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How To Help

Winter Donations

Top Winter Needs

  • Cash Donations

  • Winter outer wear including Hats, Gloves, Coats, Scarves, Hand Warmer, and Socks.

  • Aspirin, Antacid, 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, 3 oz. Disposable Cups, Earplugs, and Shower Sandals.

Everyone at Central Iowa Shelter & Services thanks you so much for how much you donate to help support our mission and our clients. With another busy holiday season beginning we will be getting large numbers of donations in on a daily basis, and in order to be able to use them all we have a few in-kind donation rules from November to February. NOTE: Donations could be turned away if this policy is not followed.

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

We hope you will continue to work with us to help our clients through these 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!


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.

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.

Our ability to accept donations is subject to change due to the amount 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


  • Polk County
    Polk County
© 2020 Central Iowa Shelter & Services