual Aid Network (Des Moines). Supports: Community mutual aid funds across Iowa, community fridges, rent relief and more. Website: https://iowamutualaid.org/

Operation Threshold (Waterloo). Supports: Emergency assistance for people in Black Hawk, Buchanan and Grundy counties. Website: https://www.operationthreshold.org/

Sieda Community Action (Ottumwa). Supports: Advocacy, counseling, education, services and more to help people out of poverty. Website: https://www.sieda.org/

Sleep in Heavenly Peace (Adel, Ames, Cedar Rapids, Center Junction, Creston, DeWitt, Essex, Hopkinton, Maquoketa, Muscatine, Norwalk, Sioux City, Solon, Washington). Supports: Building, assembling and delivering beds to children. Website: https://shpbeds.org/chapters/

Southeast Linn Community Center (Lisbon). Supports: Food pantry and other programs for economically disadvantaged families, seniors and children in Lisbon and Mount Vernon. Website: https://selinn.org/

TAKE: The Ankeny Klothing Exchange (Ankeny). Supports: Free clothing and household goods for those in need. Website: https://takeankeny.org/

Together We Achieve (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Food, supplies and resources for those in the Cedar Rapids area. Website: https://togetherweachieve.org/

Upper Des Moines Opportunity (Graettinger). Supports: Energy assistance, housing, health and nutrition, and more for 22 counties in Central Iowa. Website: https://www.udmo.com/

West Des Moines Human Services Friends Foundation (West Des Moines). Supports: Emergency financial assistance. Website: https://www.wdm.iowa.gov/government/human-services/friends-foundation

Support for a good cause (miscellaneous):

ACLU Iowa: American Civil Liberties Union (Des Moines). Supports: Advocacy in the courts and Iowa Legislature, and public education advancing and upholding civil liberties. Website: https://www.aclu-ia.org/en

African American Museum of Iowa (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Preservation and education of the African American heritage in Iowa. Website: https://blackiowa.org/

AgArts (Kalona). Supports: Promoting healthy food systems through the arts. Website: https://www.agarts.org/

Better Ballot Iowa (Crescent). Supports: ranked-choice voting advocacy. Website: https://www.betterballotiowa.org/

Brave Leadership (Cedar Falls). Supports: Training behavioral health providers in evidence-based practices. Website: https://braveleadership.org/

Bricker-Price Block (Earlham). Supports: Free event space for youth and senior programs and other local events in Earlham. Website: https://www.brickerpriceblock.com/

Cakes From the Heart Iowa (Linn and Johnson counties). Supports: Cakes and cupcakes for youth and seniors in Eastern Iowa. Website: https://www.facebook.com/cakesfromtheheartiowa

Children and Families of Iowa (Ankeny, Des Moines, Osceola, Ottumwa). Supports: Wide variety of programs including domestic violence, behavioral health, career readiness, childcare and tutoring, juvenile justice support services, and more. Website: https://cfiowa.org/

City Voices (Des Moines). Supports: Community-centered music education. Website: https://cityvoicesdesmoines.org/

Clubfoot Solutions (Bettendorf). Supports: Donations of the Iowa Brace (a medical brace designed to cure clubfoot) to children born with clubfoot around the world. Website: https://clubfootsolutions.org/

CultureALL (Urbandale). Supports: Teaching the value of diversity and different cultures to schools, businesses and community organizations. Website: https://www.cultureall.org/

Decoding Dyslexia Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Advocacy for and awareness of students with dyslexia across Iowa. Website: https://www.decodingdyslexiaiowa.org/

East Mills Child Care Solutions (Malvern). Supports: Solving the problem of inadequate child care in the East Mills Community School District. Website: https://emccs.square.site/

Great Plains Action Society (Iowa City). Supports: Empowering Indigenous voices, fighting against extreme resource extraction, and uplifting traditional ecological knowledge in Iowa and Nebraska. Website: https://www.greatplainsaction.org/

Inside Out Reentry Community (Iowa City). Supports: Helping formerly incarcerated people in Johnson County develop successful plans to re-enter society. Website: https://www.insideoutreentry.com/

Interfaith Alliance of Iowa (Des Moines). Supports: Challenging extremism, defending democracy, protecting religious freedom, and safeguarding the rights of all Iowans. Website: https://www.interfaithallianceiowa.org/

Iowa AEYC: Association for the Education of Young Children (Urbandale). Supports: Advocacy and training for early childhood educators and other professionals. Website: https://iowaaeyc.org/

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Des Moines). Supports: Advocating for climate justice, democracy, farming, health care, immigrant rights and racial justice. Website: https://www.iowacci.org/

Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation (Iowa City). Supports: Library materials and programming to encourage learning, literacy, and creativity in the Iowa City area. Website: https://supporticpl.org/

Iowa Public Health Association (Des Moines). Supports: Advocating for public health policy. Website: https://iowapha.org/

Junior League of Cedar Rapids (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Advancing women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training. Website: https://www.juniorleaguecr.org/

Kiva Iowa (Cedar Rapids). Supports: Micro loans to entrepreneurs. Website: https://newbo.co/kiva/

North Iowa Mutual Aid (Allison, Britt, Charles City, Eagle Grove, Forest City, Hampton, Mason City, Northwood, Osage). Supports: Reducing food waste, providing access to healthy food, harm reduction, period equity. Website: https://www.northiowamutualaid.org/

Prairie Rivers of Iowa (Ames). Supports: Creating a healthier natural environment and preserving cultural heritage in Iowa. Website: https://www.prrcd.org/

Resources Unite (Dubuque). Supports: Connecting people to volunteer opportunities and resources in the Dubuque area. Website: https://www.resourcesunite.com/

United Way (Johnson and Washington counties). Supports: Directing donations to various community services as needed. Website: https://www.unitedwayjwc.org/

Urbandale Community Action Network (Urbandale). Supports: Leadership and ongoing support for community-based action in Urbandale. Website: https://urbandalenetwork.org/


  • Amie Rivers

    Amie Rivers is Starting Line's community editor, labor reporter and newsletter snarker-in-chief. Previously, she was an award-winning journalist at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier; now, she very much enjoys making TikToks and memes. Send all story tips and pet photos to [email protected] and sign up for our newsletter here.



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