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.
MIFA (Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association) provides a variety of services in the community. Volunteers can sign up for all sorts of opportunities including clerical duties, delivering meals, gardening, fund-raising and more. They offer something to fit nearly any schedule and level of ability.
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.
More than 15,000 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.
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.
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.
Memphis has a major medical center which means there are many opportunities to volunteer. Here are some places to start:
For the 2,000 homeless people living in Memphis on any given day, a warm meal is nothing short of a blessing. Here are some soup kitchens around town where you can help to feed the hungry:
For animal lovers, there is no shortage of volunteer work available. Here are some of the opportunities: