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Municipal Volunteer Program

MVP Contact:
Stephanie Schrader
Community Service Coordinator
Community Development

How are we doing? Please take this short survey and tell us about your volunteer experience with the City of Cedar Rapids.

Thank you to our volunteers! We are #CRStrong because of you! 

2020 Volunteer Impact Report


Cedar Rapids citizens are actively involved and interested in promoting community well being.  This spirit of involvement is the foundation of our community. Serving your community by providing your time as a volunteer is an investment in your community, but also has personal rewards. Benefits of community service include:

  • Volunteering connects you to others
  • Volunteering is good for the mind and body
  • Volunteering is rewarding
  • Volunteering can provide new skills
Please consider volunteering your time to a cause of interest to you that will benefit the Cedar Rapids community and our citizens.  Below are many MVP Volunteer Opportunities available within the City. 



Thank you to our VolunteersBrad Hart 2018 - Copy
We already know what a generous community Cedar Rapids is.  Our residents continually remind me of their strong sense of volunteerism and public engagement. In 2008 and again in 2020, natural disasters damaged or destroyed entire neighborhoods and caused millions of dollars in damage in Cedar Rapids. Through these hardships, our residents gathered to respond to the needs of their neighbors.

We could not have the great community we enjoy without the active participation from our volunteers. Volunteers are essential to the success of the City of Cedar Rapids. We are sustained and strengthened by the willingness of our residents to work for the common good and plan for the future. The hours and input our volunteers have given are greatly appreciated. 

I invite you to be a part of the city’s numerous volunteer opportunities. By leveraging the talents and skills of our own residents, we can improve the well-being of our community. Whether you are a life-long resident of Cedar Rapids or you have lived here for less than a year, there is no limit to what you can contribute.


Derecho Clean-Up Volunteer Opportunities

Park storm debris clean-up (ongoing): 
Volunteers interested in helping rake debris and clearing sticks or trash at parks may contact Parks and Recreation parks@cedar-rapids.org or 319-286-5566.

Ushers Ferry grounds clean up (ongoing) includes raking, picking up leaves, sticks, and limbs. Contact Cathy Scanlon at c.scanlon@cedar-rapids.org or 319-286-5699.

Animal Care and Control 
Love furry friends? Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control welcomes volunteers who want to make a contribution to the welfare of animals in our community. Volunteers play a crucial role helping care for animals, assisting with front desk duties, fundraisers, or providing walks and socialization for the animals at Animal Care & Control. Click here to learn more or contact Kelly at 319-286-5993 or by email AnimalControlMgmt@cedar-rapids.org.

CleanUpCR is a collaborative program designed to provide residents and businesses with the resources to keep Cedar Rapids a clean, healthy place to live. Click here to find out more about various CleanUP initiatives, including the City Manager's One Bag Challenge. Contact Vincent Snyder at 319-286-5897 or by email Solid-Waste-Recycling@cedar-rapids.org.

The Cedar Rapids Public Library Volunteer Program supports and enriches the library by engaging community volunteers through meaningful volunteer opportunities. Whether you care for materials, greet customers, or help with children’s programs, there is a flexible opportunity for you. Volunteer opportunities are available for adults, families, teens, retirees, and small groups; you can volunteer at the Downtown or Ladd Library. Find out more here. Contact Jessica Link, Volunteer Coordinator at 319-739-0403 or by email linkj@crlibrary.org.

Civic Engagement
The City of Cedar Rapids is committed to government transparency, citizen participation, and clear communication. As a part of our public outreach, we actively seek to provide information to the public about city government and inform residents of opportunities to participate in public meetings.

There are a variety of ways for citizens to stay engaged in the community. Residents are encouraged to attend public meetings, which are posted online here. Residents can also subscribe to City news to receive email or text notifications of public meeting postings, news, or calendar events.

Participate in Council Meetings
City Council meetings are generally held the second and fourth Tuesday of every month in the Council Chambers on the third floor of City Hall unless otherwise posted. Contact the City Clerk’s Office at 319-286-5060 or cityclerk@cedar-rapids.org.

