Join Us for Memphis Volunteer Week


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Make Your Mark during Memphis Volunteer Week

Join us April 24th – 30th for Memphis Volunteer Week. Come to one thing or come to everything! We’ll be making burritos, hosting a Pop Up Volunteer Party, making flower bouquets for seniors, reading to kids, and more. Choose your adventure and we’ll see you there.

Schedule of Volunteer Events

Monday | April 24th
Time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Event: Bouquets of Hope with Catholic Charities
Description: Create bundles of flowers for seniors in nursing homes.
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Tuesday | April 25th
Time: 8:30 am – 12:45 pm
Event: World of Plants with Memphis Botanic Garden
Description: Work at a “discovery station” and teach kids about plants around the world.
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Wednesday | April 26th
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Event: Burrito Prep with Urban Bicycle Food Ministry
Description: Come make burritos that we’ll deliver by bike to the hungry people in downtown Memphis.
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Thursday | April 27th
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Event: Read to Me at St Jude
Description: Read to the kids at St. Jude during your lunch break. Spanish speaker a plus!
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Friday | April 28th
Time: 11:00 – 1:00 (Pop in anytime)
Event: Pop Up Volunteer Party with Volunteer Odyssey
Description: Pop in and volunteer! We have projects as short as 60 seconds.
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Saturday | April 29th
Time: 9:00 am  – 12:00 pm
Event: Shine the Line with Clean Memphis
Description: Beautify a neighborhood. Great for groups!
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Sunday | April 30th
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Event: Prayer & Dessert with Dorothy Day House
Description: Everyone welcome! Dorothy Day House keeps homeless families together. Come meet the moms, dads, and kids that are building a future and working towards a new home.
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On-going Volunteer Opportunities

If you can’t join us for one of these, you can still get involved! Here are two great options:

1) Become a Trail Scout with Shelby Farms | Learn more

2) Deliver Meals on Wheels with MIFA | Learn more

Explore All Opportunities

Visit our VolunteerCompass and discover your perfect place to volunteer.


Volunteer Odyssey Launches City-wide Volunteer Hub for Memphis

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Today we’re excited to announce VolunteerCompass – a city-wide resource where you can discover your ideal volunteer opportunities in Memphis.

Now you can search by a cause, skill, date and even area of town. It’s easier than ever to make your mark on Memphis. Are you ready to volunteer? Start here!

We’re launching with 10 nonprofit partners and will grow to 60 nonprofits by the end of 2017.

Our VolunteerCompass is also a way for nonprofits to recruit and manage volunteers. With our system, volunteer coordinators can spend less time managing the process and more time engaging volunteers. If you want to include your nonprofit, please email us for an invitation.

Our goal is to log 30,000 volunteer hours by the end of 2017. Join us! Start today.

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Where to Volunteer in Memphis

Megan banner

Megan_CAG_VO bannerAre you looking for volunteer opportunities in Memphis? You’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking for something easy that fits your schedule or something meaningful where you can make a big impact, we’re here to help!

Memphis needs dedicated volunteers like YOU! Deliver meals, tutor kids, help homeless families, become a docent, plan special events, respond in a crisis – the opportunities are endless. We’re inviting you to get involved.

Here’s how to get started with Volunteer Odyssey:

1) Calendar of Volunteer Opportunities
Our calendar has the most comprehensive listing of volunteer opportunities in Memphis. We feature events every day of the week – evenings and weekends included.
Visit the Calendar

2) Virtual Volunteer Fair – Volio
We built and launched the country’s first Virtual Volunteer Fair. Take a 90 second tour of opportunities and find your perfect fit. You’ll meet the volunteer coordinator and hear from other volunteers so you know exactly what to expect.
Visit Volio

3) Find Opportunities On Facebook
We post Memphis-based volunteer opportunities daily! Join our page to get events and stories.
Visit Us on Facebook

4) Get Volunteer Odyssey’s Top Opportunities
Every month we’ll send you a list of 10 featured volunteer opportunities. Be the first to know when we open sign ups for our top picks.
Get Our Top Picks

5) Get a Custom Match
Are you looking for the perfect fit? We can help! We’ll ask you questions about what’s important to you so we can hand-pick a great opportunity. Ready to get started?

