Tag Archives: Volunteer Opportunities

A day on, not a day off: Spend your MLK Day helping others

This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 20 marks the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the civil rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Below we’ve rounded up a list of MLK Day service projects led by HON AmeriCorps members. (To view a full list of HON’s January opportunities, click here.)

If you serve on MLK Day, we want to know! Share your stories on social media using the hashtags #MLKDay and #DayON25.

Pick up litter to keep waterways clean
Richland Creek Watershed Alliance
Minimum age: 18, or 12 with an adult
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20

Collect your free, reusable #grabthelitter bag and volunteer with Richland Creek Watershed Alliance (RCWA) and pick up litter along the Richland Creek Greenway or in your local neighborhood. Learn how to prevent litter from washing into local streams, creeks, and rivers, and reuse your #grabthelitter bag to continue volunteering all year long.

Assemble furniture for McGruder Family Resource Center
Hands On Nashville
Minimum age: 18
When: 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Jan. 20

Build lounge and rocking chairs, side tables, and storage units to help McGruder Family Resource Center spruce up their patio and computer lab areas. These items will allow for easy organization of supplies and offer families that frequent McGruder comfortable places to relax and work. Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes and dress comfortably.

Plant a tree and beautify an assisted living center
Cumberland River Compact
Minimum age: 18 or 1 with an adult
When: 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Jan. 20

Get ready to get a little dirty and plant some trees with the Cumberland River Compact. Gloves, tools and snacks will be provided. Volunteers are asked to wear closed-toe shoes and bring reusable water bottles.

Round up and recycle with Oak Hill residents
Tennessee Environmental Council
Minimum age: 18 or 12 with an adult
When: 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20

Help educate and assist residents of Oak Hill in recycling at The Tennessee Environmental Council’s recycle round up. Residents will learn about their community’s recycling policies and help residents sort their hard-to-recycle materials (like computers, clothes, and phones.) Volunteers will monitor the recycling and composting stations, and help participants unload recyclables from their vehicles.

Provide shade and filter pollution by planting trees
Nashville Tree Foundation
Minimum age: 16 or 6 with an adult
When: 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18

Trees are being planted at three different Metro Nashville Public School locations in East Nashville. (See the separate registration pages in the link above!) This event is an annual, family-friendly tree planting with the Nashville Tree Foundation. These trees make Nashville a greener community by creating an oxygen-rich environment, and reducing flooding by absorbing great amounts of ground water.

Donate needed items for young adults experiencing homelessness
Hands On Nashville
Minimum age: 18 or 1 with an adult
When: Ongoing though Jan. 17

It only takes a few minutes, but donating electronics, art supplies, personal care items, bottled water, and gift cards can have a big impact for those served by Nashville Launch Pad. Items can be donated at the Hands On Nashville office, 37 Peabody St., before Jan. 18. Read the full list of requested items here.

 

 

Hands On Nashville’s 2019 Guide to Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

holiday guide graphic 1 for email or blog post.jpg

Looking for ways to give back to the community this holiday season? We’ve got you covered. Check out the volunteer opportunities below, followed by a list of several of our partners’ holiday in-kind needs too! Thank you for your support of Middle Tennessee’s nonprofits.

To view even more volunteer opportunities, visit our calendar.

2019 Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

Be Santa’s little helper and an event guide
Cheekwood Estate and Gardens
Minimum age: 16
When: Nov. 27 through Jan. 5

Celebrate the holiday season by serving at Cheekwood’s magical Holiday Lights event. The gardens are transformed into a winter wonderland designed to create an unforgettable, immersive, and engaging experience that has become a favorite Nashville holiday tradition. Volunteers help as event guides, Santa’s helper, art activity host, and more. Christmas cookies, hot chocolate, bottled water, and hand warmers are provided.

Wrap Christmas presents at Parnassus Books
Book’em
Minimum age: 18
When: Nov. 29 through Dec. 23

Each holiday season, Book’em partners with Parnassus Books to provide gift wrappers in the store. Book’em volunteers wrap customers’ books for free, and tips are accepted for their service, with all proceeds benefitting Book’em and their mission to bring kids and books together.

