Volunteering your time and talents is a great way to give back to the community. It can be a little daunting, however, to try and find the best opportunities to fit your schedule and abilities. With that in mind, the following are some of the top volunteer opportunities in the Memphis area. They are in a variety of industries and require varying levels of skill and time. There is almost certainly one for everyone.
Groups and individuals can pitch in to build a home for a family in need. You do not have to have any prior construction experience but you must be at least 16 years of age. Beyond building homes, there are other opportunities to help out including clerical duties, retail work, and more. You can even work in the Habitat for Humanity ReStore that saves home goods and building materials from going into the landfills by selling them at a discounted price. Find out all the opportunities on the website.
MIFA (Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association) provides a variety of services in the community. It delivers meals on wheels to the elderly or physically challenged. It provides emergency relief for families by helping them pay for rent, utilities, food, clothing, and other essentials. If families are in danger of becoming homeless, it will find them temporary housing.
Volunteers can assist with these efforts by performing clerical duties, delivering meals, gardening, fund-raising and more. They offer something to fit nearly any schedule and level of ability. Find out more here.
More than 15,000 people call the Memphis Crisis Center hotline each year. Callers are in crises ranging from suicidal thoughts to unemployment, financial problems to depression, and everything in between. Volunteers are thoroughly trained to take calls and assist the callers with their immediate problems, as well as providing them resources for long-term help. Volunteers are asked to commit to at least two shifts per month.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteers serve as an unbiased advocate for abused and neglected children who come through the court system. Volunteers are well trained and are asked to commit to working 3-5 hours per week. You can change lives by becoming an advocate for those most in need.
Calling all animal lovers. The Memphis Zoo provides a wealth of opportunities to those who want to volunteer. Individuals, families, and groups can sign up for a variety of jobs including small projects, event workers, and even volunteer docents. The zoo also holds dedicated family volunteer days where parents and children can come together to do something beneficial for the environment. For example, once day they built a pollinator garden to help bees and other pollinators thrive in the area. Read more on the website.
Mid-South Pride is a festival celebrating the GLBT community in the Memphis area. Volunteers assist with various functions all related to coordinating or running the parade and festival. This is an annual event so it does not have to be an ongoing volunteer commitment for those with tighter schedules. There are also opportunities to assist year-round if you would like to keep helping after the main event.