If you’re looking for the best places to volunteer in Memphis, we’ve got you covered! Email if you’re ready to start.

It’s time to make your mark on Memphis!






Home for the Holidays? Volunteer in Memphis!

Volunteer In Memphis over the holidays
Volunteer Odyssey in Memphis
Welcome home to Memphis! Whether you’re home from college or on vacation from work, here are great options for volunteering in Memphis over your break.

Memphis Volunteer Opportunities

IMG_39591) Deliver Meals on Wheels
They need lots of help and you’ll meet amazing people on  your route! Here’s how it works:
You can also email Isaiah directly Isaiah Swanson <>.
There’s also a Meals on Wheels satellite site in Germantown that you can ask about!
2) Urban Bicycle Food Ministry
This is a great, eye-opening experience. They can make burritos for the homeless AND can deliver the food by bike. It’s a great group and a very rewarding volunteer experience. Here’s how that works:
You can also email Lyle directly Lyle Udell <>
3) Dorothy Day House
This amazing place houses three homeless families.  You will meet kids and teens who are homeless (or who would be homeless if not for Dorothy Day House). It’s a wonderful organization and it’s something your family can all do together. Here’s more about them: You can also email Genevieve directly Genevieve Spears <>
4) Room in the Inn
This organization house homeless guests at congregations around Memphis during the winter months. There are sites all across Memphis. You can help serve dinner, make beds, welcome guests, help with breakfast, etc.
Regardless of your religious beliefs or home congregation, all are welcome to serve at these sites.
Here’s a list of the congregations and when they serve:
In addition to the contact listed for each site, you can contact Whitney and/or Lisa who oversee Room in the Inn. Their contact info:
Thank you for volunteering in Memphis and making an impact on our community!

More Ways to Volunteer in Memphis

If you want more ways to volunteer, try these things:
1) Visit our Virtual Volunteer Fair, Volio and take a 90 second tour of volunteer opportunities in Memphis:
2) Sign up for our newsletter. Every month you’ll get a list of our 10 featured volunteer opportunities
3) Follow us on Facebook. We’re constantly updating and sharing great opportunities.
4) Need more ideas? Email us!
Volunteer Odyssey in Memphis

Memphis volunteer opportunities your kids can do during winter break

People often ask how soon they can take their kids to volunteer. We have good news: It’s never too early to start volunteering with your kids! There are several great volunteer opportunities in Memphis where your whole family can get involved.
Your winter break is the perfect time to get involved and to start volunteering as a family.
Here are our top picks:
1) Meals on Wheels
You deliver meals to home-bound seniors. These folks light up when they see kids and it will definitely be the highlight of their day.
Here’s a 90 second video about how it works:
If you’re interested, just click the “Tell me more” button and Isaiah will get right back to you! We can also connect you personally, just email
2) Dorothy Day House
This amazing place keeps homeless families together. Your children will meet other children who are homeless and it’s an incredible volunteer experience. Families are welcome. Here’s a 90 second video about how families can volunteer at the Dorothy Day House:
You can either reach out through the platform or we can connect you directly.
3) Room in the Inn
They house homeless guests during the at congregations all across Memphis. There’s likely one close to you. Kids can help with simple tasks like making the beds for the guests. Here’s more info about them:
Get your kids involved early with volunteering and it will become part of your family’s life. If you need specific information about specific causes or areas of Memphis, Volunteer Odyssey is here to help.
You can also check our Calendar of Volunteer Opportunities or visit our Virtual Volunteer Fair Volio and take a tour of 7 great options.
Email us for more information about these sites or other volunteer opportunities in Memphis.

How to Help Fire Victims in East Tennessee



The wildfires in East Tennessee have claimed seven lives and damages homes in the Gaitlinburg area. If you’d like to help, here’s what you can do:

First, please do not self-deploy to this area. If you want to help or volunteer, please coordinate those efforts through Volunteer East Tennessee or the Red Cross.

One of the biggest needs right now is monetary contributions. Red Cross has asked for a pause on in-kind donations and is requesting financial support.

