Many of us hope to focus on causes we care about and to pursue our passions once we retire. From pets and learning to nature and literacy, there are several ways you can contribute your skills, experience, and time to the Memphis community.
Shelby County Schools, which serves all of Memphis, offers plenty of tutoring and mentorship opportunities. The mentoring program matches community volunteers with school-based mentoring to assist with a broad array of needs, such as goal-setting, life skills, and college readiness. They also need a variety of volunteers to assist in roles like classroom assistant, class speaker, coach for clubs and teams, hall monitor, guest reader, and more.
Another way that seniors can help children find their way in life and at school is through the Foster Grandparents Program at Regional One Health. Older adults spend anywhere from 15 to 25 hours per week helping children in need. For their service, they receive a modest stipend.
There is a wide range of volunteer jobs available at the Memphis Public Library. There is a need for volunteers for the bookstore, welcome desk, genealogy assistant, data entry, shelving books, helping with the reading program, and much more. They also need someone to give tours to adult groups and schools from around the community.
The Mid-South Fair & Rodeo in Memphis is always in search of volunteers for the Farmtastic Exhibit, gate greeters, livestock handling, stage hands, and Hands-On at the Fair. The army of over 100 volunteers is what makes the ten-day event possible.
The Memphis Zoo gives animal lovers an opportunity to help out by working in the gift shop, operating rides, feeding and watering animals, cleaning barns, giving tours, and helping out with special events and fundraisers, such as the Earth Day Celebration and Dreamnight at the Zoo.
If you prefer pets to wild animals, Mid-South Therapy Dogs and Friends might be a better fit for you. They believe in giving people of all ages the opportunity to experience the magic of a human-animal bond. You will have the chance to provide animal-assisted interactions in libraries, health care facilities, youth facilities, and schools.
If you live in an apartment or senior living facility, you may not have many opportunities to put your green thumb to use. Fortunately, there are several area organizations that would love your talents. For instance, the Memphis Botanic Garden relies on thousands of volunteers to keep it blooming. They need seasonal and year-round gardeners of all abilities and interests for everything from weekly chores to occasional garden clean-ups. They have 26 beautiful gardens on 96 acres.
The Memphis Area Master Gardeners are a group of trained volunteers who share gardening information with the community. Before becoming a Master Gardener, you must go through training offered by the University of Tennessee Extension. Once you have completed the course, you will develop and conduct educational programs related to horticulture and help implement community involvement projects.
This is just a snapshot of Memphis volunteer opportunities. You will find plenty of ways to stay busy and social doing the activities you love when you do just a little searching.
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