To celebrate national volunteer week, we wanted to connect you with someone who really knows how you can be a part of the good work in memphis. This post comes from our good friend Sarah Petschonek at Volunteer Odyssey. You can read our previous posts about their work, or just keep reading this one.
At Volunteer Odyssey, we believe that volunteering is a journey! We believe you live your fullest life through volunteering. We believe that the perfect experience is out there – just waiting for you to come and make your mark. Whether you’re a current volunteer or a future volunteer, we have the opportunity for you! You’re a Memphian. You’re ready to make a difference. Here are 11 ways to take the next step!
1. Come to VolunCheers
How do you make volunteering even better? Beer of course! Join Volunteer Odyssey each month for our volunteer happy hour. You come straight from work to make some friends, volunteer, and have happy hour – all in one nice neat package. Upcoming dates here.
2. Visit our Calendar of Volunteer Opportunities
You’re a busy professional and you’ve got a few hours to give. Our calendar of volunteer opportunities has you covered – we list evening and weekend opportunities so you can give back when it fits your schedule.
3. Explore Your Interests
What area of interest speaks to you? Here are some organizations with great volunteer opportunities.
If you love…
- Kids: look into volunteering with the Carpenter Art Garden, Hope House, and Porter Leath
- Teens: apply your talents at BRIDGES USA or sign up to mentor through the Grizzlies Foundation
- Gardening and outdoors: Make your green mark on Roots Memphis, Memphis Farmers Market, Shelby Farms, Overton Park and Memphis Botanic Garden
- Seniors: Help Habitat for Humanity, MIFA’s Meals on Wheels, and Ave Maria Home support our seniors.
4. Use Your Skills or Talents
- Medical: If you work in the medical field, donate your time to the Church Health Center or the International Children’s Heart Foundation
- Cooking: Make soup from scratch at St Mary’s Soup Kitchen or prepare dessert for homeless families at Dorothy Day House of Hospitality
- Graphic design: You’re in high demand! Let us know and we’ll match you up.
- Making people feel at home: Be a lunch buddy for adults with disabilities at SRVS or welcome refugee families with World Relief.
5. Check out Volio
Volio is the country’s first virtual volunteer fair launched right here in the 901. With Volio’s video tours, you can transport yourself to volunteer experiences and pick the one that’s right for you. www.voliovolunteers.com
6. Pave the Way
If you’re looking for opportunities off the beaten path, here are some of the most unique ways to volunteer
- Urban Bicycle Food Ministry: Who doesn’t love burritos? You can deliver burritos by bike to the homeless of Memphis
- Bouquets of Hope: Try your hand at flower arranging! Catholic Charities repurposes wedding flowers and donates them to patients and seniors.
- Red Cross: Are you calm under pressure? Join the Red Cross disaster response team.
- Fortune Teller: That’s right! Volunteer Odyssey uses “Fortune Tellers” to match Memphians with volunteer opportunities and predict where they’ll volunteer in the future.
- Baby hugger at LeBonheur: Yes really. You can volunteer to hug babies at LeBonheur – especially the tiny ones who need it most.
7. Be an ambassador
Be an ambassador for your favorite cause! One of the best things you can do is to tell people why you love to volunteer and invite them to come. More than 80% of people said they’d volunteer if someone invited them to join. Start the conversation.
8. Learn about Serve901
Like Choose901, we believe volunteering is a great way to bring new people to Memphis. If you know of a college group who’s looking for a service trip, refer them to our friends at Serve901 and they’ll have an awesome experience.
9. Join the Job Seekers Program
Are you a professional looking searching for a job? With Volunteer Odyssey’s Job Seekers Program you can stand out on the job market and give back to the community at the same time. Join Volunteer Odyssey’s Job Seekers Program! In just 7 days you’ll volunteer with 7 organizations and chronicle your adventure on our blog. Check out how that program is already connecting people to great opportunities.
10. Encourage your office to volunteer
Does your company have a volunteer program? There’s one way to find out! Ask if you can volunteer during work hours. Even better, ask if you can volunteer as a team. Let us know if you need ideas.
11. Tell your story
You’re out volunteering. That’s awesome! Tell us about it so we can share it too! Write a guest blog for Volunteer Odyssey or tag us #volunteer901 and we’ll spread the word.
Being a Memphian means making an impact. Start your journey today!
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This guest post is brought to you by Sarah Petschonek of Volunteer Odyssey.