Here are several other ways you can offer support (via The Tennessean):

  • The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has also set up a support fund to distribute donations directly to the affected communities and the nonprofits on the ground helping victims and addressing their needs. Donate here:
  • The Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association and the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association are accepting donations to assist victims. Contact Jessica Cardwell at or Greg Adkins at greg@tnhta. You can also call 615-385-9970. Checks can be mailed to the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association, 475 Craighead St., Nashville, TN 37204.
  • Kroger has joined with the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross to provide financial aid. Donations will be accepted at all Middle and East Tennessee Kroger stores, Northern Alabama Kroger stores, and Southern Kentucky Kroger locations. All money will be forwarded directly to the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross. The company will also make a $10,000 corporate contribution.
  • First Tennessee Bank will match donations from the public to East Tennessee Red Cross, up to $50,000. People can donate at any First Tennessee financial center. You can find locations here. First Tennessee is also matching donations for those affected by the Chattanooga bus tragedy.

Please support the efforts to help our neighbors in East Tennessee.


Volunteer Odyssey
Memphis, TN


Volunteering – Easy as Pie!


“I can’t wait to come back – I already told them that!”

DeVante Woodson volunteered for the first time at the Carpenter Art Garden for Thanksgiving.

30280_origDeVante is a writer for Choose901 and that’s how he found this opportunity. His supervisor, Amanda hill, told him about Volunteer Odyssey’s calendar. Next thing you know, he’s signed up to volunteer at the Carpenter Art Garden.

When he pulled up to the garden, he wasn’t sure what to expect. The house is bright purple and adorned with the kids’ artwork. And when he walked up? “I was almost overwhelmed by how welcoming and friendly everyone was. Every person I met was incredibly genuine and you could tell they really care about the kids. All of the adults knew every kid by name.”

DeVante’s role for the day? Slicing pumpkin pie. How easy is that? It was easy for DeVante, but it made a huge difference to the kids – many of whom have never had a traditional Thanksgiving celebration before.  img_1751

The Carpenter Art Garden gained a great new volunteer. In addition to being an expert pie slicer, DeVante is also a talented artist. He’s planning to take his skills from Designs by DeVante and apply them at the garden.

We love this sentiment from DeVante: “I wanted to take the things I love about my family and give them to someone else.” Big bowtie and big heart!

Would you like to volunteer at the Carpenter Art Garden? Here are their upcoming opportunities.

Would you like to know more about Volunteer Odyssey and how you can make your mark on Memphis? Come volunteer with us! Sign up for our newsletter or join us for our Pop Up Volunteer Parties.

Pop Up Volunteer Parties In Memphis

Pop Up Volunteer Parties

Pop In & Volunteer at a Pop Up Volunteer Party. It’s the fastest, easiest way to Volunteer in Memphis.

Pop in on your lunch break. Visit us on your way to the Grizzlies game or join us for happy hour! Here’s a great way to volunteer and give back to Memphis.
We have volunteer projects as short as 101 seconds.

Join us for Pop Up Volunteer Parties presented by CBIZ MHM at The 101 on South Main:

  • Monday, November 21st from 11-2pm
  • Tuesday, November 29th from 11-2pm
  • Tuesday, November 29th from 5-8pm
  • Tuesday, December 6th from 5-8pm











Volunteer on your Lunch Break:

Pop in on November 21st and 29th from 11:00-2:00 – we have volunteer projects as short as 101 seconds. Make holiday card, care packages, or wrap gifts.

Volunteer during Happy Hour:

Pop in November 29th (GivingTuesday) and December 6th when you’re leaving work on your way to a Grizzlies game. We’ll even throw in some beer and food while you volunteer. Memphis, we know you love beer & food!


On #GivingTuesday (November 29th), we have 901 Rocks! We’re partnering with the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence to host 901 Rocks Painting Party. On the 29th from 11-2pm or 5-8pm, pop in and paint a rock for your favorite non-profit. These rocks will then be hidden in Memphis for volunteers to find.

