- Teach a Cooking Class | Volunteer with Neighborhood Christian Center
- Enjoy Nature’s Beauty | Volunteer with Memphis Botanic Garden
- Feed the Hungry | Volunteer with Catholic Charities
- Volunteer at VolunCheers, our monthly volunteer happy hour!
- Give Back with Burritos and a Bicycle | Volunteer with Urban Bicycle Food Ministry
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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.
1) Deliver Meals on Wheels
They need lots of help and you’ll meet amazing people on your route! Here’s how it works: http://voliovolunteers.
You can also email Isaiah directly Isaiah Swanson <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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: http://voliovolunteers.
You can also email Lyle directly Lyle Udell <email@example.com>
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: voliovolunteers.com/
dorothy-day-house. You can also email Genevieve directly Genevieve Spears <firstname.lastname@example.org >
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: http://www.
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:
RITI-MEM Whitney <whitney@roomintheinn-memphis.
Lisa Anderson <email@example.com
Thank you for volunteering in Memphis and making an impact on our community!
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: http://voliovolunteers.com/
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!
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: voliovolunteers.com/mifa-meals-on-wheels
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: http://www.roomintheinn-memphis.org/
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 email@example.com for more information about these sites or other volunteer opportunities in Memphis.
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:
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: cfmt.org.
- The Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association and the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association are accepting donations to assist victims. Contact Jessica Cardwell at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
“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.
DeVante 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.
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.
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
It’s free. It’s fun. RSVP today: http://www.volunteer901.eventbrite.com
Thank you to our Sponsors and Partners
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Lulu Abdun, Summer Programs Associate at Volunteer Odyssey
On a Sunday night around dinner time, Cindy Shainberg pulled into the driveway of a historic Midtown house. The outside this house looked normal but on the inside amazing things were stirring.
In this Midtown house, homeless families find refuge. The Dorothy Day House allows families to stay together to rebuild their lives. Each Sunday volunteers bring a dessert and join the current family for prayer. This special Sunday, Cindy was able to provide a delicious “lemon cake from an old family recipe” for the Dorothy Day families.
The night started off with introductions and small talk then led into prayer and dessert. Cindy says, “My kids and I visited with the family, including talking over mom stuff with the mom, playing ball with the toddler, trying to engage the teenager in conversation and holding the second cutest twin babies ever (mine were the cutest!) We also prayed together and, of course, ate some lemon cake!”
As the night wound down, Cindy was able to reflect on her experience at the Dorothy Day House. “Volunteering with a family at Dorothy Day House made me feel so blessed and thankful that I could spread some sunshine to another family going through tough times. It seems like some of us have gobs of extra sunshine to offer and it feels great to have an outlet to share our blessings,” she says. “We would never have met had it not been for the occasion of volunteering.”
Families at the Dorothy Day House are strong-willed and strive for a better life for their families. For Cindy, volunteering at the Dorothy Day House was an incredible learning experience. “I learned that it doesn’t take much to make someone else’s day or even life a little or maybe a lot better. I also learned that people can be really resilient,” Cindy shares. With the help of volunteers, “gobs of extra sunshine” can be provided to these families as they continue on their course to a better life.
Watch this 90-second tour of Dorothy Day House to help families stay together and rebuild their lives.
By Lulu Abdun, Summer Programs Associate at Volunteer Odyssey
Genevieve found her dream job through volunteering. Her teaching job had just finished and she was looking for work in a nonprofit setting. Having interned and worked at a nonprofit, she knew that’s where she wanted to go next; however, because there are countless nonprofits in the Memphis area, she did not know where to begin.
All through June and July, Genevieve was job searching and looking for ways to get involved in the community. Her friend told her about Volunteer Odyssey, and she attended Volunteer Odyssey’s Minute Match event in mid June. She fell in love with World Relief, an organization that helps refugee families acclimate to Memphis.
Genevieve loved volunteering with World Relief weekly and knew she wanted to be in a helping profession, so she continued to search for a job that fit her interests. She joined Volunteer Odyssey’s Job Seekers program, a 7-day volunteering journey that is designed for job-seeking professionals with interests in volunteer work. She met with Sarah Petschonek, the founder and CEO of Volunteer Odyssey, to talk about her skills and interests and to seek out the perfect job.
