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53 volunteer opportunities in Nashville

This list of volunteer opportunities includes everything from becoming a docent for Centennial Park to walking shelter dogs — keep reading to find an org you’re passionate about.

Hands on Nashville members pick up lumber outside.

Nashville has a variety of organizations with volunteer opportunities.

Photo by @blizzardzhusky via @honashville

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Maybe you have some extra time on your hands, or maybe you’re just in the giving spirit. All we know is there are more than enough great causes in Nashville to give your time to. Whether you’re an animal lover, an artsy type, a natural mentor, or a health care enthusiast — there’s a nearby volunteer opportunity for you. Here are 53 ways to get involved in Music City.

If you want to be there for abuse victims

Thistle Farms | Volunteer opportunities are available for groups of two to 10 and activities include gift set assembly, boxing candles, tagging apparel, gardening, and administrative tasks.

Sexual Assault Center | Volunteers have the opportunity to become trained for the organization’s Medical Accompaniment Program (MAP), which allows advocates to provide crisis intervention and support survivors during the evidence collection exam. Additional opportunities include providing that same support via the Crisis Line Program or contacting legislators to encourage voting for or against legislation via the Political Advocacy Volunteer program.

Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence | Various volunteering opportunities include event planning to help raise money, an online ambassador meant to amplify the coalition’s social reach, an office assistant, and a writer to submit letters in response to stories that foster victim blaming.

Metro Office of Family Safety | Choose from six different roles which include facilitating special events, supporting daily office flow, donation management and fundraising, directly working with affected children, and donation item pickup.

If you have a passion for supporting disabled community members

Friends Life Community | The seven volunteer opportunities offered generally fall between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Occasional opportunities with the Treat Truck and Social Club are available on evenings and weekends. Roles include peer mentorship, assisting with the performing arts curriculum, and vehicle maintenance.

Special Olympics Tennessee | Volunteers can coach, train, officiate, and even play alongside Special Olympics athletes.

NashvillePublicLibrary_Lobby_NASH_Jan2023.jpg

Nashville Public Library’s main branch. | Photo by NASHtoday

Natural-born teachers + mentors

Nashville Public Library | Volunteers assist with projects that range from shelving books to reading for the Talking Library.

Book’em | Join a community of over 300 volunteers in supporting literacy initiatives through activities like reading with preschool and elementary school students, preparing donated books for distribution, and more.

PENCIL | This nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing equitable access to education for MNPS students. Volunteer opportunities include high-impact tutoring in reading or math, sorting and distributing donated school supplies, and fulfilling experiences that serve students. Additional virtual-only opportunities are available through PENCIL Connect and Proudly PENCIL Virtual Learning Series.

Nashville Adult Literacy Council | Volunteers are trained and matched with English language learners and literacy learners for virtual one-on-one tutoring. All matches are based on availability and other preferences.

United Way’s Raise Your Hand | Tutors work in classrooms after school with teachers to assist students in first through fifth grades needing extra attention in reading and math. The program serves Williamson County Schools, Franklin Special School District, and Robertson County Schools.

Oasis Center | Dedicated to enhancing the lives of Middle Tennessee’s youth, the organization offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities, from mentoring and assisting with bike builds and workshops to packing lunches and more.

Girls on the Run Middle Tennessee | Express interest in coaching, one-time volunteering, group opportunities, and more to support GOTR’s mission of “inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident.”

If you’re a mental health advocate

National Alliance of Mental Illness | This organization asks that you fill out a form online with detailed criteria like your availability and desired service area to be matched with volunteering opportunities.

Tennessee System of Care | You can apply to be a part of the TA Network as an organization or an individual by filling out this online form. The network of experts conduct trainings and consultations on a variety of mental health topics based on when an opportunity arises that fits your schedule.

Insight Counseling Centers | Four opportunities include roles specializing in marketing and development to raise awareness for the organization, an intake practitioner to welcome those reaching out for help, special events, and administrative volunteers.

If you’re interested in healthcare

American Red Cross Tennessee Region | Help others become CPR and first aid certified, aid in disaster relief, or volunteer your time for blood services across the city. Opportunities fall under six different categories.

Nashville CARES | Volunteers assist programs across nutrition, fundraising, education, administration, special events, and the clinic to support the mission to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic across Middle Tennessee. A minimum of a six-month time commitment is required and the number of hours you serve are up to you.

The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial | Volunteer opportunities include patient visits, pet therapy, mail and flower delivery, and clerical office support. Volunteers are required to show proof of MMR and chicken pox/varicella immunity and commit to a 2-4 hour weekly shift for at least three months.

Alive | Support Middle Tennessee’s hospice community via opportunities across a variety of specializations like hair styling, bedside music, and storytelling.

If you’re passionate about supporting local community minority groups

Martha O’Bryan Center | By filling out a form, interested volunteers will express the time in which they wish to commit, as well as what program interests and volunteering type they wish to help. Some interest areas include early learning, youth development, food bank, and work readiness.

Hispanic Family Foundation | Help improve the lives of Nashville’s Hispanic families by either volunteering in the office or for special events like baby showers, food drives, and the Balia program.

TN Pride Chamber | Support Nashville’s LGBTQ community via serving at special events throughout the year, or more regularly during monthly Brewing Up Business Networking events (which take place the third Thursday of every month).

