Get Involved with Horizons
Horizons, A Family Service Alliance, provides a variety of ways for community members to get involved. Horizons depends on its volunteers and donors to help fulfill the agency’s mission to serve the Cedar Rapids community. However you choose to help, we thank you.
Meals on Wheels Drivers:
Our largest need for volunteers is on Thursdays and Fridays.
- Hot Meal Drivers: We’ve returned to a daily hot meal Monday through Friday from 10:45-11:45 a.m. and need your help delivering a regular route weekly or bi-weekly. Fill out a volunteer application to learn more about available routes!
- Substitute Drivers: Can’t commit to a regular volunteer schedule? No problem, opt in to our sub list! Complete the volunteer application above to get started.
- Breakfast Bag Drivers: Help deliver a week’s worth of breakfast foods to food insecure seniors! Pickup times are between 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. and may require a larger vehicle. Complete a volunteer application and we’ll be in touch with more details!
- Iowa City Commuters: Help us transport food Monday – Friday between 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. between our Cedar Rapids kitchen and our Coralville office! Fill out a volunteer application for more details from our Volunteer Coordinator!
Recruit-A-Friend! Earn a Horizons t-shirt by recruiting a friend to alternate weeks with you for a more flexible schedule! Even better, have them pick up their own route!!
Other volunteer opportunities:
- Yard Clean Up: Help our homebound seniors keep their yards maintained through the seasons! Many clients don’t have the support system they need to keep brush cleared or snow plowed. Complete a volunteer application to be connected with seniors in the area today!
Volunteer Concern Form
If there is an emergency with a Horizons client, please call 911.
If you’re concerned about the wellbeing of a Horizons client and it is not an emergency, please complete this form and a Meals on Wheels team member will be in contact with the client and/or their emergency contact and then let you know the client has been taken care of. Thank you!
There’s something for everyone!
Each area of the agency has its own unique volunteer needs, from delivering meals to administrative tasks. We also have special event volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Call 319-375-3108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Summer Garden Volunteers – Sign up at the link below to help maintain our community garden May-August!
Cookies of Compassion – Sign up at the link below to help with our this fundraiser May 3-7th!
Elderberry Box – (July)
Fall Lunch Box – (September)
Turkey Trottt – (November)
Joy Drive – (December)
Frequently Asked Volunteer Questions and Answers
Common questions and answers about volunteering with Horizons’ Meals On Wheels are below. Please call the office (319) 398-3943 if you have any additional questions or comments.
What are the benefits of volunteering with Meals On Wheels?
Volunteers make a difference every day through their smiles and care. In order to provide the best service to those we serve, we need dependable and caring people. The quality of our program and ability to expand our service to the community depends on your reliability.
Some of the most valuable benefits are intrinsic, such as:
- Help to strengthen the community
- Make a positive impact on someone’s quality of life
- Gain work and life experiences
- Model the importance of giving back to the community
- Meet new friends
- Builds self-esteem and self confidence
- Improves health
- Gives value
- Strengthens leadership skills
- Experience diversity
- Expand career opportunities
- Have fun
Volunteer placement and route assignments are based on your availability, interest and ability to meet the requirements. While our goal is to meet the needs of our mission, we strive to ensure that each volunteer’s time is well utilized and that you enjoy your time of service. We hope you honor your commitment and consider your volunteer assignment just as important as a paid position.
Listed below are our expectations:
- Complete the required application and background screening
- Attend a mandatory Volunteer Orientation
- Volunteer in a professional manner
- Report all “Not Home” meal delivery events immediately
Are there any requirements to be a volunteer at Horizons’ Meals On Wheels?
All volunteer drivers must be 18 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, an automobile, proof of auto insurance and agree to a background check. Those under 18 may volunteer by riding along with a guardian, parent, or friend; or by helping in the office.
How do I become a volunteer at Horizons’ Meals On Wheels?
Thank you for your interest in volunteering to help our senior and homebound neighbors. To begin volunteering with our Meals On Wheels program, please fill out a Volunteer Application and attend a Volunteer Orientation.
