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Ways to Give Back To Memphis This Holiday Season

Photo: Volunteer Odyssey

While we love sharing all the fun events going on in Memphis, we also want to highlight some important invest opportunities that exist. Check out our list of ways to give back to the community during this holiday season.

christmas present

The Tennessee and Kentucky division of the Salvation army are close to their goal of $24,000 to provide a Thanksgiving feast for less fortunate families. Help them reach their goal and spread the joy of a wholesome family meal during this season of giving.

On Wednesday, December 6th, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm join Wiseacre Brewing Company for their GiVE 365 member party. It will be benefiting the Emmanuel Center in Memphis and Su Casa Family Ministries. Wanted items include Kleenex, baby wipes, Lysol Disinfectant Spray, new or gently used toys (ages 0-5), hats and gloves (youth through adult), and canned goods or non-perishable food items among others. 

Nerd901 is partnering with Rec Room to put on a toy drive benefiting the Forrest Spence Fund. Happening at Rec Room Saturday, December 2nd from 6 pm to 9 pm, guests are welcome to bring child appropriate and unwrapped gifts of their choosing. Enjoy drinks and the fun games of Rec Room while blessing hospitalized youth in Memphis with exciting gifts.

Bring your food donations to the Orpheum box office and Halloran Centre’s lobby now, through December 20th (Monday – Friday’s) to get free admission to see the holiday classic, Miracle on 34th Street. If you can’t bring a food donation, admission is just $5. The film starts at 7 pm so be sure to make it!

Goodwill’s goal is not only to provide affordable used items to customer, but to also provide employment and job-skills to those in need. You can donate your items of clothing, toys, appliances, and more, at any of Goodwill’s locations across Memphis. You can also donate money to help fund their organization.

You can donate by visiting one of the following drop-off locations:

  • Mid-South Food Bank – 239 S. Dudley 38104
  • Beth Shalom Synagogue – 6775 Humphreys Blvd. 38120
  • Cumberland Presbyterian Church – 8207 Traditional Place, Cordova 38016
  • Eyewear Gallery – 428 Perkins Ext.


MIFA’s Meals on Wheels program is always in need of enthusiastic volunteers to help delivery hot and fresh food to seniors across the Memphis area. To learn more and/or sign up, click here.

The Crosstown Concourse will be hosting a toy drive this winter season. A donation box is located in the Central Atrium by the security desk. Donations will be picked up by December 14.

Youth Villages works with over 2,000 children and families who need a Holiday Hero this year. You can either shop for items off of a child’s Wish List and drop off wrapped gifts at a predetermined location, or Youth Villages also accepts monetary donations to sponsor a child or sibling group. About $100 would cover an entire list. For more information on how you can get involved with this year’s Holiday Heroes and help a child in need, call (901) 251-4823. Youth Villages goal is to help care for and troubled youth in and out of foster homes. They “work with troubled youth, both in and out of state custody, and their families to build healthy relationships, support and structure.” Your donations help fund their programs dedicated towards the betterment of many lives.

The ReStore is a thrift store that accepts a ton of items that you may be looking to donate this holiday season like furniture, televisions, appliances and general home goods. Visit the website for more information about donation policies and procedures. If you need an extra incentive to give, the ReStore will come and pick up some of your larger items saving you the time and hassle of moving the items.

Benefiting Porter-Leath’s Preschool program, Toy Truck collects toys for over 5,900 children, age 6 weeks to age 5. If you’re interested in helping bring joy to these children this Christmas season, you can drop off new, unwrapped toys as well as cash, check or credit card donations at any of the listed locations.

Drop off locations:


  • Ways to help in Orange Mound 
    • On Thanksgiving, from 11 am to 2 pm, Feed the Need will be handing out food, clothes, and other supplies to those in need.
    • Orange Mound Outreach Ministries is partnering with local churches and businesses to help put on the 10th annual OMOM Christmas party. Happening December 14th at 6 pm, the event will include food and the giving of gifts to the OMOM “Christmas Angels.” These gifts will be the ones requested by the kids attending their programs for drug, gang, and alcohol prevention. For those interested in donating and blessing these children this Christmas season, you can pick up a child’ s wishlist at 845 Marechalneil Street Monday through Friday 3 to 8 pm and Friday 9 am to 4 pm. Those who want to donate can also contact Reverend Reginald Tucker at 901-244-1416.
    • The Orange Mound Community council is giving away Thanksgiving meal baskets on November 20th at Melrose High-School. They will be giving additional baskets away during half-time at the Melrose vs. Hillcrest basketball game on Tuesday, November 21 at 6:30 pm. The game will be held at Melrose High School at 2870 Deadrick Avenue. If you would like to help fill these baskets with items, you can contact LaTonia Blankenship at 901-416-5974.