Having an interest in outdoor education, female empowerment, and social work, Sarah matched Genevieve with Clean Memphis, World Relief, the H*Art Gallery, Shelby Farms, Thistle & Bee, and Dorothy Day House. Each day Genevieve went to a different nonprofit to volunteer and experienced a new part of Memphis which she had not known while also learning more about herself.
When she volunteered at these organizations, it created a sense of community to her. Volunteering allowed her to make connections with people and deepened the meaning of Memphis to her. “Through volunteering I could see Memphis through different lenses,” Genevieve said.
On the last day of her Job Seekers journey, Genevieve volunteered at Dorothy Day House, which serves as a haven for keeping homeless families together. She did not know much about the organization, but right when she walked in the door she felt very connected. “There was a unique and irreplaceable culture happening in the home,” Genevieve said. She fell in love with the small, intimate work environment while spending time with the family, playing with the kids, and chatting with visitors over dessert. A couple days later she received a job offer from Dorothy Day House!
Although Genevieve is going to begin working at Dorothy Day House September 1st, she wants to continue to volunteer with World Relief and in the Memphis community. Volunteering is an important part of Genevieve’s life, so she is excited to begin this journey as a volunteer coordinator and educator. She is also is very thankful to Volunteer Odyssey’s Job Seeker’s program. Genevieve describes the Job Seekers program as a great example of the wonderful, sustainable community Memphis has, and she was so grateful to have the chance to make stronger connections with her community.
If you’d like to volunteer at the Dorothy Day House, take a 90-second tour of them on Volio, the world’s first virtual volunteer fair. You might even see Genevieve there!
Volunteer Odyssey-Louisiana Flood Relief
Southern Louisiana is experiencing devastating flooding and they need your help.
You can be a hero to families in need. Can you travel to Louisiana to help? Whether you have time or money to give, you can make a huge impact starting today.
Take the step today to help those in need. Here’s how to start:
- Volunteer with the Red Cross. The American Red Cross of the Mid-South is recruiting volunteers from the general public who are willing to deploy to Southern Louisiana to assist with relief efforts in response to unprecedented flooding. Attend a Disaster Service Overview & Shelter Fundamentals class next week.
- UPDATE (8/24) “Red Cross will be holding a training class related to the volunteer effort on Thursday, August 25th, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Red Cross offices (1399 Madison Ave, Memphis). This training program is required to be considered for deployment in addition to the Volunteer Application Process. If you have not started this process, please click this link. If you have questions, contact tiffany.crumpton@redcross.
org to get started.
If you are already in the flood-affected area, register with Volunteer Louisiana. There is a dire need of volunteers to help staff shelters, to clean up schools, etc (Note: If you live outside of this area, please do not travel on your own to volunteer. Sign up through the Red Cross. Email WestTN@redcross.org).
- If you want to volunteer your time, we strongly encourage you to do this through the Red Cross, Salvation Army, or Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief. Please do not mobilize a grassroots effort. Red Cross is the safest and most effective way to help if you want to travel to this area. As we learn of others, we will add them to this list.
- Donate to Red Cross. To make a financial contribution go to redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS, or text the words LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.
- To donate to a long-term recovery fund visit the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (http://disasterphilanthropy.
org/) or their CrowdRise fund (https://www.crowdrise.com/ cdp-flood-recovery).
- To donate to a short-term relief fund focusing on shelter and needs assessments visit The Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s Louisiana Relief Fund (http://www.braf.org/
- For more information on how to donate cash, goods, or your time visit the Louisiana VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters) website (http://lavoad.org/how-to-
help/). They also have a list of approved organizations if you would like to give directly to an organization rather than through a fund (http://lavoad.org/membership- directory/).
- Donate to Teach for America’s relief fund for impacted corps members and alumni to replace personal belongings and to help them address needs in their classrooms and schools. You can donate to that fund here.
We will be updating this list with the most up to date information. To add service opportunities, please contact email@example.com