Warm up your vocal cords and carol for a cause with Fannie Battle
Fannie Battle Day Home for Children
Minimum age: 18, or 12 months and older with an adult
When: Dec. 1 through Dec. 24

Caroling for Kids is a creative and fun way to raise money and awareness for Fannie Battle. Volunteers can participate in traditional caroling, or through the new initiative, digital caroling, where volunteers can raise money online through JustGiving’s platform. These events make a huge impact in helping Fannie Battle continue to provide high-quality, affordable childcare, as well as programs dedicated to empowering families.

Support veterans by volunteering at the Building Lives Christmas Sale
Building Lives
Minimum age: 18, or 16 with an adult
When: Dec. 3 through Dec. 7

During the Building Lives Christmas Sale, shelves are stocked with toys for sale, and smiling faces are needed to help run the sale. Volunteer duties include operating a cash register, bagging and counting purchases, helping load purchases into customers’ vehicles, and keeping products stocked and orderly. All net proceeds go directly to the veterans served by Building Lives.

Direct and cheer runners at Rudolph’s Red Nose Run
Needlink Nashville
Minimum age: 18, or 16 with an adult
When: Saturday, Dec. 7

Cheer runners, help at water stations and snack tables, and generally make festive fun for runners and walkers. Volunteers will be encouraged to take photos of participants as they pass by. This event is rain or shine, so volunteers are encouraged to wear their warm, merry best in the spirit of holiday fun, and stay after the race for the Nashville Christmas Parade. NeedLink Nashville provides basic needs to people in times of crisis by providing short-term assistance and links to other resources.

Offer encouragement and event support at the Jingle Bell Run
Arthritis Foundation, Southeast Region, Tennessee
Minimum age: 13, or 8 with an adult
When: Saturday, Dec. 7

Before the Arthritis Foundation’s signature race, help organizers set up, register runners, and, afterward, assist with cleanup. The Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run is a festive race for charity where participants can strut their stuff in their favorite holiday costume and feel good about doing good.

Act as an Angel Tree liaison at local malls with the Salvation Army
Salvation Army
Minimum age: 15, certain opportunities 12 with an adult
When: Ongoing though Dec. 20

Give out and document Angels and who they are assigned to, process gifts as donors return their gift bags filled with presents, and locate and distribute gifts to Angel Tree families before the holidays begin. The Salvation Army has opportunities to serve with the Angel Tree program at multiple locations this holiday season, with flexible hours available.

Deliver hot meals on Christmas Day
Nashville CARES
Minimum age: 18
When: Wednesday, Dec. 25

Spend two hours of Christmas Day delivering meals to those who need them. Delivery drivers will be picking up routes and hot meals to deliver to client homes all in a similar area. Nashville CARES is the premier caregiver in the region for treating clients living with, or at risk for, HIV/AIDS.

Be a Holiday Hero with Youth Villages
Youth Villages
Minimum age: 18, or 5 with an adult
When: Ongoing

Youth Villages has individually scheduled opportunities to spread holiday cheer through a gift drive, collecting donated presents, decorating porches for kids in foster care, stuffing holiday stockings, and more.

2019 Holiday In-Kind Needs

Many of Hands On Nashville’s Community Partners accept donated items. Here’s a holiday wishlist for several of our partners. To donate items, contact the agency directly and please let the agencies know that Hands On Nashville sent you.

American Red Cross
Contact:
Tonya Glasgow, Tonya.glasgow@redcross.org, 615-393-2500
Needs: Blank holiday cards and envelopes that deployed service members can send back home.
How to donate: Please send sets of blank cards/envelopes to:
American Red Cross
Tonya Glasgow
2201 Charlotte Ave., Nashville TN, 37203

Book’em
Contact:
Stacey Vanyo, stacey@bookem-kids.org, 615-255-1820
Website: bookem-kids.org/donate/
Needs: Book donations of new and like-new books through book drives or their charity list on Amazon.
How to donate: Please call 615-255-1820 to schedule a drop-off time. Donations can be brought to the office at 161 Rains Avenue, Nashville TN, 37203. Book’em is located inside the Nashville Public Television building.

