There are so many opportunities to serve Memphis in October that it might be overwhelming to figure out where to begin—but if you’re anything like native Memphian Ebony Webb, your passions will push you in the right direction!
Ebony describes a successful volunteering experience as one done with “people that share the same passion as you do for a cause or organization.” Once Ebony found her perfect volunteer experience as a Court Watcher for Just City, it opened her eyes to parts of Memphis she may have otherwise missed.
During one court watch session, she noted that it was hard to hear those in the courtroom speaking. The next time she volunteered, she observed someone fixing the courtroom microphone. This change may feel minuscule, but it proves that volunteers in our court systems have the power to make a difference, no matter how small.
“I would absolutely volunteer through Volunteer Odyssey and Just City again,” Ebony says. “[Volunteering] has allowed me to make some great connections with really great people that are doing great things in our community.”
If you are interested in becoming a court watcher like Ebony or want to find your personal volunteering passion, here are some opportunities to serve Memphis in October:
When: October 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th from 4PM to 5PM
Just City knows that attendance creates pressure. They watch court proceedings in order to demand justice and fairness by our elected officials. Court watch invites community volunteers into courtrooms to observe proceedings that are typically invisible to the general public. Interested volunteers are required to attend this orientation before sitting in on court.
When: October 8th from 9:30 to 2:30
Join Latino Memphis for a Community Resources One-Stop event on Saturday October 8th at El Nuevo Mercadito De Memphis! Thanks to MLGW and their partnership with the Mid-South Food Bank, they will be able to serve up to 300 households within the Latinx community of Shelby County with much needed services like food, utility assistance and more! Spanish Speaking Volunteers are needed to help with the following: set up, breakdown, food drive registration, food distribution, or interpretation for local organizations.
When: October 10th and 11th with shifts throughout the days
The Coach Cochran Golf Classic is the largest amateur golf tournament in the Mid-South and attracts over 250 avid golfers each year. One of the longest annual events in the history of the Boys and Girls Club, the Golf Classic has been an anticipated yearly event since 1992 and chaired every year by their own Central Board member and staunchest advocates Bill “Coach” Cochran. Not only is this event one of the best golf tournaments around, the tournament has raised over $1.25 million dollars for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis. Join the BGCGM for this event once again!
When: October 13th from 3PM to 5PM
Sweet Cheeks Diaper Ministry is dedicated to providing diapers to families in need and is one of only two diaper banks servicing the state of Tennessee—having donated over 500,000 diapers to 5,000 families in need since 2014. When you come to wrap diapers at the warehouse you can expect to do any of the following: Unpack and organize new diaper shipments, count new diaper donations, sort, organize, and wrap diapers, fill agency diaper orders, or load orders into partner agency vehicles.
When: October 13th through 16th with various shifts
Memphis is celebrating its culinary excellence by showcasing our exceptional local chef talent along with acclaimed regional, national and international chefs. Enhancing this lineup will be vintners, certified sommeliers and enlightening wine enthusiasts. Memphis Food and Wine Festival has raised over $350,000 for local charities. This year they are proud to benefit The Mid-South Food Bank and The James D. Eason Transplant Institute. Volunteers are needed to assist with set up, to help during the festival, and to act as the clean up crew after the event!
When: October 18th from 4PM to 6PM
MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies’ Training Institute provides training to mentors and mentor programs so that they are equipped to improve student outcomes. This new mentor training starts the process to prepare mentors with the needed tools and skills to mentor and work with the youth within our youth mentoring network. This training is open to anyone interested in becoming a volunteer youth mentor. After completing training, MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies will connect you to a quality youth mentoring program.
When: October 18th through 24th with various shifts
The Indie Memphis Film Festival brings a range of independent features, documentaries, and short films to Memphis from all corners of the world. IMFF is inspired by the social and artistic history of Memphis, as a majority Black city in the South. While seeking to redefine prestige, they celebrate new, original films and value rediscovery within film history. Volunteers are needed to assist with a range of things throughout the weekend at their different screening sites while still getting to enjoy the festival!
When: October 20th through 23rd
Join the Metal Museum for their 2022 Repair Days! Pro tip: You don’t have to be a metalsmith to volunteer! They have volunteer opportunities for non-metalsmiths, including helping at the estimating table (tagging items, entering customer information into the computer, processing payments, etc.) or repair pick up tent (calling customers to let them know their repair is ready, tracking repairs that have been picked up, etc.); clean-up and beautification projects on the grounds; assisting with the Family Fun Tent activities or the Dinner + Art Auction!
When: October 21st and 22nd with shifts throughout the days
Youth Villages provides help for children and young people who face a wide range of emotional, mental and behavioral problems. Youth Villages helped more than 30,000 young people and their families this year by working to find solutions using proven treatment models that strengthen the child’s family and support systems and dramatically improve their long-term success. The annual 5k raises awareness and money for the mission of Youth Villages!
When: October 22nd from 10AM to 2PM and 1PM to 5PM
The Frayser Local Arts Festival is a one-day event celebrating the creative talents of the community. This will be Arkwings’ 3rd annual festival, featuring outdoor performances, an artisan market, creativity stations, food trucks, and a visual arts exhibit inside the gallery. This is a free community event for hundreds of guests!
Arkwings needs volunteers to help set up and break down tents and tables, assist with fun, simple art & creativity stations, direct people into the parking area, greet guests at the sign-in tent and around the grounds, and for general help as needed. There shouldn’t be anything heavy or complicated…this is a laid-back celebration, and they want their volunteers to enjoy the festival!
When: October 23rd from 2PM to 5:30 and 5PM to 8:30
Join Pinecrest for their CampFood and Cocktails annual fundraiser with silent auction, campfires, and warm drinks from 5-7:30 pm on Sunday, October 23. Volunteers must be age 21 or up and are needed to assist with set up and parking, with serving food, to assist with the auction, and event clean up.
When: October 28th from 5:30 to 8:30
Kids Night Out is a monthly craft and movie night hosted by Arrow Creative! Kids from kindergarten through sixth grade will do a thematic craft followed by pizza and a movie. Volunteers will assist with the craft and then help supervise (and participate in) the pizza and movie-watching.
October Kids Night Out is, of course, Halloween-themed! Kindergarten to second graders will be watching Monster’s Inc., making little felt monsters, and decorating little cardboard doors. Third through sixth graders will be watching Hocus Pocus, decorating their own wizard hats, and making “magic potions”. Join in on the fun!
When: October 29th through 31st with different shifts
For The Kingdom has a year-round commitment to their community! Porch-or-Treat is their annual version of trick or treating with candy, games, food, and a haunted house! Volunteers will be helping with passing out meals and candy, keeping campus clean, and helping to make sure everyone is having a good time. Join in this annual event for the Raleigh community!
When: October 27th from 5PM to 7PM
Join the Germantown Parks and Rec for their Halloween Special Needs Trunk or Treat. They are in need of volunteers to help decorate trunks and pass out candy for this weeknight halloween-themed treat!
Make an Impact in Memphis Schools
Guest post by Grace Woodruff, Volunteer Odyssey Corporate and Community Engagement Manager