I moved to Memphis in 2015 and wanted to be anywhere else. I spent my first semester at the University of Memphis planning my next move, dreaming of where else I could be. I thought I didn’t like Memphis, but truthfully, I didn’t know Memphis. I realized I was spending all of my energy trying to get out instead of spending that energy learning to love the city. I got to know- and fell madly in love- with Memphis through volunteering. I navigated new neighborhoods, met new people, and found new passions through service. I found my heart for service here, and now Memphis has my heart fully.
There are so many ways to explore a city, whether you’ve been here for years, have just moved here, or are only visiting. There are always new things to see, do, and learn. Volunteering is the ultimate combination of the three. You can find an area of town you love to visit or an area you aren’t as familiar with. You have the opportunity to meet new people and even develop new skills while learning about the mission and operations of the nonprofits that work endlessly for Memphis. Most of all, you have the chance to give of yourself to your city.
Here are opportunities to explore your city through service:
The Mid-South Food Bank is in need of volunteers on November 10th to unpack, repack, sort, and box food for individuals all across the city. You might work on an assembly line packing boxes for quarantined individuals, bundle diapers and hygiene products for women and children, or pack single servings of bulk food that have been donated for those in need. Your options are endless and this work is necessary to feed hungry Memphians.
Mid-South Toys for Tots has an opportunity for you to bundle and sort toys that will be given to over 20,000 children throughout the Mid-South. This is a chance to impact children in 23 counties nearby. The Mid-South Toys for Tots warehouse is open every weekend for volunteers to assist in setting up toys stations, sorting, bundling, and picking toys for the families. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing you don’t mind getting dusty.
Room in the Inn has two new opportunities to give back: their Day Care Assistant Volunteer and their Guest Hospitality Volunteer. Guest Hospitality volunteers assist with greeting/visiting with new guests and setting up for the evening. Though other duties might arise, the main focus for volunteers is to visit with guests to help them feel welcome. Your help is central to their mission of “holy hospitality”—having people present to listen to and talk with guests during their wait helps them know this is a place where they are safe, welcome, and treated with respect. Day Care Assistants help facilitate Room in the Inn’s Emergency Day Shelter available to those needing a safe place to rest indoors this winter. Volunteers will help in maintaining a healthy and clean shelter for guests by abiding by CDC guidelines, helping staff maintain physical distance requirements, sanitizing surfaces, and providing hospitality through warm welcomes and food and hygiene product distribution.
See events and register here.