Are you or your group interested in making a difference but aren't able to make the commitment required to become a regular hospital volunteer? You're in the right place!
Volunteer Services is fortunate to receive donations that make a real difference in the lives of our patients and their families at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and UI Stead Family Children's Hospital. Groups and individuals take up a project and the results are spectacular!
Please Make Sure Your Donation Counts
All special project donations must follow our guidelines below. Our guidelines are created to ensure the safety of our patient population during their stay with UI Health Care.
All items must come from a smoke-free, dust-free, pet-free environment
Donations should not be gift wrapped
Please do not include personal information on items
For all fabric items, they must:
Be made from new materials and placed in a new, non-scented plastic bag when delivered
Be laundered with non-scented, allergen-free detergent and no fabric softener before starting the project. When drying the fabric, do not use scented dryer sheets
Have all pins and clips removed prior to being delivered
Follow the provided instructions and templates
Do you knit, crochet, or sew?
Use your wonderful talents to create and donate:
Each newborn baby at UIHC receives a handmade hat for their families to cherish for a lifetime. See our knitted or crocheted baby hat patterns and instructions here.
Blankets are comforting for patients during their stay and are always in high demand! See our simple, no-sewing required, fleece tie blanket instructions here.
Spiritual Services in partnership with Volunteer Services distributes knitted or crocheted prayer shawls to our patients. You can find instructions for knitting or crocheted shawls here.
These pillows are specially created for patients who have undergone a single mastectomy or lymphadenectomy as part of their cancer treatment. See our single mastectomy pillow instructions with a template here.
These heart-shaped huggy pillows are distributed to patients who undergo heart surgery to not only provide a comforting touch, but for the patient to hug to support their chest when coughing, sneezing, or laughing. See our heart-shaped pillow instructions here.
These pillows are given to patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment and have a portacath placed beneath their skin to receive treatment. The pillows provide a cushion between the port and a seat belt, making car rides more comfortable. See our chemotherapy port pillow instructions here.
Patients in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit can be here for an extended period of time and crib sheets are a great way to help the patient and their family feel more at home. Use our UI Health Care-specific NICU sheet patterns below to get started. All sheets must be made using cotton fabrics. Bright and colorful patterns are highly recommended and preferred.
Special Projects that do not require sewing, knitting, or crocheting
- Donating blood or organizing a community blood drive through the UI DeGowin Blood Center is a wonderful way to give back to UI Health Care patients . All blood donated stays within our hospitals and clinics. Contact the DeGowin Blood Center for more information on how to get started.
- Hold a DVD, book, and craft supply drive for our Children's and Patients' Libraries! Our libraries do great things for our patients and would be grateful for your donations. Please be sure the donated materials are new.
- Put together toiletry kits for our patients’ families with travel-sized items like deodorant, lip balm, mouthwash, shaving cream, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner. A great project for a group!
- Have a clothing drive for the Helen Rossi Clothing Closet! The Helen Rossi Clothing closet was established in 1997, with the Rossi Lodging Program, to assist critically ill patients and their families. The "Rossi Closet" relies on donations of new items and is visited several times a day by nursing, social workers, and guest services staff to accommodate the emergent needs of adult and teen patients. The clothes are given to patients at discharge whose garments may have been destroyed by traumatic situations. View their Amazon wish list. All clothing items must be new.
- Collect snacks like microwave popcorn, snack bars, single-serving fruit cups, etc. for our guest areas. Please note all snacks must be individually wrapped, non-perishable, and have not exceeded the expiration date.
For even more donation options, please visit UI Health Care’s In-Kind Donations page.
How to donate your items:
Please complete a donation form.
Please call Concierge Services at
1-319-678-5500 or email
to schedule a donation drop-off.