Youth & Shelter Services, Inc.



Helping with Summer Food Program

Help ensure all children have healthy food this summer!  Only 16% of children who receive free or reduced school lunches have access to lunch during the summer.  You can help by volunteering to serve, supervise, or clean up a free lunch this June and July.  Meals are being served every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at First United Methodist Church (516 Kellogg Ave, Ames).    Background checks will be required for all volunteers.  To sign up for this volunteer opportunity please click on this link: or contact Ellen or 515-233-3141. Volunteers are needed Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:15 to 12:45. You can volunteer for just one day or on a regular basis, whatever fits your schedule.

Child Care Volunteers Needed (Stork's Nest)

Youth and Shelter Services Story County Stork’s Nest is an incentive program with the goal of improving the overall health of pregnant women and their babies. Women participating in this program earn points for engaging in healthy behaviors and activities including attending educational classes that utilize research based curriculum on various topics related to pregnancy, infant care and parenting. Classes are offered on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month from 5:00pm-6:00pm. The points parents earn can then be redeemed for various baby supplies and equipment. Volunteers are needed to help provide child care to children while their parents attend educational classes. Most of the children are age 0 to 5. Volunteers should have experience caring for young children and have the ability to work effectively with other caregivers. Volunteers are needed the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month from 4:45 to 6:00 p.m. at St. John's By the Campus Episcopal Church, 2338 Lincoln Way in Ames.  A volunteer orientation and background check is required before volunteering for this opportunity. We have a very high need for SPANISH speaking volunteers at this time. To volunteer or get more information please contact Rosa 515-233-3141.


Summer Mentors Needed (GRIP Mentoring)


Youth and Shelter Services, Inc. Great Relationships in Pairs (GRIP) Mentoring Program will embark on its second summer offering mentoring to area children in collaboration with United Way.  Summer mentoring through GRIP will take place from June 1st to July 9th at the Ames Middle School and will serve children in grades K-8th. Mentoring matches will meet at the school at lunch time from 11:30 to 12:00 once a week.  Summer mentors will be encouraged to continue meeting with their mentee when school begins again in the fall.


Please consider becoming a summer mentor. To get started and for more information contact Lacey 515-233-3141 or


Sorting Donations

Youth and Shelter Services needs multiple volunteers to help sort and organize items that are being donated to our donation center.  Items that volunteers would be sorting include clothing and other small miscellaneous household items. Highest need for volunteers are on Tuesdays and Weds from 9:00 to 3:00 p.m.   Volunteers can choose to help out with this need for one day for a couple of hours, or on an ongoing basis for a couple hours per week. All volunteers will have to complete a background check.  Volunteers should be able to stand on their feet for an extended period of time to sort/organize donations and be able to lift items/boxes and trash bags full of clothing and other miscellaneous items. Volunteers must be at least age 16. If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity than please contact Rosa Jennings, YSS Volunteer Coordinator: or 515-233-3141.


Summer Internships

We still have a couple of UNPAID Summer Internships available with AMP, Kids Club, and our Rosedale Shelter. If you are interested in applying for an internship please click here to download a volunteer/intern application. Please e-mail or fax applications to Rosa Jennings, Volunteer Coordinator or fax 515-233-2440. In addition all volunteers and interns must complete a volunteer/intern orientation. To sign up for an orientation please click here.

Volunteering at YSS

Volunteers are special individuals who give without asking anything in return. Please consider sharing your time and talents to help youth in your community.

How To Apply

  1. Please click here to download the application. Once you have completed the application please e-mail to Rosa Jennings, Volunteer Coordinator, or fax to: 515-233-2440.
  2. All volunteer/interns must attend a volunteer orientation. To sign up for a volunteer orientation please click here.

For questions and more information please contact Rosa Jennings, Volunteer Coordinator, or 515-233-3141.

Volunteer Coordinators are located at the Jacobson Youth and Family Center, at 420 Kellogg Avenue in Ames or at the IHYC, Buchanan Center, at 1219 Buchanan Street in Des Moines.

Special Event and Ongoing Opportunities

For a listing of ongoing volunteer opportunities please visit



Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Rosa Jennings, at or

(515) 232-4332 ext. 4451 for questions/ information on volunteering/ internships in the Ames Area.


For Des Moines volunteer opportunities, please contact Emma Christianson, IHYC Development Coordinator, at


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