Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

On Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will serve thousands of meals to hungry individuals and families—both onsite at our Hope Cafe and delivered throughout the Des Moines area. This will take hundreds of volunteers! We also have a number of holiday outreach opportunities perfect for families, small groups, congregations, businesses and others looking to reach out to those in need.

All our Thanksgiving volunteer opportunities are filled, but you can still volunteer for Christmas! Christmas volunteer registration open NOW. Sign-up instructions are below. Please be sure to sign up ASAP after registration opens as we expect these spots to fill quickly.

Note: If you or someone you know would like one or more Thanksgiving meal(s) delivered to your home (Des Moines area only), you can sign up online here or call (515) 265-4277. The deadline to order meals is Friday, Nov. 16, at 4:30 p.m.

Christmas Volunteers

This Christmas, we have three volunteer opportunities including:

  • Food Donation Day Volunteers (Mon., Dec. 24)—helping us receive thousands of food donations on the day before Christmas. Time commitment is 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Christmas Day Onsite Volunteers (Tues., Dec. 25)—helping us package and serve meals. Must be 13 or older. Time commitment is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Meal Delivery Driver Teams (Tues., Dec. 25)—helping us deliver meals around the Des Moines area. We’ll provide addresses ahead of time, and will ask that you use your own GPS to determine our route. You’ll need a car large enough to fit 25-40 grocery sacks. This is a great option for families with younger kids! Time commitment is 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Christmas volunteer registration is open now. 

Mission: Christmas

Each year at Christmas-time, we provide more than 200 gift bags for men, women and children in our emergency shelter and life recovery centers . . . and we couldn’t do it without you!

When you “adopt” a man, woman or child, we’ll provide a specific gift list and you’ll fill a Christmas bag with hygiene items, devotional books, toys and other items from the list. The cost estimate per bag is $20-$50

To sign up to provide one or more gift bags, fill out our online form or give us a call at (515) 265-7272.

Food Donations

We serve and deliver thousands of meals each holiday. Plus, we serve more than 450 meals every day at Hope Ministries. You can help provide holiday meals by donating much-needed food items.

We will collect Thanksgiving food donations on Wednesday, November 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Bethel Mission shelter (1310 6th Ave.). Food needs include:

  • Ready-to-serve dinner rolls
  • Ground beef, pork, loin, bacon
  • Milk, cheese, eggs, butter
  • #10 cans of green beans or mixed veggies
  • Ketchup, mustard, mayo (large-size)

If you have any questions on any of these holiday opportunities, please contact our volunteer coordinator at (515) 265-7272 or

If you have any questions on any of these holiday opportunities, please contact our volunteer coordinator at (515) 265-7272 or

How to Register for Christmas Volunteering

Christmas volunteer registration is open now and we have a brand new way to get signed up. It’s called Volunteer Hub. Here’s how to use it:

1. Click here to be taken to Volunteer Hub.

2. Check out the three Christmas volunteer options and click “SIGN UP” by the opportunity you’d like to register for.

3. When you hit “SIGN UP,” you’ll be taken to a page where you can create an account, including a username and password. You will be asked to complete a profile. This is the only time you’ll have to do this.

4. Once your profile is complete, you will be registered to volunteer for Christmas!

Please note: If you have family or friends who’d like to volunteer with you, they will also need to create an account and sign up via Volunteer Hub. Or, you can create an account for them. Just make sure you’ve got all their info, including their first and last name, address, email address, cell number and date of birth.

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