Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

25 Ways to Volunteer in Memphis

Photo: Jeff Riddle

Post Updated: 1/16/2019

Memphis is full of opportunity to give back! Check out these volunteer openings, grab some friends, and make a difference.

Volunteer Odyssey

Photo: Volunteer Odyssey

Volunteer Odyssey Opportunities

    • Memphis Botanic Garden
      • Memphis Botanic Garden has multiple opportunities to volunteer including becoming a horticultural volunteer, a volunteer docent, or a children’s garden volunteer. Volunteer roles within the children’s garden include being a greeter, a gardener, a play and learn supporter, or an educator. To volunteer, sign up here.
    • Shelby Farms Park
      • Shelby Farms Park has a need for volunteers in many different roles at the Park. Volunteers are needed to be Interpretive Docents, Membership Docents, become a part of the Parks and Recreation Corp, Playground Monitors, Special Event Volunteers, Trail Scouts, Urban Gardener, and Visitor Center Ambassadors. Sign up here.
    • Urban Bicycle Food Ministry
      • Deliver burritos to the hungry of Memphis with Urban Bicycle Food Ministry. Volunteers are needed every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning to help make burritos and then hand them out throughout the city. Sign up here.
    • Dorothy Day House
      • Dorothy Day House helps homeless families stay together as they work to rebuild their lives and have volunteer opportunities every Sunday and Monday. On Sundays, they need volunteers to be babysitters for the children of Dorothy Day House and to also join the families for Prayer and Dessert. On Monday nights, volunteers are needed to provide a meal for the families of the house. Dorothy Day House also has an ongoing need for volunteers to help with cleaning, house maintenance, and yard work. Sign up here.
    • Carpenter Art Garden
      • Volunteers are needed at the Carpenter Art Garden to work with the children of Binghampton on various art projects and tutoring. Volunteers are also needed to help provide snacks for the kids on a daily basis. If you are interested in volunteering, learn more and sign up here.
    • MIFA
      • Lend your wheels to deliver meals with MIFA’s Meals on Wheels program. Volunteers are needed Monday through Friday to deliver a warm meal to a homebound senior. Sign up here.
    • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
      • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital needs volunteers to entertain and play with patients both one-on-one and in group settings, clean toys, and help restock shelves. Volunteers are needed to commit to a once a week shift for at least eight months. To volunteer, click here.
    • Room in the Inn
      • Room in the Inn hosts homeless guests at congregations throughout Memphis during the winter months. Volunteers are needed to help serve dinner and breakfast as well as help the guests settle in for the night. Sign up here.
    • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South, Inc.
      • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South needs volunteers who are eager to positively impact a child and improve our community at the same time. For a few hours, a couple times a month, you can give a Little the invaluable gift of your friendship. By simply changing their perspective of what the world can offer, you can literally start changing their life. Play a board game. Make fun crafts. Hit the playground together. The ways you can make a difference in a child’s life are unlimited. Sign up today!
    • The Memphis Grizzlies Foundation
      • The TEAM UP Youth Mentoring Partnership is an affiliate of the National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR), the unifying champion for expanding quality mentoring relationships in the United States. The Partnership serves as a clearinghouse for training, resources, awareness, and advocacy, providing the critical link between MENTOR’s national efforts and local organizations and programs that foster and support quality mentoring relationships. Learn more and sign up here.
    • Constance Abbey
      • Constance Abbey is a hospitality house in the downtown Memphis area. Their mission is to serve their neighbors and homeless friends by offering warm showers, laundry facilities, clean clothes from the clothing closet, coffee, and a bit to eat. They also provide advocacy for those who want to know about community resources. Additionally, guests are invited to attend recovery meetings, bible study, and chapel services. Find opportunities and sign up here.
    • Germantown Community Library
      • Germantown Community Library provides a variety of volunteer opportunities that not only serve the community of Germantown and the surrounding areas but also opportunities to give back to the community in unique ways that support literacy and lifelong learning. Volunteer opportunities include helping to search for missing books, reorganizing book shelves, and greeting and providing general information to visitors. Sign up here.
    • American Cancer Society
      • The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. American Cancer Society has volunteer opportunities ranging from community event support with Relay For Life, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and more. They also have leadership opportunities with their Executive Leadership Council and Young Professionals of ACS. Learn more and sign up here.
    • Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital
      • Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital needs volunteers to help make a difference in their patients and family’s lives. Le Bonheur has a wide variety of opportunities ranging from reading, crafting, and socializing with the kids in the hospital. Learn more and sign up here.
    • Memphis Athletic Ministries
      • Memphis Athletic Ministries mission is to coach, grow, and lead the youth of Memphis by helping them discover their identity in Christ and their purpose in the community. Volunteers are needed with Homework Help, Assistant Coaching, and more. Learn more and sign up here.

