Catholic Charities celebrates

100 years!

We are excited to celebrate 100 years of providing care and compassion to the communities we serve.

Since 1924, Catholic Charities has been committed to caring for those in need. Last fiscal year, we supported more than 25,000 individuals across the Diocese of Des Moines through our five vital program areas including: counseling, domestic violence and sexual assault programming, an emergency family shelter, a food pantry and refugee services.

Don’t miss out on the excitement! Join us virtually tomorrow, Thursday, September 14 at 7 p.m. as we embark on our year-long celebration toward Catholic Charities’ 100 year legacy and share our vision for the future.

Be on the look out for more information Thursday morning.

Celebrate all year!

We will have events throughout the year to celebrate this momentous achievement. Keep an eye on our website and social media at @CCDesMoines for ways you can join the celebration!

Visit Our Website 

Did you know?

Since the start of the year, the Catholic Charities' Food Pantry has rescued and received more than 405,000 pounds of food, which is a 45 percent increase from last year. The food pantry also gave out 12,000 pounds of watermelon in August. 

Volunteers play a big role in keeping the Catholic Charities' Food Pantry running smoothly. We thank all our volunteers for everything they do.

Get Involved

Help Us Help Them!

We are in urgent need of your help! Catholic Charities' Refugee Services will help 250 individuals and families make Iowa their home this year. You can help set them up for success! Currently, our most needed items include: kitchen chairs (used chairs accepted), vacuums (must be new), lamps (must be new), pots, pans, brooms, mops, laundry detergent and deodorant.

Donations are accepted every Monday, 12-4 p.m. at 3 College Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311. For more information, email

Helping Hands: Jay and Linda 

For Jay and Linda Mar, volunteering at the Catholic Charities’ Food Pantry helps feed their mind, body and soul. Jay and Linda can both be found at the food pantry every Wednesday morning uplifting those we serve. They encourage others to join them in volunteering and looking into other volunteer opportunities with Catholic Charities.

“We are feeding God’s people and helping them feel better,” said Jay. “If you want to feel good, mind, body and soul, come to the Food Pantry, come to Catholic Charities.”

Why We Serve

Going the Extra Mile

Every year, Catholic Charities' Refugee Services helps hundreds of refugees make their new home in Des Moines. Our bus training volunteers help new refugee families learn how to use the city’s DART bus system, teach them proper bus etiquette and help build their confidence when navigating the city.

Interested in becoming a bus training volunteer? Contact Catholic Charities' Refugee Services Coordinator, Shalom Lule, at for more information on how to get started.

Watch Video

Feeding the Hungry

The Catholic Charities' Food Pantry is committed to feeding the hungry in our community. In August, more than 800 households received a monthly meal box. In addition to food, the food pantry also provides toiletry and personal care items to those we serve. 

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Welcome to Catholic Charities!

Catholic Charities is excited to welcome Simren Ballagan and Jean Claude Mbonigaba as members of our Refugee Services team. 

Simren joins the team as a Housing Specialist. She is excited to be a part of Catholic Charities and make a meaningful impact on people’s lives as they transition to life in the U.S. Outside of work, Simren enjoys spending time with her golden doodle and reading in her free time. 

Jean Claude joins the team as a Post Resettlement Case Manager. He is looking forward to helping refugee families further adjust to their new home here in Des Moines. Jean Claude speaks six languages and is excited to be at Catholic Charities. 

Catholic Charities in the Community

In August, Catholic Charities' Executive Director, Barbara Decker, and Director of Development, Bobbi Smith appeared on The Catholic Morning Show with Jon Leonetti. Barbara and Bobbi discussed our different programs, ways to get involved and what is in store as we prepare to celebrate our centennial year. 

Listen Now

Get Involved

Volunteer with Catholic Charities

If you or your organization are looking for a way to help others in the community, Catholic Charities has put together a list with many ways you can make a difference. From small donations to full-time volunteers, there is something everyone can offer in extending their time, talents and treasures!

To find out more about volunteering, immediate needs, and collection drives, contact Catholic Charities' Community Relations Manager, Emily Klisares at 

or 515-237-5078

View Volunteer Opportunities

Join the Catholic Charities' 100 Challenge!

Looking for a fun way to give back? Consider joining the Catholic Charities' 100 Challenge by collecting 100 personal care items to help alleviate the immediate needs of those we serve while celebrating our centennial!

For more information and to arrange a drop off time, please contact Catholic Charities' Community Relations Manager, Emily Klisares at or call 515-237-5078. 

Join the Challenge!


Breakfast with the Bishop

Friday, October 13

9 - 10:30 a.m.

SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 105 W 6th St., Atlantic, IA

Mark your calendars for the next Breakfast with the Bishop! Join Bishop Joensen and Catholic Charities to learn more about our Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program serving southwest Iowa. Register today at or contact Catholic Charities' Community Relations Manager, Emily Klisares at or call 515-237-5078.

Register Today!


Community Baby Shower

Friday, October 20, 2023

4 – 6 p.m.

Salvation Army, 715 N. 16th St., Council Bluffs

Join the Catholic Charities' Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault team for the 9th Annual Community Baby Shower! This drive-thru/walk-up event is open to all expecting mothers and families with newborns, providing them with newborn items and community resources.

For questions, to make a donation or to register, please call

712-256-2059 ext. 104.

Learn More!

Dear Friends:

We hope you enjoy the new look of the Catholic Charities newsletter entitled, Neighborly News, Sharing empowering stories of help and hope. This month officially begins our year-long journey toward our 100 year anniversary of Catholic Charities. There is much history to share, along with providing a vision for our future. Watch for stories, video clips, ways you can help and other messages on our social media platforms.    

During the summer months, we appreciated hosting our listening sessions to hear from many former employees, clients, volunteers, donors and friends who have provided testimonies about their experiences with Catholic Charities. The impact by all who have contributed their time, talents, and treasures are immense and truly valued. As we continue our journey, we are excited about extending new connections with others and to share their personal experiences of giving and gratitude.

Please know we continue to need your helping hearts and hands in support of Catholic Charities and to all we serve in God’s name.

With Blessings, 

Barbara Q. Decker

Catholic Charities Executive Director

Your Support Serves Thousands in Central and Southwest Iowa

Catholic Charities Annual Appeal is the primary funding source for Catholic Charities along with government and private grant funding. Donors who commit to an annual gift help strengthen and empower individuals and families through some of the most difficult times in their lives. Consider an annual gift that will help all year!

Donate Now

Keep up with us on Social Media!

Follow Catholic Charities of Des Moines on social media. Be up to date on events, news and our programs!

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Serving those in need within the Diocese of Des Moines

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Des Moines serves those in need within the 23 counties of the Diocese of Des Moines in southwest Iowa. Our mission to empower individuals and strengthen families applies to anyone in need in the area, regardless of demographic. Our mission is rooted in Catholic Social Teaching. Our programs and services include refugee resettlement, professional counseling, food pantry, domestic violence and sexual assault shelter and services, emergency family shelter and more. We impact over 25,000 individuals each year.

Find more information about Catholic Charities here.

Contact Us

Phone: 515-244-3761


Mail: 601 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309

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