FiftyForward
Contact:
Robin Johnson, rjohnson@fiftyforward.org, 615-743-3424
Needs: FiftyForward is looking for holiday gifts for older adults served by Supportive Care programs. Donors will be provided with an individualized wish list and asked to purchase items valued at approximately $100.

Additionally, FiftyForward appreciates:

• Commercially available, boxed snack cakes for distribution with Thanksgiving and Christmas day meal deliveries.

• Single-serve canned goods with pop-tops for seniors’ emergency food needs via the Fresh/Meals on Wheels program.

• Donations to fill the daily needs closet, which the organization uses to distribute items to low-income seniors it serves: Toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, and basic toiletries.

How to donate: Please call or e-mail in advance to confirm quantities needed and to arrange for dropoff of items. Items may generally be delivered to the FiftyForward Patricia Hart Building at 174 Rains Ave., Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Heimerdinger Foundation
Contact: volunteer@hfmeals.org or (615) 730-5632
Needs: three vegetable peelers, two box graters, two zesters, two spiralizers, latex gloves of all sizes, gallon size ziplock bags, sharpies, colored pens, four full-size hotel pans, brazier with lid, stock pot with lid.
How to donate: Contact The Heimerdinger Foundation for more information.

Preston Taylor Ministries
Contact:
Bethany Jones, bethany@prestontaylorministries.org, 615-963-3996
Needs: Items ($5-10) to stock the stores for Wrapping Parties, including:

• Gifts for mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc.: jewelry, body sprays, lotions, soaps, hair accessories, frames, trinkets, holiday decorations, scarves, nail polish, candles, etc.

• Gifts for fathers, grandfathers, uncles, etc.: neckties, bowties, hats, baseball caps, sports paraphernalia (Titans, Predators, Grizzlies, Sounds), watches, wallets, cologne, tools, flash lights.

• Gifts for children: toys, baby toys, cars, action figures, baby dolls, stuffed animals, bouncy balls, party favors, bubbles, coloring books, sports equipment, games (traditional and electronic), puzzles, movies, etc.

• Additional ideas: books, coffee cups, mugs, gloves, mittens, beanies, sunglasses, socks, slippers, umbrellas.

How to donate: Please contact Bethany at bethany@prestontaylorministries.org before dropping off. Deliveries should be brought to 4014 Indiana Ave., Nashville TN, 37209.

Youth Villages
Contact:
Julie Abbott, julie.abbott@youthvillages.org, 615-250-7266
Needs: Holiday stockings filled with hygiene items; new toys, games, books, journals/pens for teens; nonperishable food and grocery gift cards for holiday food baskets.
How to donate: Please drop all items off by Dec. 6 at 3310 Perimeter Hill Dr., Nashville TN, 37211.

Check out these family-friendly Fall Break volunteer opportunities

fall break opps

Whether you’re a college student home for Fall Break, or a parent looking for a wholesome (and free!) way for your kiddos to pass the time, we’re here to connect you to volunteer opportunities at lots of great Nashville organizations. The opportunities highlighted below fall between Oct. 5-13, but many agencies have opportunities available all season long. Click the title of each opportunity to learn more and sign up.

Also: look for ways to give back to your community year-round on our calendar.

1. Learn to garden while prepping for the upcoming harvest

Bellevue Edible Learning Lab Inc.
Minimum age: 16, or 4 with an adult
When: Saturdays, Oct. 5 and Oct. 12

The Bell Garden serves as a teaching and learning lab for volunteers, students of Bellevue Middle Prep, and the community. Volunteers can do a variety of things, including sow seeds and harvest plants, water and weed, work in the greenhouse, tend the chicken flock, and can and preserve fruits and veggies. The garden runs on volunteer power, and no experience is necessary.