See Volunteer Odyssey’s VolunteerCompass for more opportunities.

Learn about VolunCheers here.

volunteer memphis

Photo: Volunteer Memphis

Volunteer Memphis Opportunities

      • Cloud 901 (Teen Learning Lab) at Memphis Public Library and Information Center-Learning Lab Volunteers
        • Available times: Monday-Thursday 3– 8 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 1 – 6 p.m.
        • Volunteers are needed to assist with training, mentoring and facilitating technology classes in out teen learning center. Must have strong background in technology & equipment usage.
        • Go here for more info.
      • Memphis Public Library and Information Center-Welcome Desk Greeter
        • Available times: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
        • Enthusiastic volunteers needed to greet visitors and provide directions to customers entering the library.
        • Go here for more info.
      • Memphis Public Library and Information Center-Bookstore Volunteer
        • Available times: Monday, Thursday, and Friday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 3 – 6 p.m.
        • Go here for more info.
      • Friends for Life-1st Monday Dinner Volunteers
        • 1st Monday of every month, 5:30 – 7:45 p.m.
        • Volunteers help prepare and serve hot, nutritious dinners to HIV positive clients and their caregivers.
        • Go here for more info.
      • United Way of the Mid-South – Tax Preparation Program Orientation
        • Varying days, 5:30 – 6:55 p.m.
        • United Way is driving a stronger focus to address the Mid-South’s poverty. One strategy to achieve this goal is to provide access to free financial services and create opportunities for families to save.  Our Free Tax Preparation Partnership is powered by trained volunteers who prepare tax returns for low and moderate income workers and ensure they are claiming one of the most powerful anti-poverty tools ever created, the Earned Income Tax Credit. Volunteers also promote savings and healthy financial practices.  Volunteer Tax Preparers, Greeters, Screeners, and CASH Coaches are needed. Free training and certification is required. No prior experience/expertise needed. Join us for one of our monthly orientation session to learn more about the program and how you can be a big part of moving families to financial self-sufficiency.
        • Go here for more info.
      • Literacy Mid-South – English Language Tutor
        • 2 hours a week, flexible days
        • Help an adult learn or improve English! We have all levels of English language learners in our program from beginning to advanced. You’ll help your learner meet goals such as obtaining citizenship and gaining confidence in general conversation.   We ask for an initial commitment of meeting a learner at a library for two hours once a week for 6 months.   You’ll attend a one-day training where we’ll give hands-on strategies that will prepare you to work one on one or with a small group. We also offer continuing education sessions throughout the year to introduce you to new strategies you can use in your sessions.
        • Go here for more info.
      • John K. and Katherine Johnson Auxiliary at Regional One Health – Gift Shop Volunteer
        • Monday – Friday 9 a.m – 1 p.m., 1 – 5 p.m.
        • Greet and assist customers with their requests. Must have a working knowledge of how to use cash register and processing financial transactions. Must have a working knowledge of where supplies and merchandise is kept. Assist staff with: pricing and stocking merchandise and other merchandising tasks when requested, filing, annual inventory and Auxiliary fundraisers. Must be at least 18 years old and a high school graduate. Complete a volunteer application which includes passing a criminal background check. Participate in a volunteer orientation given by Regional One Health and the Auxiliary and comply with other volunteer requirements stipulated by Regional One Health and the Auxiliary.
        • Go here for more info.
      • Theatre Memphis-Light Crew
        • Varying days and shifts depending on show needs.               
        • Lighting assistants help the Lighting Designer rig (prep, hang, focus, gel) the instruments and lighting inventory. There are also lighting assistants who help as set walkers during light cue preview.  Set walkers, walk, stand, sit on the set while the designer demonstrates and adjust light cues for the director during a light cue preview session.  Lighting assistants are required to: Be 15 of age or older (Volunteers age 10 – 14 may be considered for set walkers, if an adult is preset to set walk as well.) Be self-motivated and follow directions well, and must have reliable transportation. As a thank you for your efforts, Theatre Memphis hosts one Friends & Family performance for each show mounted, in which volunteers who have worked on that show attend and invite a guest to watch the show for free.
        • Go here for more info.
      • ITN Memphis (at Buntyn Presbyterian Church) – Grant Writer