When do you offer volunteer trainings/orientations?
Volunteer Orientations are held every other Friday. Please make sure you have filled out a Volunteer Application before RSVP’ing for a future Volunteer Orientation date. The Volunteer Coordinator leads orientations and shares helpful hints about meal delivery. You will also have the option to schedule a future ride along with a veteran volunteer.
Do you have weekend volunteer opportunities?
No, at this time there are no weekend volunteer opportunities.
I’m part of a group that wants to volunteer with Horizons’ Meals On Wheels program. What kinds of opportunities do you have for groups (organizations, churches, businesses, etc.)?
Can I volunteer to deliver meals on a regular basis?
Yes! Secure a route and day of the week that works best for your schedule today! Get started by filling out a Volunteer Application.
Can I volunteer to make meals or help in your kitchen?
There are no opportunities to make meals or help in the kitchen.
Do you have opportunities to help out in the office?
Yes, we are in need of office volunteers to support both long-term and one-time projects in the office. Please complete a Volunteer Application and indicate your volunteer preferences.
Do you offer Thanksgiving or Christmas Day delivery opportunities? What else do you offer for the holidays?
Horizons Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver special goody bags and hot holiday meals the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas. A Holiday Gift Bag Drive occurs in November and December where the community comes together to collect items for the holiday gift bags. Bags are delivered with the holiday meals.
I am interested in volunteering for your special events. How do I go about doing that?
It’s easy! Please fill out a Volunteer Application and indicate your preference for volunteering.
Do you have volunteer opportunities for children and families?
Yes, volunteers may deliver with children or family.
Is there a minimum time commitment to volunteer with Horizons Meals On Wheels?
There is no minimum time commitment to volunteer. Though a commitment of delivering a route at least one day, every other week is encouraged.
Do you have evening volunteer opportunities?
There are no evening opportunities available.
What if there is bad weather? How do I know if I should deliver?
Our first priority during a storm is both your safety and the safety of our recipients. Please check this site for road closures before delivering a route in bad weather. If you are delivering during bad weather and encounter a situation where the weather and/or the potential flooding creates danger, please do not deliver the meal. We simply ask that you call the office to let us know, and then we will contact the recipient. You may give away the meal to the next recipient on the route.
Horizons Meals On Wheels may cancel delivery if the weather is hazardous and/or there is flooding. Scheduled volunteers will receive an email if their route is canceled and staff will text to notify recipients and volunteers if service is canceled for that day. Local radio and TV stations may also announce closings- listen for “Horizons, A Family Service Alliance.” Be safe, use your best judgement, and please communicate anything unusual on any given day with our office. Together we will do our best to make sure our volunteers and home-bound seniors are safe all year long.
While our recipients depend on the frozen meals delivered, each of our recipients receive a week’s worth of meals in preparation for uncertainty. These frozen meals are shelf stable and are to be held in reserve should meal delivery have to be canceled due to inclement weather.
I have an educational or service requirement to fulfill (for school, a club, an association, etc.). Can I earn service hours by volunteering with Horizons?
We cannot guarantee that we can fulfill your volunteer hours requirement. However, if you reach us with plenty of notice, we will do our best to find you a meaningful volunteer experience that will mutually benefit Horizons, A Family Service Alliance and it’s programs.
I need hours for court ordered community service.
Please call the Horizons Meals On Wheels Volunteer Coordinator (319) 398-3943 Monday-Friday, between 12:00-2pm, with your paperwork at hand. Please do not fill out a volunteer application if you need hours for court ordered community service.
I want to volunteer but I don’t have a car. What can I do?
Volunteer opportunities that don’t require a car, include office support, reception duties, making cards, etc. Please fill out a Volunteer Application.
I live outside of Linn and Johnson Counties. Do you have opportunities elsewhere in the Corridor area?
Horizons Meals on Wheels is a local, independent organization that serves The Corridor area. We don’t offer volunteer opportunities outside of our service boundaries. There are 5,000 Meals On Wheels agencies across the country. Please check www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org and contact your local agency for opportunities in your community.