Serve on City Boards and Commissions
Participate in City government by serving on one of the City’s many boards, commissions and advisory committees. These advisory groups partner with the Cedar Rapids City Council and City staff to guide the future of our community. Service on a board or commission is an excellent way for citizens to become involved in the operation of local government and to contribute to the quality of life in Cedar Rapids. Contact the City Clerk’s Office at 319-286-5060 or city-clerk@cedar-rapids.org.

Citizens Fire Academy
The Cedar Rapids Fire Department offers citizens a unique way to experience the firefighting career with the Citizens' Fire Academy. The Academy includes 15 hours of instruction and practical experience. Citizens will discover firefighting is more than putting out fires, but also includes rescue operations, emergency medical services, fire prevention and education. Contact Julie Popelka, Public Education, at 319-286-5277 or j.popelka@cedar-rapids.org.

Police Volunteer Opportunities
Have you ever wanted to spend time in a law enforcement environment, or provide assistance to your local police department? Here is your chance. The Cedar Rapids Police Department has several volunteer programs including Police Volunteer Corps and the Citizens Police Academy. Contact Sergeant Laura Faircloth at 319-286-5439 or l.faircloth@cedar-rapids.org.

Youth Engagement
The City has several programs that actively engage youth including Parks and Recreation youth sports, a number of public safety programs and Explorer for youth interested in law enforcement. In addition, the Mayor’s Youth Council engages students in city government. The group meets regularly during the school year and is made up of 11 students from metro area high schools. For questions about the Explorer program, Contact Officer Shawn Burke at 319-286-5454 ext. 6951 or S.Burke@cedar-rapids.org. For more information about the Mayor’s Youth Council contact citymanager@cedar-rapids.org.

Neighborhood Associations
A neighborhood association is a group of residents who meet regularly to accomplish specific goals in their neighborhood. Neighborhood associations offer a place to meet friends, exchange information, create projects and priorities, propose solutions, and have fun. A neighborhood association is an excellent way to improve your neighborhood and develop a spirit of community and pride. Find current neighborhood associations or how to get started here. Contact Jeff Wozencraft at 319-286-5772 or J.Wozencraft@cedar-rapids.org.

Public Works
The City of Cedar Rapids offers a number of ways individuals or groups can help protect and restore our natural surface water resources. By volunteering you can help make a difference in the health of our streams, lakes and the Cedar River. Remember, protecting our waterways starts with you.

Storm Drain Markers
Storm drain markers are colorful, plastic curb markers are used to remind everyone that if you pour something down a storm drain or into a gutter, it is just as though you poured it directly into a local lake, stream or the Cedar River. Help the City mark the storm drains so everyone that sees them will remember - only rain should go down the drain. Fill out our application, or contact Cara Matteson at 319-286-5604 or c.matteson@cedar-rapids.org for more information.

Adopt-a-storm drain
Sign up to adopt-a-storm drain near your work or home, committing to keeping them clear of leaves and other debris year round. Clearing storm drains of debris keeps these materials from reaching receiving waters as well as keeps storm drains from clogging which helps prevent local flooding. Fill out our application, or contact Cara Matteson at 319-286-5604 or c.matteson@cedar-rapids.org for more information.

Parks and Recreation
Volunteers are an integral element to the Parks and Recreation Department. The Department uses many volunteers to help maintain golf courses, plant and weed gardens, keep our parks clean and beautiful, assist with special events, coach a sports team, and more. Learn more and apply to volunteer with Parks and Rec.

Golf -  Lisa Grekoff 319-286-5588 l.grekoff@cedar-rapids.org
Noelridge Greenhouse -  Lori Farmer 319-286-5760 or L.Farmer@cedar-rapids.org
Parks - Heather Vasquez 319-286-5750 or H.Vasquez@cedar-rapids.org
Special Populations - Rob Wagner at 319-286-5799 or r.wagner@cedar-rapids.org
Ushers Ferry Historic Village - Ann Cejka at 319-286-5763 or a.cejka@cedar-rapids.org
Youth Sports - Grant Weber at 319-286-5698 or g.weber@cedar-rapids.org.

Looking for more?
United Way of East Central Iowa is a great resource for individuals, groups and businesses to get connected with local volunteer opportunities. Contact Angelica Vannatta at angelica.vannatta@uweci.org or 319-398-5372 ext. 822 for more information.

© 2021  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

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