        • Flexible Schedule.
        • ITNMemphis provides escorted transportation for seniors and adults with visual impairments in the Memphis community. We are seeking volunteers to research and write grants. Work may be done in the ITN office or the volunteer may work from their home.
        • Go here for more info.
      • Creative Aging Mid-South-Creative Aging Ambassador
        • Varying days and shifts.    
        • Serve as an Entertainment Ambassador at senior citizen communities across the city. Most of the performances are Monday-Friday during the day, but occasionally we have evening or weekend performances. The times vary so the commitment is flexible.
        • Go here for more info.
      • Theatre Memphis-Backstage Crew
        • Varying days and shifts depending on show needs.               
        • Please only apply for a crew position if you are able to commit to the following: The nature of our backstage needs requires volunteers commit to an extended period of service. It is preferable that crew members volunteer for the entire technical rehearsal and performance process. If that is not possibly, for the consistency and quality of the show, you must sign up for most of the technical rehearsals and at least half of the performances. Applicants who can work the full schedule will be given preference. Our crew members are assigned specific duties, which they learn during a one to two week technical rehearsal period. They continue to fulfill those duties during the three to four week run of the show. To achieve the best possible show quality, we must have a crew that is well trained and consistent. Crew assignments are a vital part of the production. ALSO, when the final schedule is posted, we need you to stay true to the dates you have committed to. It is VERY hard to replace you on last minute or without notice.
        • Available Backstage Crew Positions May Include:
          • Assistant Stage Manager
            • Assists the Stage Manager in all areas of rehearsal. Manages backstage activities and crew during technical rehearsals and performance. Assistant Stage Management candidates must: Attend all rehearsals and performances (Evenings & Weekends, 5-6 days per week for up to 3 months). Be 16 or older, self-motivated and follow direction well. Have reliable transportation
          • Stage Crew (Floor Crew)
            • Moves scenery and manages properties for the production. Preferably attends all technical rehearsals and performances. Must attend most tech and at least half of the performances. (Evenings & Weekends, 5-6 days per week for up to 6 weeks). Must be 14 or older, self-motivated and follow direction well. Must have reliable transportation
          • Pin Crew (Fly Crew)
            • Moves flown (hanging) scenery for the production. Pin lines are operated through a counterweight system. Ropes are pulled to move the lines in and out (up and down). Preferably attends all technical rehearsals and performances. Must attend most tech and at least half of the performances. (Evenings & Weekends, 5-6 days per week for up to 6 weeks). Must be 14 or older; self-motivated, follow direction well, have good upper body strength, and be comfortable with heights. Must have reliable transportation.
          • Dresser
            • Helps keep the dressing rooms neat and organized. Helps with difficult costume changes. Preferably attends all technical rehearsals and performances. Must attend most tech and at least half of the performances. (Evenings & Weekends, 5-6 days per week for up to 6 weeks). Must be 14 or older; self-motivated, follow directions well, females are most often needed as dresser. Must have reliable transportation
          • Spotlight Technician
            • Spotlight Technicians run the follow spot during tech rehearsals and performance. Spotlight Technicians are required to: Commit to a schedule that fulfills the following needs — This is a show specific opportunity. – There will be a set schedule for the show, which requires spotlight technicians to commit to most of the tech rehearsals and at least half of the performances (evenings and weekends, 4-6 days per week for up to 5 weeks). However, attendance at all tech rehearsals and performances is highly preferred for this position. Preference will be given to applicants who can commit to the full schedule. Be 16 years of age or older. Be self-motivated, stay focused during down time and follow directions well. Have reliable transportation.
          • Sound Board Operator
            • Operate sound cues and or mic levels for the show. Preferably attends all technical rehearsals and performances. Must attend most tech and at least half of the performances. (Evenings & Weekends, 5-6 days per week for up to 6 weeks). Must be 14 or older, self-motivated, follow direction well, able to stay engaged in listening to a show, even after repeated performances. Must have reliable transportation.

See Volunteer Memphis’s calendar here for more opportunities.

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