ISU volunteer opportunities


Blake Lanser/Iowa State Daily

More than $440,000 was raised for Dance Marathon last year. 

Matthew Rezab

Giving back may help others, but it also helps the volunteer as well.

People who dedicate their time to assisting others tend to get better grades, have more self-esteem and make more friends.

Luckily, Iowa State and the Ames community provide ample opportunities for students to head out and give back.

Alternative Breaks

ISU Alternative Breaks program places teams of students in communities across the United States to engage in community service during winter and spring breaks. Students perform short-term projects for community agencies and learn about various social issues.

Trip costs range from $75-$250 per trip. The amount varies depending on distance traveled, housing accommodations and other site fees. The cost includes transportation, lodging, meals once on-site and a T-shirt.

Participants are expected to:

– Attend group meetings and functions.

– Sign all required policy forms.

– Pay all the required fees before the trip.

– Adhere to the standards set by their site and the Alternative Breaks Program during, before and after the trip.

CyServe Council

CyServe strives to be the connection between volunteer organizations in Story County, student organizations at Iowa State University and students in the surrounding area.

CyServe’s goal is to provide volunteering opportunities for students in an easy to access manner and making these opportunities well known throughout the community.

All types of volunteer opportunities are available through CyServe. Upcoming service events/opportunities can be found at

Dance Marathon

Iowa State Dance Marathon has been helping children with life-threatening illnesses for 18 years, giving financial and emotional support to hundreds of families across Iowa. All of the money raised through this event is given directly to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital through Children’s Miracle Network.

Participants agree to raise at least $250 throughout the year. Once that level is met, the volunteer is invited to the dance party in January. Last year, the organization raised $444,000 for the hospital.

Interested parties can visit for more information.

Keep Iowa State Beautiful

Keep Iowa State Beautiful is a collaboration between 11 on-campus organization that aims to create a culture of beautification on campus, to encourage individuals and teams to monitor designated areas and to host events for the campus and community to remove litter, thereby beautifying campus and the surrounding areas.

Interested parties can often choose the area of campus they wish to clean up or keep clean.

More information can be found at:

ISU Student Volunteer Services

If you’d like to volunteer, but you’re not sure where or how, Student Volunteer Services can set you in the right direction.

This organization provides information on volunteer opportunities throughout the community.

Its stated goal is to become a link between potential volunteers and organizations that need them, and vice versa. This group also coordinates occasional volunteering events and works with the Story County Volunteer Center on various projects.

More information can be found at:

Volunteer Center of Story County

Whether you’d like to donate time to help feed the needy, assist in youth programs or keep Ames clean, the Volunteer Center of Story County can set you up with the perfect situation.

The center’s stated goals are to connect volunteers with volunteer opportunities throughout Story County, promote volunteering and community involvement, recognize volunteers and educate volunteer leaders.

More information can be found at: