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December brings out-of-the-box volunteer opportunities! (Photo: Starry Nights @ Shelby Farms Park)

14 Way to Serve Memphis in December

Looking for ways to serve Memphis in December? ‘Tis the season to flex your servant heart!

As we enter into a new year, we continue to choose Memphis. Like all relationships, hard work is required.

You choose to wake up and love, despite flaws and failures. Instead of overlooking shortcomings, you find inspiration to grow. You continue to say yes to your city, to see it for what it is—and to see it for what it can,  and will, be.

As you move into your next year of being a Memphian, we encourage you to support your city through service. The 901 has hundreds of nonprofits that need someone like you to see the power of potential.

Here are 14 ways to serve Memphis in December:

A group of volunteers serve Memphis by working in a garden during October.
14 Ways to Serve Memphis in December:

When: December 2nd and 3rd with shifts throughout the days

WYXR 91.7FM is hosting their first Raised By Sound Fest presented by MEMPHO on Dec. 3! It’s a day-long celebration with free music that wraps up with two, separate ticketed fundraising events at Crosstown Concourse.

Volunteers are needed to help set up, scan tickets, hand out wristbands, and check wristbands upon entry at the two ticketed events – Big Star’s 50th Anniversary of “#1 Record” in the Crosstown Theater, and an afterparty with DJ sets by Bodywerk and Andrew VanWyngarden (of MGMT) in the Green Room. Volunteers are also needed to assist with the artist areas throughout the Concourse, to work merch tables, and more! 

When: Nightly from 5:00 to 8:00 and 7:30 to 10:30

Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park is a bright and fun experience, full of lights and holiday magic!  This holiday event has been shining for over a decade—and cruising through the lights is a long-standing holiday tradition for thousands of families. It’s also the Park’s largest annual fundraiser. This year’s show promises to be brighter than ever!

Volunteer positions at this event are critical to its success and are an excellent way to give back to ensure that Shelby Farms Park and Shelby Farms Greenline remain clean, green, and safe 365 days a year.

When: Weekday and weekend shifts available

Out of the Woods Wildlife’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release orphaned and injured Tennessee wildlife while inspiring others to co-exist peacefully with wildlife, through education and advocacy. They envision a compassionate world where people respect, protect, and coexist with wildlife, creating a healthy ecosystem for all living things.

They need volunteers at their two campuses, one in Millington and one in Collierville, to feed animals, clean cages, and other crucial tasks to ensure the wellbeing of their creatures. They also have opportunities to help remotely with social media assistance and donor outreach.

A boy holding a box of toys.
Give the gift of a great Christmas with Boys & Girls Club Memphis

When: December 7th and 8th from 10:00 to 12:00, 12:00 to 3:00 and 3:00 to 5:00

Join the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis for their 21st Annual Toy Drive. Every year BGCGM collaborates with 104.5 The River to collect new toys for the clubs.

Volunteers are needed to help sort these toys to ensure they get delivered to the correct clubs to be given to deserving children this holiday season.

When: December 8th from 2:00 to 5:00

For The Kingdom operates on a 100-acre campus where they host community events, school partners, student camps and retreats. They are open year-round and their campus endures a great deal of foot traffic.

As a campus clean up volunteer, you would be helping keep their campus beautiful by picking up trash, organizing outdoor spaces, and cleaning off patios and porches. 

When: December 10th from 8:00 to 11:00

The 3rd Annual Reindeer Run 5K and Kids Dash is a family-friendly event that aims to raise money for Sweet Cheeks Diaper Ministry—and raise awareness for the issue of poverty and diaper needs in Shelby County and surrounding areas.

Volunteers are needed on race day to help setup, breakdown, water stations, parking lot attendants, and cheering runners on. There’s plenty of work to do to make sure this event is fun for everyone.

A woman wearing a face mask serves Serve Memphis in December by teaching a group of children in a classroom.
Put teen tech skills to the test with CodeCrew

When: December 10th from 9:15 to 2:00

CodeCrew‘s Hour of Code, sponsored by FedEx, is open to ALL kids in grades 5-12. They will spend one hour learning coding skills and then hear a featured speaker during a hearty lunch.

To successfully execute this event, we are looking for technical and non-technical volunteers.

Technical volunteers are primarily responsible for: setting up & unpacking technical equipment, assisting students with technical issues, helping students solve puzzles if necessary, etc.

Non-technical volunteers are primarily responsible for: setting up non-technical aspects, assisting with the sign-in process, directing and serving lunch, etc.

All volunteers will receive a t-shirt and lunch!

When: December 10th from 9:00 to 11:00

Join the V&E Greenline for their monthly Second Saturday trail event.

This month volunteers will meet at Kirby Station, 1625 Tutwiler, to  focus on raking and composting the leaves on the trail. As always, there will be free coffee and donuts for all volunteers! 

When: December 11th, and 18th from 1:00 to 4:00 and 7th, 14th, and 21st from 11:00 to 3:00

Holiday Bazaar is Arrow Creative‘s annual holiday market. Running from November, 17th up till Christmas, Holiday Bazaar features new work from over 80 local artists in one retail space.

Arrow is in search of volunteers to help with checkout and merchandising in their beautiful retail space on Wednesdays and Sundays during the bazaar. 

A group of people serving Memphis in December with shovels in the woods.
Serve Memphis this March: Help keep Camp Pinecrest beautiful.

When: December 12th from 10:00 to 2:00

Join Pinecrest Camp in the perfect outdoor opportunity on their gorgeous and expansive campus.

Pinecrest is working on creating new trails, clearing up and restoring old trails, removing invasive plants and restoring wetlands around campus. They can supply some tools, or you bring your own loppers, trimmers, rake, or shovel. Spend time in nature and give back. You can stay for as much of the shift as you are able.

When: December 15th from 10:00 to 12:00

MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies’ Training Institute provides best-in-class training mentor programs, so mentors are equipped to improve student outcomes.

This mentor training is open to anyone interested in becoming a volunteer youth mentor—and starts the process to prepare mentors to work with the youth within the youth mentoring network. After completing training, MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies will connect you to a quality youth mentoring program in a local community.

When: December 17th from 9:00 to 11:00

Join CCWTN in this fun direct service event that helps those in need in our community! The event takes place at St. Augustine Catholic Church where participants will be working outside (rain or shine) serving boxes of food in their mobile food distribution.

Volunteer roles include collecting data, loading food boxes into cars, and directing traffic. Our community is in crisis, and the work of Catholic Charities meets a critical need, especially during the holiday season.

Three women pose with their dogs in front of a Christmas tree, celebrating the Paw-lidays.
Get festive at the Memphis Botanic Garden

When: Nightly until December 23rd from 4:30 to 8:30  

Holiday Wonders at the Garden is designed to give everyone in the family a chance to enjoy the winter weather and celebrate the holiday season with light displays and seasonal activities. There’s always “snow” in My Big Backyard – even if Mother Nature didn’t supply it – as well as interactive winter fun and games for families to enjoy.

Volunteers will help create a fun holiday environment! They will assist with scanning tickets, running activities, directing guests to where they need to go, and other tasks as needed.

When: December 20th and 27th from 9:30 to 10:30

Join Room in the Inn as they shelter those experiencing homelessness in a safe environment. They operate their Family Inn as well as their Recuperative Care Center, both critical community needs.

This volunteer event is easy and meaningful. Just come hang out and help watch infants and toddlers in their playroom for an hour! Volunteers should fill out a brief application before their shift. 

Mission: School Sports

Join Give901 in supporting after-school sports programming.

Guest post by Dannon Eubanks, Volunteer Odyssey Director of Community Engagement

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