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Spread cheer this holiday season by volunteering | © StockSnap / Pixabay
Spread cheer this holiday season by volunteering | © StockSnap / Pixabay

7 Places to Volunteer in Nashville During the Holiday Season

Picture of Leena Kollar
Updated: 5 December 2017

Between the Southern hospitality and strong sense of community, it should come as no surprise that Nashville is full of people who are looking for ways to give back. While the giving spirit is alive in the city all year long, the holiday season is when volunteer opportunities peak. Whether you’re a Nashville native who wants to find ways to spread cheer for the holidays, or you’ll be visiting and want to make your stay a philanthropic one, here are several great places to volunteer for the holidays.

Hands On Nashville

Hands On Nashville (HON) specializes in volunteer management for events held by Middle Tennessee corporations. The organization connects volunteers to service opportunities that support nonprofits in the areas of home energy savings, urban agriculture, youth leadership, and public education. While there are plenty of events on the HON calendar, one that is part of a 106-year Nashville tradition is done via NeedLink, which provides food for 200 homes. Teams made up of two or three volunteers deliver food to four homes using reusable grocery bags. The event takes place on December 16, 2017, and volunteers can sign up by calling +1 615 298 1108.

Nashville Rescue Mission

The Nashville Rescue Mission, which is open 365 days a year, has been servicing the homeless and the poor since 1954. The mission addresses homelessness with the belief that before someone’s heart can be open to change, their most basic needs must first be met. The organization serves nearly 2,000 meals a day, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It assists the homeless through emergency services and life recovery programs that focus on spiritual growth, education, and employment. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Nashville Rescue Mission, call +1 615 255 2475.

United Way of Metropolitan Nashville

The goal of United Way is to create strategic, scalable solutions that focus on education, financial stability, and health. These solutions are what move people from dependence to independence and create long-lasting changes. One of the programs that the organization needs volunteers for is the United Way Read to Succeed program. Volunteers, who are encouraged to bring a favorite childhood book to read, spend an hour with a group of students ages three to five. Reading to them fosters a joy of reading, which is crucial to promoting a longing for literacy. The next date for this event is January 9, 2018, and it takes place at 9 am. Those interested in signing up should email Kelsie McDuffie at kelsie.mcduffie@uwmn.org.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee partners with area food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, and homeless shelters to provide food for those in need in Middle Tennessee. Volunteers help with a variety of warehouse activities, such as sorting and boxing food donations, assembling bags and boxes for feeding programs, and bagging bulk produce into family-sized portions. Call +1 615 329 3491 to learn more about volunteering for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

FiftyForward

Servicing Davidson and Williamson counties, FiftyForward provides enrichment opportunities via educational and wellness programs for adults 50 years and older. The organization, founded in 1956, touches more than 20,000 Middle Tennessee residents every year. A couple of the unique volunteer opportunities available at FiftyForward include assisting at the USO Airport Welcome Center, where volunteers serve as greeters for active duty and retired military members who are waiting for flights. Volunteers can also help transport veterans to medical appointments at the Veterans Administration Hospital. To volunteer for either of these services, contact Liane Proctor at lproctor@fiftyforward.org.

Hope Clinic for Women

Founded in 1983 by a group of OB/GYNs, community leaders, and churches, Hope Clinic for Women is a faith-based organization that helps women facing unplanned pregnancies, pregnancy loss, and postpartum depression. The center provides healthcare services, limited prenatal care, professional counseling, and mentorship. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities throughout the year, including the holiday season. Volunteers are needed for things such as answering phone calls, cooking and delivering meals to new mothers, translating Spanish language materials, and one-on-one mentoring. For all volunteer inquiries, contact Missi Mitchell via email at mmitchell@hopeclinicforwomen.org or by phone at +1 615 627 2790.

Catholic Charities of Tennessee

The mission of the Catholic Charities of Tennessee is to “advocate for and provide services that enhance and enrich the quality of life for people in need.” The organization assists more than 60,000 people a year through more than 50 programs, one of which is the year-round Family Empowerment Program, which serves families transitioning out of homelessness. Volunteers who assist with this prepare home-cooked meals for families who recently entered into the program. Catholic Charities matches those who want to help with a family, and the volunteers prepare and deliver the food themselves. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Catholic Charities of Tennessee, call +1 615 352 3087.