Youth & Shelter Services, Inc.




Volunteers and interns 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 volunteers/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.


Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Rosa Jennings, at or

(515) 232-4332 ext. 4451 for questions/ information on volunteering/ internships in the Ames Area. Please see below for the volunteer opportunities that are currently available with our agency.



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





Sorting School Supplies Volunteers needed on:

August 11 and 13, 2015. 10:00 to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.


School is right around the corner, and with that comes the need for school supplies. Youth & Shelter Services is holding a School Supply Drive for this upcoming school year. The need for school supplies has increased in the past few years with YSS providing school supplies to over 340 youth in 2014. YSS depends on the support from the Ames and Story County communities to help contribute to the area youth. Volunteers are needed to help sort and organize the school supplies that are being donated for this drive. Volunteers will be sorting the school supplies by item and then grouping the items together for each student. Volunteer location is: 125 S. Third Street, Ames (Youth and Shelter Services Family Life Center, across from Panera). 

Volunteer should be able to lift at least 10 pounds and be comfortable bending to lift things up and place items on tables.  High school aged volunteers are welcome age 16 and above.  This volunteer opportunity is a great way to give back to the students of Ames, and help them be prepared for the 2015/2016 school year.  If volunteers want to they can also bring school supplies to donate, but this is not required.

To sign up for this volunteer opportunity please click on this link: For questions please contact Rosa Jennings, YSS Volunteer Coordinator,  or 515-233-3141


Volunteers needed to help move and clean apartments July 29, 30 and August 3, 2015 

Youth and Shelter Services' Transitional Living Program needs help moving items/furniture from 2 apartments into storage on 7-29-15.

Volunteers will be helping pack and move items and furniture into a garage for storage. Volunteers should be able to lift furniture and heavy boxes.

Volunteers will meet at 9:00am at this address 217 S 5th St APT 8 Ames, IA.

Groups are welcome to volunteer for this opportunity. To sign up for this volunteer opportunity please click on this link: or contact Rosa Jennings,


The apartments that are being packed up by volunteers are two of the transitional living and lighthouse apartments in Story County that provide housing to our homeless youth.  The participants have to be between the ages of 17-21 if they are single, or 17-24 if they are parenting.  While in the program they have a case plan with individualized goals to help them gain self-sufficiency.  They meet with a case manager at least 2 times a week to help them work on their goals.  Examples of goals are things like, obtaining a high school education,  finding a job and then maintaining a job, gaining childcare, and working on increasing their income while in the program so they can reach self-sufficiency.


Youth and Shelter Services' Transitional Living Program is looking for volunteers to help deep clean apartments on 7/30/15.  Examples of the cleaning are washing walls and windows, cleaning bathrooms and kitchens, etc.

Volunteers will need to meet at 9:00am at 217 S 5th St APT 8 Ames, IA.

Groups are able to volunteer at this event. To sign up for this volunteer opportunity please click on this link: or contact Rosa Jennings


Youth and Shelter Services' Transitional Living Program needs help moving furniture and boxes into their apartments on 8/3/2015.  Volunteers should be able to lift furniture and heavy boxes.

Groups are able to volunteer for this event. To volunteer for this event please click on this link: or contact Rosa Jennings

Volunteers should be at 217 S 5th St APT 8 Ames, IA at 9:00am.


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. To volunteer or get more information please contact Rosa 515-233-3141.


Kids Club Volunteer


Summer Kids Club provides a fun and engaging environment for children who have completed K-5th grade.  Kids Club is open at 4 locations (Boone, Gilbert, Slater & Story City) M-F from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  This summer our theme is “Get in the Game!” and the kids and staff are thoroughly enjoying it!  Each week the children explore a new topic inspired by a variety of games.  For example, the week they play “Operation” they will learn about the human body and the week they play “Chess” they will learn about kings and queens in medieval times.  The summer curriculum engages children through fun and educational hands-on activities such as science experiments, cooking competitions, physical challenges, and creative expression.  In addition to our fun activities on site, Kids Club goes swimming twice a week, walks to the local park once a week, and participates in the summer library program.  The kids also enjoy one “big” fieldtrip each week to places like the Science Center, Blank Park Zoo, or even fishing!  


Kids Club summer volunteers assistant with a variety of activities including playing with the children on site, preparing activities and serving snack.  Volunteers are encouraged to gain leadership skills by leading activities, games and songs if they as they feel comfortable.  In addition, we would love for volunteers to share their own hobbies and interests with the kids.  Volunteers are welcome to attend fieldtrips with us to help with supervision.


If you are interested in volunteering for Kids Club than please contact Rosa Jennings 515-233-3141 or


AMP (Achieving Maximum Potential) Volunteer


Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP) is a youth-driven statewide group that seeks to unleash the full potential for personal growth among foster and adoptive children in Iowa. AMP offers leadership opportunities, service learning projects, speaking opportunities and educational/vocational assistance. AMP also provides the life skills youth need to become self-sufficient, independent adults.  More information about AMP can be found here:


AMP welcomes and encourages volunteers to share a skill talent or hobby with youth in the program. The majority of youth who reach adulthood while in foster care do not get the chance to develop critical life skills that enable others their age to succeed. Please consider sharing your skills and knowledge with our young people. You can help them build a resume, talk about renting an apartment, job opportunities, fill out a college application, understand personal finances, teach a life skill and or share a hobby talent.  These are just a few examples of how you can volunteer and help our AMP youth.  

GREAT GROUP VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY! The AMP group in Ames meets the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m in Ames.  This is a great time for a group of volunteers to interact with our AMP youth and do activities with them. In the past groups have taught life skills, did fun art and crafts activities, and taught about subjects like becoming an engineer. We are also always looking for groups/individuals who would be willing to donate snacks for our AMP Council meetings.

If you’re interested in volunteering with AMP or donating a snack than please contact Rosa Jennings, YSS Volunteer Coordinator 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.


Flower bed and grounds maintenance volunteer

Youth and Shelter Services (YSS) is in need of a couple of volunteers to help with general maintenance of our flower beds in Ames and Nevada. Volunteers are needed to help with weeding and upkeep of our flower beds. Very little new planting would be done.  All tools, materials and supplies would be provided by Youth and Shelter Services. Volunteers would be trained and guided by our Building and Grounds Manager.  All volunteers must complete a background check.   This is a great way to get outdoors, and help YSS keep our grounds beautiful for our clients and the Ames community! If interested please contact Rosa Jennings, Volunteer Coordinator or call 515-233-3141.


Fall Mentors Needed (GRIP Mentoring)


The Youth & Shelter Services GRIP (Great Relationships In Pairs) Mentoring Program is actively recruiting volunteers from the Ames and Nevada communities to serve as mentors for youth, ages K-8th grade, in the public schools starting this fall. GRIP promotes student achievement and well-being through one-to-one mentoring relationships.  Mentors meet with their mentees for one hour per week.


More information about GRIP Mentoring can be found by clicking here. . If you are interested in mentoring, please contact Ellen Johnsen, GRIP Program Coordinator at or (515) 233-3141.




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