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How To Help

In-Kind Donations

We at Central Iowa Shelter & Services thank you for how much you donate to help support our mission and our clients. With another busy holiday season upon us,  we are receiving large numbers of donations on a daily basis. In order to use them, we have a few in-kind donation rules that must be adhered to. NOTE: Donations may be turned away if these rules are not followed:

  • Please make sure all donations are seasonally appropriate (No shorts, skirts, or other summer apparel).
  • No children's donations. We serve individuals 18 and older.
  • For very large donations, please call in advance to schedule a time for drop-off.
  • NO DONATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED ON WEEKENDS (We do not have the staff to accommodate donations on the weekends with our increased number of residents).

We hope you will continue working with us as we help our clients through the coldest months of the year. We wish we had unlimited storage so we could accept everything, but we need to be strategic to best utilize your donations. Thank you for your support and understanding!

Top Needs

  • Cash Donations
  • 3 oz. Disposable Cups, Earplugs, Shower Sandals, Aspirin, Antacid, Pain-killer, Cough Drops, Cold/Flu Medications (without alcohol), Tylenol or Ibuprofen
  • Travel-size Shampoo and Soap, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Towels, Razors, Combs, Personal-size Deodorant, Feminine Hygiene Products (without plastic applicators), Bus Tokens, Coffee, Hats, New Underwear (in various sizes), Men's Pants, Men's Shoes
  • Disinfecting Wipes, Sandwich bags, Can Openers, Pots, Pans, Plates, Bowls, Silverware


Central Iowa Shelter & Services is implementing a new donation policy. We receive many donations every day for which we are very thankful. With that, we receive many items that we cannot use to help our clients. To better meet the needs of our clients, we feel that a donation policy is the best solution to invite our donors to help us serve our clients as best as we can.

New CISS Donation Policy:

We can accept the following items:

New or gently used adult men’s and women’s clothing

Non-perishable food items

Fresh produce

Basic kitchen supplies (plates, bowls, cups, silverware, cooking utensils, pots/pans, can openers)

Linens (twin-sized bedding, towels, pillows, pillowcases)

Hygiene supplies and toiletries

Grocery bags

Dog and cat food

Bus Tokens

Monetary gifts

We are unable to accept the following items:

Children’s clothing






Medical Equipment

Television sets


Cribs/Car seats/Strollers/Baby items

Computers and printers

Sticker sale items

There may be other organizations in the community that can take the items we cannot accept. Before visiting or donating to these organizations, please contact them to ensure they can utilize your donation.

For Food Rescue, please contact Eat Greater Des Moines at 515-491-1891.

Bidwell Riverside
1203 Hartford Ave.
Des Moines, IA  50315

St. Mary Family Center
1815 Hubbell Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50316

Salvation Army Thrift Store
133 East 2nd Street, Des Moines
4620 SE 14th Street, Des Moines
105 East Euclid Avenue, Des Moines
708 South Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny

Society of St. Vincent de Paul
1426 Sixth Ave.
109 SW 63rd St.

Donations are accepted at 1420 Mulberry St. Monday – Friday between 8:00am and 3:00pm.  Donations are no longer accepted on weekends.

Our ability to accept donations is subject to change due to the number of donations already received and limited storage. Please call ahead to arrange a large donation or if you are making a special trip to donate. Volunteers/Staff have the right to not accept any donations. 

Mail-In Donations

Address mail-in donations to:

Central Iowa Shelter & Services
1420 Mulberry Street
Des Moines, IA 50309

Donate Leftovers

Make your meals matter.

Your unserved leftover food can become meals for Central Iowa Shelter & Services. To donate, call 515-284-5719.

Concerned? The Emerson Good Samaritan Act of 1996 protects you.

Our Impact This Year

  • Number of People Served This Year


  • Lbs harvested from Mulberry Farms & Food This Year


  • Veterans Served This Year


© 2017 Central Iowa Shelter & Services