Make May Your Month to Make a Difference!

Make May Your Month to Volunteer in Memphis

Guest post by dannon eubanks, volunteer odyssey director of community engagement

“My partner’s here! My partner’s here!” This was how I was greeted on a Monday afternoon a few weeks back as a volunteer in Memphis at Youth Villages. I’ve been running with one of the kiddos, and have apparently climbed the ranks—unknowingly becoming their official partner.

I missed the last two weeks of Runner’s Club due to work priorities, and was finally back with a warm welcome waiting on me. On the days where I feel like I can’t pull myself out of the office, I’m reminded that this is what I’m opting out of. 

Of course things come up. Meetings get scheduled. Deadlines get moved up.  Office “fires” happen. There are also times when we simply choose to back out or to cancel.

But being missed is a powerful tool.

I was the highlight of that kid’s day, and possibly of that kid’s week. Being missed confirms how much your presence matters. I’d give an hour out of the office to bring that joy to someone, and to feel that feeling again. I think we all would. 

If you agree, Here are 10 ways to volunteer in memphis that'll bring you those fulfilling feels:

Youth Villages, Runners Club

Youth Villages provides help for children and young people across Memphis who face a wide range of emotional, mental and behavioral problems. In Memphis, they have a weekly Runners Club at two of their residential facilities. Upon applying, volunteers are welcome to come out and run and help the kiddos earn prizes for hitting different milestones.

  • Mondays and Tuesdays (3PM-4PM) and (4PM-5PM)
  • Saturdays from (10AM-11AM) (11AM-12PM)
Volunteer with the Youth Villages Runners Club.


The YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South is partnering with Memphis-Shelby County Schools to help host the MSCS Games! Tuesday, May 10 at Tobey Park Fields, we will be hosting a kickball tournament for the MSCS Games made up of teams from MSCS and the community. We are in need of volunteers to umpire the games, work the registration table, and manage the brackets.

  • May 10th with shifts throughout the afternoon and evening
Volunteer to assist with the YMCA MSCS Games.

For the Kingdom, Campus Clean-Up

For the Kingdom is a 100-acre camp, conference, and retreat center on a mission to provide life-changing experiences for all. Their large campus is in need of volunteers to help pick up litter, limbs and debris, and other clean up projects. If you have a group of friends, co-workers, or family that would like to volunteer together in an outdoor activity on a beautiful campus, this is the opportunity for you.

  • May 13th and 14th with flexibility in shift times
Volunteer to beautify the For the Kingdom Camp Campus.

Carpenter Art Garden, Community Garden

If you have an interest in gardening and want to use your schools for a community urban garden, consider spending some time at the Carpenter Art Garden

The Carpenter Art Garden gardens mixed vegetables year-round from seed to harvest for their twice-weekly corner market that serves the community in Binghampton.

  • May 16th from 3PM to 5PM; repeats every Monday through Thursday.
Volunteer in the Carpenter Art Garden Community Garden.

Dorothy Day House, Cafe du Memphis

The Rotary Club of Memphis brings back Cafe du Memphis at the Malco Summer Drive-In. This event benefits the Dorothy Day House and the Rotary Foundation. The Dorothy Day House provides transitional housing and support to families experiencing homelessness in Memphis, TN.

Volunteers are needed to serve as food runners, cashiers, assist with set up and break down of tents/signage, and help to direct traffic throughout the venue.

  • May 21st with shifts throughout the day
Volunteers are needed to serve as food runners, cashiers, assist with set up and break down of tents/signage, etc.


It’s time for another Memphis Rox Soulsville Neighborhood Volunteer Cleanup. 

Volunteers will meet at Rox and we will disperse from there. All materials for the clean up will be provided. This is a family friendly event and you are welcome to stay for as much of the cleanup as you are able.

  • May 21st from 10AM-2PM
This is a great way to give back to the community served at Memphis Rox.

cooper young garden club garden walk

Join the Cooper-Young Garden Club for their annual Garden Walk. This year features 90+ gardens, 40 of which are secret gardens.

Volunteers are placed in a garden for their shift and have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoor space and interact with guests. Volunteering for one shift guarantees you a ticket to tour the gardens, listen to garden speakers and musicians, buy garden art, and get discounts at local restaurants.

  • May 21st and 22nd with morning and afternoon shifts 
This is a wonderful way to explore Cooper-Young, get inspiring ideas to beautify your outdoor space, and earn a FREE TICKET to the Garden Walk.

catholic charities of west tennessee

Join Catholic Charities at St. Paul Catholic Church, 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. The more volunteers they have, the more food boxes they are able to distribute to anyone who may need one.

  • May 25th from 8:30 to 11:00; repeats weekly
Keep Memphis Fed!

cooper young farmers market volunteers

Join the Cooper-Young Farmers Market every Saturday as they support local farmers and businesses.

You can learn more about the farm-to-table approach, support vendors during the market, and help small businesses build capacity. 

  • May 28th with shifts throughout the morning and afternoon 
If you’re interested in learning more about our local food systems and food access, this is a great opportunity for you to volunteer with Volunteer Odyssey in August.

Overton Park Shell, Summer Concert Series

Join the Overton Park Shell as a volunteer in their 13th season of free music in Memphis starting Saturday, May 28th!

There are multiple volunteer opportunities Thursday, Friday and Saturday of each week. Help the Shell make it happen by volunteering your time & talents and become part of the Overton Park Shell Family.

  • May 28th with shifts throughout the morning and afternoon 
Join in their mission of community and music.

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