2. Serve meals to nourish those in need

St. John’s United Methodist Church
Minimum age: 18, or 13 with an adult
When: Thursday, Oct. 10

Thursday Night Community Meals at St. Johns UMC offer free, nutritious meals in a safe, friendly, and caring environment to a diverse group of clients at risk of hunger and some experiencing homelessness. Volunteers help with last-minute preparations, serving the meal, helping clean up, and socializing with diners.

3. Maintain a Nashville treasure while learning about history

The Nashville City Cemetery Association
Minimum age: 18, or 16 with an adult
When: Saturday, Oct. 12

Enjoy the peacefulness of the Nashville City Cemetery while working to restore the grounds and prepare for winter. By clearing brush, weeding, and raking leaves, volunteers will help preserve a historical landmark, and show respect to an important piece of Nashville history. The Nashville City Cemetery Association, Inc., was formed in 1998 to protect, preserve, restore, and raise public awareness of the Nashville City Cemetery. Bring drinking water, gloves, and any gardening tools you have!

4. Take tickets at the Nashville Film Festival

The Nashville Film Festival
Minimum age: 16
When: Thursday, Oct. 3, through Saturday, Oct. 12

Lights, camera, action! The Nashville Film Festival is casting A-list volunteers to assist at its annual festival. Volunteers will usher guests to their seats, collect and distribute ballots for film judging, set up and tear down, check credentials for VIP areas and ticketed events, and provide light cleaning of theaters and VIP areas. Plus: Volunteers receive festival vouchers.

 5. Feed and socialize with school-aged children

Martha O’Bryan Center
Minimum age: 18, or 12 with an adult
When: Mondays, Oct. 7 through Nov. 18

Interact with children and families while serving a hot meal to those in the middle of a food desert. Martha O’Bryan’s Family Resource Center hosts Kid’s Café every Monday for those in need. Volunteers will help set up, serve food, and try and make the community comfortable while they share a meal together.

6. Advocate for recycling at the Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party

Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party
Minimum age: 15, or 12 with an adult
When: Saturday, Oct. 5

Help make the Pickin’ Party waste free by assisting attendees in correctly sorting their food waste into the compost bin, and all recyclables into the recycling bin. With volunteers’ help,  80 percent of waste can be recycled into new materials. Training will be provided prior to the event. The Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party combines the tastes and talents of East Nashville to help preserve one of the city’s most unique landmarks, the Cornelia Fort AirPark.

7. Cheer on cyclists with Bike MS

Bike MS
Minimum age: 12
When: Saturday, Oct. 5

Smiling faces and encouragement are needed for the Bike to Jack & Back bicycle ride. Volunteers will also help with setup, teardown, and food service. Bike MS is the fundraising cycling series of the National MS Society, and to date, has raised more than $1.3 billion to end Multiple Sclerosis.

8. Offer support at the Nashville AIDS Walk

Nashville CARES
Minimum age: 18, or 5 with an adult
When: Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4 and 5

Offering a full day of activities, the 28th annual Nashville AIDS Walk needs event volunteers. In addition to celebrating the amazing work of Nashville CARES, volunteers are asked to help set up, register walkers, hand out water, and offer assistance as hundreds of supporters come out to bring awareness to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Middle Tennessee. The Nashville AIDS walk is a family-friendly event that has raised more than $3 million for the cause. Pre-registered volunteers receive a T-shirt and lunch.

9. Create crafts with The Family Center

The Family Center
Minimum age: 18, or 1 with an adult
When: Saturday, Oct. 5

Grab your glitter and start crafting with The Family Center to make calm-down bottles for their clients. Volunteers will fill bottles with water and glitter to act as a calming mechanism. The Family Center works to break multi-generational cycles of child abuse, neglect, and trauma by providing a safe, supportive space where parents and/or their children can connect and grow.

 

HON Community Partners: Do YOU have family-friendly volunteer opportunities during Fall Break (Oct. 5-13) that aren’t featured here? Let us know so we can add them!