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Play Your Part & Find Your Passion with Volunteer Odyssey

When Youth Villages asked for their Runners Club to be plugged on Volunteer Odyssey’s platform, I knew I had an opportunity to fill a void in my life.

You see, I’ve always been a runner, though it took me a long time to think I “qualified,” because I weaved in and out of love with the sport. After high school, it took me a few years to figure out my place, and my passion, for running. I found this through running with others, and more specifically, through running with kids. 

I started off by volunteering with a run club for girls after helping with their P.E. class. I love to run, but at the heart of it, I love to play—I find joy in movement and find joy in helping others do the same. I coached that girls run club for the entirety of college, and the time I spent with those kids was truly formative. So much that after college, I kept running, and coached a runners club at the school I taught in. That was until I took a step back from teaching, and COVID put all kid-related volunteer opportunities on pause. 

Which brings us back to the very first sentence. When Youth Villages brought that opportunity to Volunteer Odyssey, I knew this was my chance to lace up my shoes and hit the ground running.

In just a few weeks, I’ve made connections with so many of their youth. Thus far, I’ve helped one student beat their mile time by 3 whole minutes and we have been working on it every week since. We talk about goal-setting and positive self-talk. We talk about how to control your breath and how to encourage yourself. I want to be their reminder that there are people who will show up for them consistently. I want them to know just how strong they really are.

Volunteering gives me the chance to pursue my passion—and while running might not be your thing, volunteering can help you find your thing!

Here are opportunities that might rekindle an old passion or create a new one. We encourage you to give one a try:

Youth Villages, Runner Club Orientation, October 28th (4PM-5PM)

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If my story spoke to you, you can get involved with Youth Villages. The first step is to attend their runner club orientation. From there, you can volunteer at either of their campuses during their Runner Club shifts.

Sign up here,

Just City, Court Watch Volunteer Orientation, November 18th from (4:30PM-6PM)

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You can take part in ensuring a more transparent, accountable, and accessible justice system by volunteering to court watch with Just City. This is an amazing opportunity to learn more about the court system, and learn how you can make a difference in the Shelby County criminal courtrooms.

Sign up here.

MIFA, Delivery Drivers, Monday through Wednesday (9AM-12PM)

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Brighten the day of a local, homebound senior by volunteering with MIFA’s Meals on Wheels delivery program.  Their new mobile app streamlines the process, making it easier and allowing more time  or you to interact with the seniors on your route!

Sign up here.

Room in the Inn, Various Opportunities, Daily

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Join Room in the Inn as they shelter those experiencing homelessness in a safe and hospitable environment. They have opportunities to sit with guests, help clean their facilities, and even cook a meal for their community.

Sign up here.

National Foundation for Women’s Legislators, November 7th- 10th

Take part in the NFWL’s vision of empowering and inspiring elected women to become thought leaders who shape America’s future. Join women at the city, county, and state level as you help them host their annual conference in Memphis.

Sign up here.

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