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Beacon Boutique

Beacon of Life has been a guiding light for women in our community experiencing homelessness due to trauma, substance abuse, domestic violence and incarceration.

As a part of this project, your team will assist in organizing clothes, jewelry, and home decor to be sold in a second hand store. The profits benefit women who have been impacted by Incarceration and who live at the Beacon of Life.

Bickford Retirement and Memory Care

Bickford Retirement and Memory Care is a senior living facility, created to provide the same level of peace and happiness that residents have experienced earlier in their lives.

As a part of this project, your group will visit with the elderly through a variety of activities including exercise, bingo, playing games, cooking activities, craft activities, and sharing music.

Bidwell Riverside Center

A private non-profit, the Bidwell Riverside Center has been serving people in poverty since 1893. Bidwell seeks to build hope for low-income individuals and families through three major focus areas: Children, Families, and Community.

As a part of this project, your group will have the chance to participate in several different areas of this ministry: Food Pantry Guide: Guiding the clients through their grocery shopping experience; Donations: Sorting, hanging, and organizing clothing and household donations; Grocery Stocking & Facing: Light stocking of grocery items; Bed, Bath, & Beyond Building: Organizing donations from Bed, Bath, and Beyond; Community Garden: Picking produce to be distributed in the pantry and weeding; Yard Work: Raking the lawn, cleaning the parking lot, and tending to flower beds.

Central Iowa Shelter and Services 

The Central Iowa Shelter and Services provide shelter, meals, transitional housing, health clinics, classes, and clothing closet to homeless adults.

As a part of this project, your team may participate in a work project, play games with the residents, or hear the stories of those that are homeless.

Children and Family Urban Movement 

The Children and Family Urban Movement (CFUM) works amidst one of the poorest and more racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Des Moines. Their mission is to create a community that supports children, youth and their families through education, healthy living and community engagement.

As a part of this project, your group will be able to interact with children, clean, or serve dinner. In the summer, your group may be involved in assisting with the summer days program which provides daytime care to at risk kids.

C.H.O.I.C.E.S.

C.H.O.I.C.E.S. is the name of Curtis Fry’s ministry. It means “Choosing Him over I changes every situation.”. Curtis’ compelling story helps kids make good choices and avoid criminal activity.

As part of this project, you will listen to Curtis Fry’s testimony. Curtis was imprisoned for a choice he made on his 21st birthday when one night of drinking changed the course of his life forever. Hear Curtis’s story and then write an encouraging letter to someone in prison.

Connection Cafe 

The Connection Cafe offers a free lunch to homeless and low income individuals and families.

As a part of this project, your team will help to serve food, engage in conversation with the guests, clean up the hall, and hear personal stories from those who are serving and eating.

Corinthian Baptist Church 

As a part of this project, your team will have the opportunity to help to serve food, engage in conversation with the guests, clean up the hall, and hear personal stories from those who are serving and eating. It is a great way to end the Urban Plunge experience.

DMARC 

The Des Moines Area Religious Council works to meet basic human needs through the distribution of food. They work with over 130 congregations from 4 different faith traditions to “Move the Food” all over Des Moines.

As a part of this project, your team will help organize and pack food to be distributed to 12 partner food pantries.

Freedom for Youth Ministries 

Freedom for Youth Ministries offers the love of Jesus Christ to homeless and at-risk youth through an after-school program, transitional housing, and youth centers.

As a part of this project, your team will tour the campus, hear testimonies, and help out wherever they have need.

Joppa Outreach 

Joppa Outreach creates a community of unconditional love, support, and hope for the homeless in order to help get people off of the streets. Joppa is reaching homeless people where they live–in tents and shacks, in doorways, abandoned buildings, in cars, and under bridges. Volunteers visit with the homeless weekly to build relationships, provide humanitarian aid, and help with the specific needs of the individual.

As a part of this project, your team will visit a homeless camp, delivering supplies, praying for the homeless, and spending time building relationships.

Laundry Love

Laundry Love is a national initiative that seeks to bring economic relief by giving the individual or family the option to redirect funds toward food, medical, gas or transportation costs as well as school supplies and other basic, everyday necessities.

As a part of this project, your team will come with quarters and laundry soap to host a two hour Laundry Love event! We will team up with a laundry mat in an impoverished area of town, advertise, and bless those who come in by providing the soap and coins!

Letters to Prisoners

This ministry benefits a program called “Men in Blue”, which is a Christian retreat that takes place inside the prison walls. Each retreat participant receives a letter of encouragement.

As a part of this project, your team will spend some time writing letters to men who are in Iowan prisons, encouraging them in their walk with God.

Lutheran Church of Hope Downtown

Hope’s mission is to “Reach out to the world around us and share the everlasting love of Jesus Christ!”

As a part of this ministry, your team will have the opportunity to serve AND worship at this site! On Sunday mornings, this Lutheran Church buses in the homeless from the shelters and camps to feed them breakfast. Our group helps serve the meal and we get to worship with them after!

Meals From the Heartland

Meals From the Heartland is a community-wide food packaging network that works to feed hungry children and families.

As a part of this project, your group will be packaging rice and soy meals that serve people locally, nationally, and internationally.

New Life Dream Center

NLC is not a church. It is a fellowship of believers coming together to declare the glory of the Lord and celebrate Jesus as King. We study the Word, practice what we learn and in the process grow together.

As a part of this project, your group will be doing a work project for the church or someone in need. Project examples are things like painting, lawn care for an elderly person, playing with kids, or organizing rooms.

Prayer Walk

Prayer is a foundational component of Christ For the City International and the Urban Plunge. In Des Moines, we helped organize three different monthly prayer gatherings. Each brings together pastors and ministry leaders of diverse ethnicity, socioeconomic status and neighborhoods. God is knitting together the hearts of those in the suburbs and those in the urban core of Des Moines.

As a part of your Urban Plunge experience, we will go on a 20 minute Prayer Walk through a neighborhood or in downtown Des Moines overlooking the city. As we debrief, we’ll challenge each Urban Plunge participant to consider Prayer Walking with a friend through their school or neighborhood.

Sweet Tooth Farm

An Urban Garden in a food desert working to provide fresh, organic produce to it’s neighbors and all of Des Moines. Produce is for sale, but often benefits the local food bank with it’s abundance.

As a part of this ministry, you will hear the story of how this Urban farm began. Your group will assist in planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting crop. You may eat dinner at the farm!

Trinity UMC/Las Americas 

Trinity United Methodist Church is a diverse community of people who care deeply about the integration of faith and social justice. They gather for a weekly bilingual worship service.

As a part of this project, your team will have the opportunity to attend one of these worship services.

Urban Bicycle Food Ministry

UBFM is an inner-faith, multi-denominational organization that serves radical hospitality to the food insufficient “one burrito at a time”. The burritos and other items are distributed to the homeless and impoverished neighborhoods every Thursday night by bicyclists.

As a part of this ministry, your group will help prepare burritos, sandwiches, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and other items to be distributed by the bikers or those in car routes.

Urbandale Community Food Garden

The Urbandale Community Food Garden gives it’s produce to the Urbandale Food Pantry and is open 24/7 to those who need it’s produce.

As a part of this ministry, your team will be gardening! This garden is located in one of the fastest growing areas of food insufficiency in Des Moines in Urbandale.

Walnut Creek Church

Walnut Creek Church is a vibrant multi-site Christian community in the greater Des Moines area that is passionate about Jesus. They desire to love people practically and see all grow in a meaningful, rich relationship with God.

As a part of this ministry, your group will conclude their day of service with worship. The music is on the cutting edge of contemporary and the teaching is relevant to a youthful audience.