Places to volunteer in Dubuque

Kasandra Kucharcyzk (TheLorian)

On campus, you’ve probably heard the word “community” thrown around a lot by teachers, guest speakers, faculty, and alumni. It is often incorporated into class’ syllabi and most clubs on campus will incorporate community members into their circle as well. This is because Loras takes great pride in interacting with all the different communities who call Dubuque home. Community-based learning is even emphasized on Loras College’s website. We are also proud recipients of the Presidential Award for Interfaith Community Service by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Volunteering is a great way to get involved with the community and luckily Dubuque has an abundance of amazing organizations that are always looking for motivated volunteers to lend a hand. Here are some for you to consider.

Hills & Dales is a nonprofit organization founded by Elaine Barwick in 1973. The organization’s main goal is to support and advocate for individuals with disabilities all across Eastern Iowa. The members of Hills & Dales fight for increased community inclusion for people with disabilities in 22 different counties. Community inclusion works toward increasing awareness through educational tools and promoting a society that is rooted in acceptance and appreciation for all. For more information on how to reach out to the Hills and Dales organization, you can contact them through their email:

The Dubuque Regional Humane Society is a great volunteer opportunity for anyone who is an animal lover. The DRHS works as a no-kill humane society and needs many helping hands in order to keep their work going. The volunteers are tasked with caring for the animals and bolstering awareness for the society’s cause throughout the community. You can email them at for more information on how to get involved.

Presentation Lantern Center located in the millwork district of Dubuque has been doing great work for the community since 2002. The mission statement of the Presentation Lantern Center is to provide hospitality, educational opportunities, and advocacy for adult immigrants. The main service that the center provides is tutoring sessions to teach English in a one-on-one setting with the patrons as well as lay the groundwork for the adults to take the citizenship test if interested. All the services provided are free and volunteers are given the opportunity to act as tutors or assist patrons in developing “life skills”. Email: to contact a volunteer coordinator.

Circles Initiative Dubuque is actively fighting to improve the standard of living in Dubuque by addressing the issue of poverty within the community. Circles advocates for families and individuals living on or below the poverty line in the area by creating opportunities and directing attention towards policies and systematic barriers that prevent people from breaking the circle of poverty. To learn more about this organization you can contact them by emailing

Volunteering can provide you and so many others with countless benefits. Other than the obvious assistance you could bring to people in need, volunteering also introduces you to great leaders and kind-hearted individuals across Dubuque. Another advantage is that volunteering and community service experience looks great on applications for jobs, graduate schools, and more.

It is of course important to stay safe and smart during the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore you should stay vigilant and follow the guidelines and protocols outlined by the organizations.

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