Painting of a field, skyline, and paper airplanes on a dumpster

Turnip Green Creative Reuse’s grant will help fund gardening workshops and other initiatives next summer. | Photo by NASHtoday

If you want to stay in your home

Turnip Green Creative Reuse | Volunteers are invited to serve from home by helping sort, process, and package materials.

Monroe Harding | Put together cooking and art supply kits from the comfort of your own home or offer virtual tutoring services.

Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee | Volunteer to help the community’s youth prepare for their futures. You will be provided with a set of classroom materials and the organization’s time commitment is based upon which program you are participating in.

If you’re an animal lover

Nashville Humane Association | NHA’s volunteer program is structured into five specialized teams, providing volunteers the opportunity to concentrate on the areas they are most passionate about: dog care, cat care, community outreach, pet services, and shelter operations.

Metro Animal Care and Control | Some volunteer opportunities include grooming, clerical work, photography, and assisting with adoptions.

Nashville Wildlife Conservation Center | Help transport injured animals to the wildlife hospital, join the education team to inform the community about our wildlife neighbors (Friday and Saturday volunteers are especially in need), or help rehabilitate injured wildlife.

Wags & Walks | As part of the Wags Club, you’ll walk, feed, and play with pups while they await for adoption.

Crossroads Campus | Help bake dog treats, pick up and drop off animals for spaying and neutering services, and foster cats or dogs that may not do well in a shelter environment.

Nashville Zoo | One-time and long-term volunteers are needed for special events hosted by the zoo, as well two opportunities for education volunteers in the Docents and ZooTeens programs.

For the outdoorsy types

Friends of Shelby Park | Contribute to protecting and preserving the East Nashville park through activities like trail maintenance, habitat restoration, and involvement in community events and educational programs.

Root Nashville | Help Root Nashville work towards the goal of planting 500,000 trees in Davidson County by 2050.

Tennessee State Parks | A variety of opportunities include maintenance and construction of trails, campground hosting, and signage projects.

Centennial Park Conservancy | The Parthenon is actively looking for docents to be the link between Greek history, Nashville history, American art, and the community via tours and giving directions. Other programs include working with Kidsville or with short-term projects like Musicians Corner and Nashville Earth Day.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville | Volunteers can work on a Habitat build site, teach a class in the Homeowner Academy, or spend time at the ReStore.

Tennessee Environmental Council | Check the events calendar for area creek cleanups, pollinator projects, tree plantings, and other year-round opportunities.

Get excited for these future exhibitions coming to the Frist Art Museum in 2023. | Photo by NASHtoday

Get excited for future exhibitions coming to the Frist Art Museum in 2023. | Photo by NASHtoday

The artsy types

Frist Art Museum | Volunteers are needed to help in the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, gift shop, and at guest services.

OZ Arts Nashville | Volunteer ushers work ~four-hour shifts and availability for more than one performance throughout the season is preferred.

Daybreak Arts | Help keep the studio running smoothly via virtual and in-person volunteering roles. Opportunities include, but are not limited to, administrative duties, art education, and event sales.

If you want to help fight food insecurity

The Nashville Food Project | Help tend to this organization’s garden or volunteer prepping food in the kitchen to combat food insecurity in the Nashville community.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee | General volunteer options include helping sort and pack food donations, preparing backpacks for hungry children, and assisting with special events and administrative support. Featured opportunities across Middle Tennessee are updated via the website.

The Store | Volunteer at the year-round free grocery store to help families facing food insecurity. The Store offers in-store volunteer shifts (bagging groceries, stocking shelves, etc.) and monthly inventory shifts.

The Salvation Army Nashville | Volunteer for food prep, as a food pantry assistant, or for the community meals program. Other opportunities include Dress For Success Closet Helpers, Family Empowerment Program Child Care, and Cold Patrol Community Canvasing.

St. Luke’s Community House | Community opportunities include providing access to food via the food bank or mobile meals program. There are also seasonal needs for holidays, tax prep, and administrative support.

If you want to help your neighbors in need

Hands on Nashville | This organization supports more than 200 nonprofits, civic agencies, and schools with a specific program dedicated to disaster relief as a partner for volunteer activation and management in Metro Nashville’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.

Nashville Launch Pad | Emergency shelter volunteers are needed for serving food, coordinating show sign-ups, and spending time with guests; meal volunteers (recommended for groups and families) are tasked with dropping off prepared or catered meals.

Nashville Rescue Mission | Various opportunities exist via the organization’s calendar to aid our neighbors fighting hunger, homelessness, and other factors.

FiftyForward | This organization supports adults ages 55+ utilizing their skills to benefit young people, veterans, homebound seniors, and those in the Nashville community who struggle with hunger.

Nashville Diaper Connection | Volunteers primarily work on packaging diapers, ensuring they are counted, labeled, and prepared into packs for distribution.

Mother to Mother | Help improve the lives of local mothers by folding clothes, sorting donations, and assisting with other tasks around the warehouse.

Inspiritus | Become a relationship building volunteer and support low-income families in Middle Tennessee via 10+ opportunities, including donation sorting, meal prep, garden planting and cleaning + the art therapy program.

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