Dannon is the Community Engagement Manager at Volunteer Odyssey, an incredible organization that provides meaningful volunteer opportunities across Memphis.
Some things never go out of style. It’s always cool to be kind. Bar-b-que is always a good choice. And you should never (we mean ever) stop learning. Personally, I never turn down a bbq sandwich, I’m steadily working on kindness, and I can honestly say I’ve learned leaps and bounds through service via volunteer opportunities.
I recently learned how to build a perfectly-level raised bed for gardening (which greatly tested my patience) and about the importance of different nutrients for growing plants (it’s a little more complex than just soil and sun). I have also practiced working an assembly line (thank you, Mid-South Food Bank), learned how to sell t-shirts (thanks, WYXR and your amazing merch), and investigated how to remove invasive species from green spaces (hello, Memphis Botanic Garden).
In addition to these tangible skills, I’ve also experienced new parts of town, learning about each, and building my appreciation for the collective Memphis community. Service is in support of our city and simultaneously stimulates our own learning, practicing, and growing. Learning will never go out of style and serving our communities is always in season.
Get outside and try something new with these volunteer opportunities:
- Memphis Botanic Garden, Monthly Weed Wrangle, April 2nd from 9:00am to 12:00pm
Join us at the Memphis Botanic Garden to help remove invasive and exotic plants in our wildflower woodland! The presence of exotic and invasive plants limits the growth potential of native plants, who compete for the same resources. Our goal is to begin removing invasive plants to revert the area back to a native woodland. You can help!
- Memphis Tilth, St. Paul Garden Volunteer, April 10th from 9:00am to 12:00pm
Join Memphis Tilth in their mission of cultivating collective action for an economically sustainable, socially equitable, and environmentally sound local food system. You can join in their work at the St. Paul Garden as you clean, water, and plant in the garden. This is a wonderful opportunity to practice a hobby you love or learn a new skill as you help the community have access to healthful foods. Volunteers must attend a 30-minute virtual orientation before registering.
- Shelby Farms Park, Spread the Mulch Volunteer Work Day, April 17th from 8:00am to 11:00am
Celebrate Earth Day early with Shelby Farms Park at their park-wide mulch-spreading event! More than just a pretty accent to the trees, mulch plays an important role in tree care and helps keep the trees in the Park happy and healthy! Mulch helps retain water and helps prevent erosion. It also adds nutrients to help the trees grow strong and remain healthy. Volunteers are needed to help spread mulch in various areas of the Park. You can be part of helping the Park thrive!
Volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about:
- Volunteer Germantown, Vaccination Volunteers, Monday through Friday, shifts throughout the day from 8:30am to 6:00pm
Volunteers are needed to help maximize vaccination efforts in Shelby County. Roles include screening for appointments, completing paperwork, transporting materials, directing traffic, and refilling supplies. Volunteers are critical to ensure that vaccination efforts run smoothly as we continue to vaccinate Shelby County residents.
- Dorothy Day House, Virtual School Assistant, Monday through Friday from 7:45am to 10:45am and 12:30pm to 3:30pm
Many children who live at the Dorothy Day House are attending school virtually and range in age from 5-17. The primary focus of the virtual school assistant will be to help students stay focused on their school work and assist with assignments as needed. The full-time virtual school supervisor will be present during school hours. You can support these virtual learners by volunteering.
- Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis, Hollywood Location Volunteer, shifts available Monday through Thursday
The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis is looking for individuals willing to give their time to enrich the life of a child. They are in need of caring adults to assist with Club activities and fulfill their mission of enabling all young people, especially those who need us most to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.
- Memphis Rox Neighborhood Lunch, weekdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Memphis Rox has implemented a free bag lunch program to help distribute food options to local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. They need one volunteer each day to help assist in the distribution of the bag lunches. This opportunity allows you to sit in the cafe and wait for recipients to walk or drive up, so you can get work done while serving! This is a great opportunity to volunteer safely and give back to the community.
- Catholic Charities of West TN, Mobile Food Pantry, April 15th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm
CCWTN still needs the help of volunteers every day and have made many adjustments due to the COVID-19 to help ensure your safety and the health and safety of those we serve. Volunteers are needed to help us direct traffic and distribute food to our neighbors in need. As a volunteer, you will be working outside under a tent serving boxes of food in a mobile food distribution in our parking lot.
Make a difference from a distance:
- Volunteer Odyssey (+ friends), Virtual Volunteer Day, April 23rd, with shifts from 9:00am to 4:00pm
Join Volunteer Odyssey and 7 local nonprofits (Catholic Charities, Memphis Rox, Make-A-Wish Mid-South, Memphis Botanic Garden, Room in the Inn-Memphis, WYXR, and Spreading Sunshine) as you make a difference from a distance. Register for the remote projects, then tune into their Facebook live on that hour to hear a Show and Tell interview with each nonprofit.
- Community Alliance for the Homeless Housewarming Baskets
You can build baskets for newly housed individuals and families to welcome them into their new home. This is a great way to support someone who has previously experienced homelessness. Use the link for the complete list of items to include and drop-off instructions.
- Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Remote Volunteer Opportunities
While volunteers are currently not coming in-person to Le Bonheur, they now have remote opportunities to assist, support, and encourage the children and families of Le Bonheur. Opportunities like packing care bags, packing craft kits, providing meals, supporting the clothing closet, and more are available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the complete list of options and drop-off information.