On February 24th, 2018 Merge Memphis is presenting the Winter Festival of Lights. At the Gala, dinner and drinks will be provided, complimenting dancing and a Silent Auction. For two extra raffle tickets, all you have do is bring ten, non-perishable food items with you. All ticket purchases and other proceeds will be going to their building fund at 333 Adams, which will be a Women’s Work / Live Facility for homeless women in the community (tickets).

This month, Undercurrent is heading to The South Main Market, a new food hall and event space downtown. They will be partnering with Mid-South Food Bank to help them collect what they need the most this holiday season. The first 50 people who bring a food item on the list below get a free drink! The event is free, but you must RSVP and bring at least one item to donate.

The Memphis Grizzlies’ players and coaches take time out of their lives to volunteer at the organizations annual toy drive to benefit MIFA’s Holiday Hope Chest. Any fan that chooses to donate new, unwrapped toys have an opportunity to meet and receive autographs from the entire team and coaching staff. Be sure to come out and support this December (date/time of event TBA).

Stack-Up is dedicated to helping service men for the U.S., NATO, Australia, and New Zealand get through their immensely stressful deployments through the power of gaming. The Memphis Team is having its 1st Annual Video Game Drive hosted at Meddlesome Brewing Company in Cordova, TN on Dec. 30th from 12 pm to 7:30 pm. Stack-Up will be accepting Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows 7 & 10 PC games. If you are able, they are accepting consoles as well. The event is taking place at Meddle Brewing Company, both in their tap room and the brewery itself. There will be a custom shipping crate for all donations to be placed in. Beer will be discounted that day for all qualifying donations, and food trucks will be on-site.

On Monday, December 4th from 6 pm to 7 pm, there will be a VolunCheers benefiting the Carpenter Art Garden. Drinks and snacks will be provided to this 21+ event (296 Carpenter St).

Friday, December 8th, Volunteer Odyssey is hosting a Volunteer Pop-up at Aldo’s pizza downtown from 11 am to 1 pm. There will be projects from MIFA, Memphis Botanic Garden, and Memphis Public Libraries that can be completed in as little as 60 seconds. Those that volunteer will also get a free slice of Aldo’s pizza.

  • 12 Days of Giving @ Ghost River Brewing Co. 

Starting December 9th, Ghost River will begin a twelve day drive benefiting the Mid-South Food Bank and Memphis Union Mission. Those that donate will be granted 50% off the beer of the day! On each of the 12 days, the discounted beer will change. On the 23rd, they will be hosting a Christmas Sweater party to celebrate the holidays. Bring one to wear and one to donate!

The 12 Days of Beers Specials:

Dec 9th – Golden Ale
Dec 10th – 1887 IPA
Dec 13th – Grindhouse Cream Ale
Dec 14th – Midnight Magic
Dec 15th – Citra SMASH
Dec 16th – Bruns Upe (or Red)
Dec 17th – Sinful Sister
Dec 20th – Howzit Gose
Dec 21st – P.S. I Love You American Strong Ale
Dec 22nd – ULFBERHT
Dec 23rd – Prestige // CHRISTMAS SWEATER PARTY
Dec 24th – SMASH Test Dummy’s Daddy

Yuletide Office Solutions will be hosting their 16th annual toy dive on from December 6th through the 9th. Their goal this year is to be able to provide age appropriate toys to over 6,000 children in need across he city. If you can’t donate, you can make a monetary donation at the drop off stations as well. Donors of $50+ will receive a certificate for one semiprecious stone from James Gattas Jewelers, valued up to $100. One lucky winner will receive their choice of a Diamond Cluster one carat ring, pendant, or earrings, valued at $3,500.

Toy/money drop off times and locations:

  • Wednesday, December 6th-Friday, December 8th – 8AM-6PM at Bud Davis Cadillac, 5433 Poplar Ave
  • Saturday, December 9th – 8AM-4PM at WMC Action News 5, 1960 Union Ave

Check out our Giving Tuesday page to prepare for Nov 28th.

See Volunteer Odyssey’s VolunteerCompass and Volunteer Memphis’s calendar here for more opportunities.

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