The Des Moines Ronald McDonald House is committed to improving the quality of life for children and families through a variety of solutions. Hundreds of volunteers who share our concerns provide thousands of donated hours per year to help us achieve our goals.

On this page you will find a description of our programs and the many ways you can become involved. Please find a program that suits your time and talent, then email us at volunteer@rmhdesmoines.org if you have any questions or for more information.

Click here for our online volunteer form!

The Des Moines Ronald McDonald House operates at its best with the help of volunteers. We get many requests from individuals and groups wanting to know what they can do to help. The following list will give you an idea of what is needed and what you might want to do for the House.


Paint a room, install a fan, or do any of a number of maintenance tasks that need to be done around the house to make it a home away from home.


Treat families to brownies or cookies. Bring in something you’ve made or use our kitchen to bake up something special.

Relief Help

Provide relief help for vacations, holidays, or weekends. The need varies from a few hours to a weekend. Training is provided.

Special Events

Help with one of our fundraisers during the year that benefit Ronald McDonald House or donate an auction item.


Come on in and clean the house. This can be done on a one time or weekly basis. Instructions will be provided.


Water flowers, pull weeds and rake leaves. Help our yard look great for families staying at the house.


Assemble baskets of personal care items. These baskets are placed in each room for the convenience of our families.

Pop Tabs

Collect aluminum pop tabs to be recycled. Help the environment and the house. Bring your full container of pop tabs to the house.


Make Thanksgiving decorations for the doors. Bring in Valentine cookies or provide Easter baskets for the families.

Wish List

Collect items needed by the house such as canned food and paper products at your school, church, or business. We’ll provide a list of needed items.

The Ronald McDonald House is a “home-away-from-home,” a temporary home for families of seriously ill children who come to Des Moines for medical treatment. If the child is an outpatient, he or she may also stay at the House with family members. The Ronald McDonald House helps ease the suffering these children and families experience by providing an inexpensive refuge from the hospital where families have a room of their own, a comfortable bed, kitchen and laundry facilities, play areas for the children and the emotional support they need through the sharing and caring of other families in similar circumstances.

How You Can Help As A Relief Volunteer

The Des Moines Ronald McDonald House is able to accomplish its mission with the help of the many relief volunteers. Relief volunteers are an essential part of the House. With the House operating 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it is difficult for a staff of four to cover all the hours needed.

Here are ways Relief Volunteers dedicate their time:

  • Welcome and register families
  • Be supportive of families
  • Provide tours
  • Answer phones
  • Assist with household chores
  • Tidy up kitchen, make a pot of coffee, share some hospitality
  • Just be there when guests need a friendly face or someone to talk to!

Time Commitment:

  • 3 or 4 hour shifts
  • Weekly, monthly, evening, weekend, overnight
  • Minimum 6-month commitment requested for continuity
  • Invite a friend to volunteer with you

For more information or to schedule a time as an individual or group to volunteer, contact volunteer@rmhdesmoines.org

Sign up online today to be a volunteer!

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