By Lulu Abdun, Summer Programs Associate at Volunteer Odyssey
It’s 5pm on a Tuesday night, and you’re just getting off work. You’re looking for a quick bite to eat and a chance to hang with some friends, so you decide to go to VolunCheers, Volunteer Odyssey’s monthly happy hour! Each month about fifteen to twenty volunteers attend this event where they sip on beer, munch on snacks, and socialize with peers while they help complete a task for a different non-profit. This makes VolunCheers the perfect way to take some time out of your month to volunteer. Occurring in
the evenings, volunteers can pack in an hour and a half of helping others while also enjoying drinks and snacks. It’s a great way to “unprofessionally network,” Kenn Gibbs says. his month, VolunCheers was held at the DeNeuville Learning Center on South Cooper in Midtown. DeNeuville is a center for women that has activities ranging from computer basics to English as a Second Language. At VolunCheers, volunteers learned about the many programs that DeNeuville offers and helped put marketing materials together to send out to the community.
Very often, VolunCheers attendees desire to return to the non-profit featured at the event and volunteer on a regular basis. Luckily, this was exactly the case at this month’s VolunCheers! Kenn Gibbs, a frequent VolunCheers attendee, realized he could use his skills to further his passion for helping others at DeNeuville. Kenn majored in computer science and has a love for volunteering and giving back, so when he heard that DeNeuville holds computer classes for their students, he knew he had to return to assist with tutoring and teaching these classes.
For Kenn, volunteering is important because he’s interested in giving back to organizations that are invested in helping the city of Memphis – “drinks and snacks make this even better,” he says. Kenn, a Memphian for over 20 years, loves the city and has been volunteering in Memphis for four years. In Kenn’s 4 years of experience with volunteering, he has found that people love to give back to Memphis – “even people who aren’t from here. People want great things for this city,” he states.
Even if you don’t currently volunteer but have thought about it, Kenn says there is a volunteer opportunity out there for you. If you like to watch TV, there’s a volunteer opportunity for that; if you like to do art, there’s a volunteer opportunity for that; if you like cooking, there’s a volunteer opportunity for that. In this vibrant city, there’s a way to volunteer for things that you care about. You can even match your current hobbies or job skills to volunteer opportunities.
Kenn saw a need and took action. You can do the same.
Go to volunteerodyssey.com for more information.
Check out the upcoming VolunCheers dates.
If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity that will fit in your schedule, check out Volunteer Odyssey’s Calendar of Volunteer Opportunities.