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6 Ways to Spread Joy By Giving Back to the Community This Holiday Season


With the holiday season upon us, there’s no better time to give back to the community you call home during the University of Iowa school year. If you’re looking to spread joy through volunteer work this winter, consider one of these six ways to give back.

Table to Table

Help hungry Iowans – and do your part to curb food waste – by volunteering your time to Table to Table, an awesome organization that collects food otherwise headed for the dumpster and routes it to Johnson County residents in need. Picture items like produce at the grocery store nearing its expiration date and scraps from local farmers’ fields. Check out their site for volunteer opportunities.

Help the CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank

This wonderful nonprofit offers a number of opportunities for giving back. Work a food bank shift, deliver groceries to those in need, or help staff a pop-up mobile pantry. Choose the option that works best for you and help spread a little joy throughout the Iowa City community.

Give Blood

The DeGowin Blood Center provides blood for patients at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, and they’re always in need of donors. Want to help? You can make an appointment online to visit the donor center at University of Iowa Hospitals on Hawkins Drive.

Houses Into Homes

This Coralville-based organization helps deliver furniture and household items to those “exiting homelessness, domestic violence, and other crisis situations.” It’s a big undertaking, and they’re always in search of volunteers to help with delivery days or handle shifts in the warehouse. Check out their website’s Volunteer page for details.

Shelter House

Iowa City-based Shelter House, which provides safe shelter to “help people improve the quality of their lives as they move beyond homelessness,” is always looking to partner with volunteers who share their passion for helping others. Check out all the ways to help here.

Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center

Love animals? Miss your pets back home? Help Iowa City’s homeless dogs and cats (and the occasional bunny and reptile) by giving your time to the Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center. Do your part by providing animals “with responsive and positive human contact, exercise and relief from their kennels and cages.” Get all the details here.

Find Joy at Home

After a day spent spreading joy in Iowa City and beyond, find joy right here at home. RISE at Riverfront Crossings’ amenities offer countless ways to unwind. Watch the Hawkeyes on the jumbotron on the courtyard deck. Post up with friends and neighbors in the club lounge. Keep pace with your schoolwork in the study lounge. It’s all right here.


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