Retirement is a great time to get involved in causes we care about and focus on our passions. There are several ways to allocate your time, experience and skills to help out in the Knoxville community, including causes like literacy, learning, nature, and pets. Here are several choices for volunteer options in the Knoxville area.
The Knox County Public Library is always searching for volunteers to help fill a variety of needs. The library has on-site opportunities to help with cleanliness and organization like shelving books, clean materials, and keeping the computers clean and disinfected. They also have several special programs, including Books for the Homebound where volunteers will visit people unable to leave their homes to drop off and pick up books. Volunteers can also work at special events like the Children’s Festival of Reading or Imagination Library.
There are also opportunities to share your knowledge at the Friends of Literacy center. The Knoxville nonprofit works with adults in the area to provide free literacy and high school equivalency diploma classes throughout the county. They accept volunteers to be instructors and classroom aides for the classes held in the daytime and evening.
Retirees who want to work with young people can apply at Junior Achievement of East Tennessee. The organization works with youth who range from kindergarten to high school to provide hands-on training that will equip them to make smart economic choices, plan for their future, and be ready to be successful in the career they choose.
The Knoxville Zoo is a great place for animal lovers to volunteer. They regularly need help with educational programs and special events for the community, and also have a number of opportunities to be a zoo aide. In order to volunteer, you must be an active zoo member or the family of a zoo member.
Dog lovers can get involved in Adopt a Golden Knoxville. The organization is completely volunteer run and is committed to reducing the number of golden retrievers in shelters by helping to find homes in the area. They need volunteers to help with many things, including walking the dogs, reviewing applications of potential pet parents, providing temporary foster homes, and helping out with events in the community.
Gardeners can appreciate the great outdoors and volunteer their time to a worthy cause by getting involved at Cac Beardsley Community Farm. The farm grows over 10,000 pounds of produce annually that’s donated to food pantries in the county to help feed the homeless and those in need. Over 1,000 gardeners donate their time every year, and the organization welcomes participants of every level to help plant, compost, build and nurture the garden.
The Knoxville Botanical Garden has nearly finished fundraising enough money to fully fund their Center for Urban Agriculture initiative. As part of the project, they’ve converted parts of the property into a combination indoor farmers market and education kitchen, and they’re looking for gardeners and volunteers to help staff the exciting new development.
These opportunities are just a few of the many available around Knoxville. No matter what your passion, you’ll find a way to get involved and stay busy with a cause that you love.
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