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The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

Summer volunteering opportunities

With summer approaching, WSS explores volunteering opportunities available in the Iowa City area.
Defne Bayman
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

Coralville Food Pantry

The Coralville Food Pantry serves residents of Coralville, Tiffin and Oxford, IA, with a member-choice food distribution model, meaning any community member can visit the pantry weekly and choose food and personal care items that best meet their needs. Aside from providing weekly food assistance, the pantry also runs the School Break Nutrition Program, Free Community Meal event, Veggie Connect Program and Seed Library initiative. The Coralville Food Pantry relies heavily on the assistance of volunteers, with between 75-100 community members assisting at the Coralville Food Pantry each year. Volunteering tasks can range from unloading food deliveries, restocking the pantry, making home deliveries and helping during open-to-the-public pantry shifts.

Visit the link below to learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Coralville Food Pantry.



Iowa City Public Library 

Founded in 1896, the Iowa City Public Library is a community institution that supports community, collaboration, intellectual freedom and literacy. In 2023, the library saw 475,444 visitors to its downtown location and held 377 programs for adults, teens and children. Anyone in seventh grade or older can submit an application to volunteer at the library, which requires a minimum commitment of 20 hours over a three-month span for its volunteers. Volunteers can serve in one of four areas: Children’s Services, Community and Access Services, Development Office or Teen Services. 

Visit the link below to learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Iowa City Public Library.



Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center

The Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center provides a variety of volunteer opportunities for those 13 and older (volunteers must be accompanied by a parent until age 16) and will be accepting new volunteer applications in May. Volunteers are crucial at the animal shelter, providing the animals with socialization, exercise and a break from their kennels. To be eligible for a volunteer application, one must first read the Volunteer Orientation Manual and then pass an online quiz. Volunteers can handle a wide array of responsibilities, from walking and exercising dogs to playing with cats outside their cages.

Visit the link below to learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Iowa City Animal Shelter.



Iowa Children’s Museum

The Iowa Children’s Museum, located in the Coral Ridge Mall, has both one-time events needing volunteers and more regular volunteering opportunities. Volunteers must be 14 years or older and pass a criminal review, and they can serve in a variety of roles: “PLAYologists” who work “on the floor” of the museum, interacting with visitors and maintaining exhibits; special event volunteers who assist with STEM Family Free Night, Sensory Friendly Nights or fundraisers; deep cleaning volunteers who help keep the museum sanitized and ready for visitors.  

Visit the link below to learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Iowa Children’s Museum.



Oaknoll Retirement Community

The Oaknoll Retirement Community is committed to providing residents with quality assisted living and end-of-life care. Volunteers are a critical component of realizing Oaknoll’s mission, and several different volunteer positions are currently available. For the majority of positions, which include activity assistant, evening program volunteer, outdoor assistant, walking partner and wellness assistant, volunteers must be at least 16 and work for a six-month/semester-long period with a regularly scheduled volunteering shift.

Visit the link below to learn more about volunteer opportunities at Oaknoll Retirement Community.



Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City

Since 1985, the Ronald McDonald House has served as a “home-away-from-home” for families while they receive treatment for an ill or injured child. Aside from housing 31 rooms, RMHC provides families with home-cooked meals, recreation events, support and community. RMHC’s mission is supported by volunteers who can serve as Individual In-House Volunteers, whose duties include cleaning, running errands, preparing guest rooms, sorting donations and driving the shuttle van to/from the hospital. If one cannot make a regular commitment at RMHC, another great volunteer opportunity is sponsoring or preparing a meal for Ronald McDonald families.

Visit the link below to learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City.


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About the Contributors
Lilly Graham
Lilly Graham, Print Managing Editor
(she/her) Lilly Graham is a senior at West, and this is her third year on staff. Lilly is the Managing Editor for the print edition. Outside of school, Lilly enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her friends and pets.
Defne Bayman
Defne Bayman, Communications Coordinator, Artist, Reporter and Photographer
(they/she) Defne Bayman is a senior this year, and has been on Print for two years and joined Web this year. They are the communications manager for all of WSS, along with an artist, designer, photographer, and reporter. When they're not in school, they're at work, out shopping, or watching a new niche movie.
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