What to Expect: 

  • Selfie station in front our our “Make your Mark” wall sponsored by First Tennessee
  • I Love Memphis will be on site taking pictures and selling t-shirts.
  • Memphis themed volunteer projects with 901 Rocks, Carpenter Art Garden, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Catholic Charities, and LITE Memphis just to name a few.
  • Snapchat Pop Up Party filter

Social Media
Facebook: Volunteer Odyssey
Twitter: @VolOdyssey
Instagram: Volunteer Odyssey

It’s free. It’s fun. RSVP today:

Thank you to our Sponsors and Partners

Presenting Sponsor:
















Justin Timberlake Volunteers to Rock the Vote in Memphis!


How far would you go to #rockthevote? In case you missed it, Memphis’ own Justin Timberlake flew all the way from California to cast his vote in Shelby County. On October 24th, Justin was spotted at New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church by many others who were also at the polling location performing their civic duty. The election is just a few weeks away, and it’s a great time to volunteer in support of your city. In the words of Justin himself, “Choose to have a voice”.


Volunteer to Rock the Vote!

For more information on how to vote, voting registration restrictions, and where to vote, click here!

A Volunteer Opportunity Worth Buzzing About


By Lulu Abdun, Summer Programs Associate at Volunteer Odyssey

As an MBA Student, Joslyn is always looking to get involved in the Memphis community. In undergrad, there were always volunteer opportunities available; however, it has become increasingly difficult for Joslyn to find meaningful ways to volunteer.

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Whit, Madge, and Joslyn (left to right) at Thistle & Bee’s booth at the Overton Park Farmers Market.

Back in June, Joslyn attended Volunteer Odyssey’s Minute Match event as a representative of Christian Brothers University’s MBA team, a sponsor of the event. Joslyn’s role, at Minute Match, was to educate the event’s attendees on CBU’s MBA program; little did she know this event would lead her to finding her perfect volunteer opportunity and help her become more invested in the Memphis community.

While working the event, Joslyn decided to take a look around and see which nonprofits were in attendance. She recognized some of the names of the bigger organizations, but she wanted to learn more about the smaller organizations where she felt she could really make an impact.

In looking around the room and visiting with different non-profits, Joslyn came across the budding nonprofit called Thistle & Bee, whose mission is “to aid survivors of human trafficking through holistic workforce preparedness.”   The name Thistle & Bee is very symbolic of the community the organization supports.  The thistle represents the survivors of human trafficking as the thistle is a rugged plant but a beautiful flower just as these women are rugged yet beautiful.  The bee is also representative of these women.  Worker bees spread pollen from flower to flower, and all worker bees are female.  These bees in turn make the most delicious honey. Therefore, although these women have been through very tough times, the honey is representative of the sweetness that will come after the hardship.

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Joslyn packing up tea as the evening dies down.

After hearing about Thistle & Bee and their mission, Joslyn wanted to get involved right away. They contacted her immediately and said they needed help with any and everything. In discussing ways in which Joslyn could be of value to the organization, Joslyn told them about her business skills, and Thistle & Bee knew exactly where her help was needed most. Now she helps Thistle & Bee with developing their business model and pricing their products.

Because Thistle & Bee in Memphis is very young, Joslyn is helping them get a head start on success.  At Thistle & Bee, Joslyn feels needed. She takes her business skills and applies them to make an impact on others’ lives. By developing their business model, Joslyn is able to accurately price their wide range of products – from herbal rubs and teas to dog biscuits and lavender lemonade and mint/lemon-balm tea, with much more to come. When describing her experience with Thistle & Bee, Joslyn says they are “working with me to help me work for them” so they can be successful now and in the future.


Joslyn serving tea to farmers market attendees.

Thistle and Bee provides its “workers” with both life skills and job skills. Delving into the workforce after such traumatic human trafficking experiences is extremely difficult, but Thistle & Bee has a gentle way of easing these ladies back into the workforce. Learning these job and life skills will be needed for the survivors’ successful futures. Thistle & Bee is there to provide this pathway to success.

Thistle & Bee has a volunteer opportunity for everyone. Whether you enjoy gardening, packaging, developing business models, conversing with victims, or donating money, there’s an opportunity for you to get involved at Thistle & Bee.  Joslyn exclaims, “Thistle & Bee is a grit and grind sort of nonprofit.” If you’d like to be like Joslyn and help Thistle & Bee build their volunteer network in hopes for a better life for survivors of human trafficking, sign up for our newsletter.