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Photos: CCWTN

Caring for Memphis with Catholic Charities of West Tennessee

As a kid, I always imagined Disney World as a magical place that has a little something for everyone regardless of their interest or background: exciting rides, a place to meet your favorite characters, beautiful places to relax, magic shows, fancy cafes, etc.

For a long time I believed that level of customization and excellent customer service could only be found in Orlando, Florida– but last week I learned that not only was I wrong– but we have the “Disney World” of volunteering right here in Memphis. That magical hub for volunteerism is Catholic Charities of West Tennessee.

From the moment you arrive, you’re warmly greeted by other volunteers and workers who are excitedly waiting to work alongside you!

Won’t you join them…

At the Outreach Porch (Monday-Saturday, 8AM-10AM)

L: Courtesy of CCWTN, R: Dannon serving on the Outreach Porch

What better way to start off the day than giving back to your community! Volunteers at the Outreach Porch help distribute food and hygiene items to members of our community who are in need. On Mondays and Wednesdays, volunteers also assist with the distribution of clothing items from Catholic Charities’ clothing closet where clients provide information regarding their sizing and needs, allowing volunteers to put together a bag for them.

In the Mobile Food Pantry (Monday-Thursday, 8:30AM-11AM)

Get outside and enjoy the morning air while you make a difference! Volunteers will work outside (rain or shine) serving boxes of food for mobile food distribution. Volunteer roles include collecting data, loading food boxes into cars, and directing traffic. Reminder: this entire shift takes place out of doors! Volunteers should dress comfortably and be mindful of the forecast. Social distancing will be adhered to, hand sanitizer is available, bottle water is provided, and volunteers will be asked to bring their own face covering/mask.

In the Clothing Closet (Monday-Friday, 9am-2pm*)

This volunteer role assists with client check-in, shopping (as needed), sanitization, and the clothing check out process. Catholic Charities clothing closet is 100% donation based, and could not be open without the help of volunteers and donors.

* = This opportunity is carried out in two shifts every day it occurs.

For Lunchtime Unloading (Thursdays 12PM-12:30PM)

If you have a busy schedule, but would love to find time to give back, this is the option for you! Volunteers are in charge of unloading food items, hygiene kits, bottled waters, and various items [that’ll go towards those experiencing homelessness] out of vans and into the Catholic Charities Outreach Center. Giving a small portion of your lunch break can make a huge difference for those most in need in our community. 

For Food Box Packing (Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1PM-3PM)

Volunteers who love Tetris might think this opportunity is a dream! Support is needed in the Community Support Center putting together food boxes for families in need! This is a fun and fast paced volunteer shift and works well for individuals AND groups. Our community is in crisis, and the work of Catholic Charities meets a critical need, alleviating hunger. 

To Make a Clothing Donation (Monday-Thursday 9AM-2PM)

Another helpful way to give back to the community is to donate items for distribution! Catholic Charities offers opportunities to donate clothing items for their community closest, food for their food pantry, and even vehicle for donations.

Currently, there is a high demand for the following items:

  • New or gently used jeans in all men’s sizes 
  • New men’s and women’s underwear 
  • Men’s socks

All of these items can be dropped off during the listed time above at 1325 Jefferson Ave, Memphis TN 38104.

And if these options aren’t enough, there are even more opportunities on the horizon! In the upcoming months, Catholic Charities is looking to renovate their kitchen so they can serve a hot breakfast every morning, and they’re building a new community garden, so keep an eye out for a little more magic making its way to Memphis.

There are even more organizations who are looking for magical Memphians like you to help them make a difference. Click here to learn about them!

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