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6 Ways to Serve Memphis in November

Looking for ways to serve Memphis in November? Get an early start like Turner Bishop did!

Turner Bishop, born and raised in Memphis, started his volunteering journey when he arrived at the Memphis University School in 7th grade.

Now at nineteen, he still considers civic service to be his main extracurricular activity. 

Like many of us, when he first started volunteering with the More Than A Meal (MTAM) program, he joined in the hopes of making new friends, finding a fun extracurricular activity, and giving back to his community. What he found was so much more. 

“Years later, I’m a completely new person. MTAM was a much needed constant in my life—and if able, I would do it all over again… I have seen joy, happiness, and thankfulness overwhelm those [who] are in dark places. Serving makes me love my city for what it is, for I see first-hand the many people living here that make it unique.”
Turner Bishop
Volunteer Odyssey Volunteer

Turner says that for him, “Volunteering has served as a much needed source of hope during these tumultuous times.”

And he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. He’s found fun, energizing ways to give back to his community, and we hope you do too. I think that a successful volunteer experience leaves a positive and lasting impact on those who serve and those who are served” says Turner. 

Be like Turner! Keep reading to find 15 ways to serve Memphis in November.

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

When: November 2nd through 4th from 9:15 to 12:30

Students and their teachers will be treated to some old fashioned fun in the Garden! They will make some traditional harvest crafts including cider making, pumpkin painting and corn husk flowers. Discovery stations teach fun facts about fruit and vegetables, honey making, and seed dispersal. Volunteers will assist staff in guiding groups of students and teachers through activities designed to educate!

When: November 2nd through 4th from 9:15 to 12:30

Join Shell on Wheels as they ‘roll’ into Memphis communities this Fall, from their historic stage to your backyard! In partnership with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative, join the Shell for the Fall Music Series in Health Sciences Park! Support Shell on Wheels featured artists and join in for a drink and some tunes to wind down after work!

When: November 4th and 5th with various shifts

In case you haven’t herd, the Buffalo 5K + 15K will return in celebration of National Bison Day. These exciting races wind through some of the most scenic areas in Shelby Farms Park and are a fun way to support the Park’s most iconic residents–the buffalo! The Buffalo 5k + 15k  is a festival of music, food and family; celebrating the North American Bison as the official National Mammal of the United States—plus, it’s a fundraiser for the operation of Shelby Farms Park and Shelby Farms Greenline. 

A group of people participating in a race to serve Memphis in November.
Do it for the Buffalo!

When: November 5th from 9:45 to 12:15

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is partnering with Opera Memphis to hold a Family Scavenger Hunt in conjunction with the newest exhibition (“Drawing the Curtain: Maurice Sendak’s Designs for Opera and Ballet).  Families will go through a series of “challenges” in the museum and on the plaza, inspired by Mozart’s opera, “The Magic Flute.” 

Volunteers are needed to assist with each station of the scavenger hunt – which includes handing out stickers for each task completed.  Tasks include a dance tutorial, origami, completing an obstacle course, and singing a perfect pitch.  Volunteers will not have to complete the tasks themselves, but assist visitors in completing them.

When: November 8th from 8:15 to 9:15 or 5:30 to 6:30; repeats daily

Out of the Woods Wildlife Rescue & Rehab in Shelby Forest cares for orphaned and injured wildlife of Tennessee, including raccoons, opossums, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, flying squirrels, foxes, rats, and mice.

This morning shift includes: food prep, feeding animals, cleaning enclosures, enrichment activities, and more. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Please wear closed toe shoes and clothes that you don’t mind if they get a little dirty!

When: November 9th between 1:00 and 4:00

Join the small but mighty Volunteer Odyssey team in their office located in the beautiful Arrow Creative space. From reviewing reflections, to assisting with social media, to writing thank you notes, you’ll get to experience a day in the life of our volunteer center. If you are in need of a few service hours or just want to get out of the house for a bit, our laid back and vibrant office culture is the place to be! 

When: November 12th from 10:00 to 12:00

MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies’ Training Institute provides best-in-class 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.

A group of people serve in Memphis in October.
Serve Memphis in November as a Mentor with MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies.

When: November 14th from 4:00 to 7:00; repeats every Monday

Every Monday evening on the For The Kingdom campus, they host “Family Dinner Night” where the community is invited to their campus to enjoy a buffet-style, fresh, home cooked meal prepared by the FTK kitchen staff.

Volunteers will be giving back by helping serve this meal to the community for them to enjoy with their families in the FTK dining room.

When: November 15th from 8:00 to 10:00; repeats Monday through Thursday

Because of the pandemic, Catholic Charities still cannot allow individuals to come shop for clothing and hygiene items themselves, though community members still need these vital supplies.

To help with this, Catholic Charities needs volunteers who can help distribute food, clothing, and supplies to our most vulnerable neighbors. Clients will provide their needs and sizing information allowing the volunteer to put together a bag for them.

When: November 16th from 11:00 to 1:00 and 3:00 to 5:00; repeats every Wednesday

If you love local history, arts, nature, meeting people, or all of the above, here is an opportunity for you. Arkwings is a non-profit organization located in a 1930s former family home on 17 acres of beautiful green space, which has been transformed into a community arts and nature gallery and gathering place.

Arkwings is looking for a few volunteers to meet and greet visitors during weekly Open Gallery days. You will be given a tour and get some fun facts about the house and programs, but you won’t need to memorize scripts or lots of info. You can make this the experience you want it to be!

When: November 18th from 5:30 to 8:30

Join Arrow Creative at their November Kids Night Out. The kindergarten through second graders will watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and make mobiles with their own wild weather. The third through sixth graders will watch The Princess Bride and decorate wooden book boxes to look like their own adventure stories.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the crafts and ensure good times are had all around during Kids Night Out.

When: November 19th from 9:45 to 11:15

Since 2014, Sweet Cheeks has donated over 1,000,000 diapers to thousands of families. You can support their mission during their monthly community distribution day. Join Sweet Cheeks Diaper Ministry, one of only two diaper banks serving TN for their monthly distribution day. During this time, anyone in need of diapers and supplies can come through their line to receive necessary supplies! 

When: November 21st from 4:00 to 6:00; repeats daily 

Join Room in the Inn as they provide shelter to unhoused individuals during the winter season, from November to March. Room in the Inn operates this shelter out of the First United Methodist Church.

Volunteers are needed to assist with checking guests in for their stay. Room in the Inn’s work is critical, especially during the winter. You can support those experiencing homelessness by volunteering with RITI this winter season.

A line of jackets on a table in a room serving as storage.
Keep Memphis cozy with wears from the Soulsville Community Closet

When: November 22nd from 10:00 to 1:00; repeats every Tuesday 

Memphis Rox is asking for volunteers to assist with the operations of their Soulsville Community Closet. The closet is open one day a week and offers all products up to 50% off retail price for anyone in the community in need of clothing, household items, or other vital supplies.

They ask that volunteers come help assist customers with their shopping needs such as picking out, carrying, or bagging purchased products.

When: November 30th from 3:00 to 5:00; repeats every Wednesday and Thursday 

Join the Carpenter Art Garden for their weekly bike ride with their young community members. Students from around Binghampton visit the CAG after school every day for different programming, which includes their weekly bike rides!

Volunteers are needed to help fit students with their helmets and bikes and to ride alongside students as they visit the nearby Greenline. 

Make an Impact in Memphis Schools

Do you believe education is the key ingredient in improving the lives of children?

Guest post by Grace Woodruff, Volunteer Odyssey Corporate and Community Engagement Manager

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