Nov 19, 2022 - Things to Do

Volunteer guide: 5 ways to give back in Nashville

Photo: courtesy of Musicians On Call

The season of giving is almost upon us, so we rounded up five organizations that need your help in the Volunteer State.

1. Feed the hungry

Opened in 1978, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee provides food to people facing hunger.

Why it matters: Last year, Second Harvest provided more than 12 million meals to food-insecure individuals, including over 20,000 children.

What to expect: Daily volunteers are needed to help sort and pack food donations, prepare backpacks and assist with special events and administrative support.

Details: Get updates on volunteer opportunities here.

Other needs: Non-perishable food donations are permitted. Find out more here.

Photo: courtesy of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee

2. Support those experiencing homelessness

Room In The Inn has several programs to assist those facing housing insecurity.

Why it matters: One program called Winter Shelter provides safe shelter, warm meals and fellowship from November to March, the coldest months of the year.

What to expect: Volunteers can assist with the Winter Shelter program or serve a meal.

Details: Potential volunteers are required to attend an orientation session. Find out more here.

Other needs: Donate money here, or view Room In The Inn's Amazon wish list.

3. Assist our veterans

Operation Stand Down assists veterans and their families with careers, community and crisis services.

Why it matters: OSD's goal is to reach veterans early in their transition to civilian life in order to prevent hardships.

What to expect: Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks including administrative work, sorting mail, painting, cleaning and event help.

Details: Fill out this form to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Other needs: Donate here.

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

4. Foster a pet

When a pet owner experiences a crisis, Pawster Nashville will find housing for their dog or cat until the owner has recovered.

Why it matters: Pawster's goal is to end pet homelessness before it begins. The shelter's current reunite rate is 91%.

What to expect: Volunteer needs include driving animals to appointments, providing support at events and assisting with social media.

Details: Sign up here to volunteer.

Other needs: Donate money here, or view Pawster's Chewy wish list.

Photo: Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

5. Play music for hospital patients

Since 1999, Musicians On Call has played live and recorded music for hospital patients and their families.

Why it matters: MOC seeks to improve the overall well-being of hospital patients through musical performances.

What to expect: Musicians are needed for virtual shows, yet those who don't play an instrument can still sign up to host performances. MOC is also preparing to allow volunteers to perform in person.

Details: Learn about current volunteer opportunities here.

Other needs: Donate here.

To find more volunteer opportunities, check out Hands On Nashville, Giving Tuesday and Volunteer Match.


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