Volunteer Opportunities in Atlanta

The holidays are a perfect time to volunteer in Atlanta. And, who knows, you may enjoy it so much that you just can’t stop. Take a look at several Atlanta organizations that always need volunteers.

Many hands make light work. (Photo by Hannah Busing/Unsplash)

Atlanta Mission

Atlanta Mission is the city’s largest and longest-running provider of services to homeless men, women and children. Areas in which you can volunteer at the Atlanta Mission are dining and food services, child care, vocational, staff services, thrift, social activities, special events and spiritual services.

Where: 2353 Bolton Road NW

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta

Big Brothers Big Sisters is all about one-on-one relationships. (Photo by Maurice Malachi)

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta works with volunteers, parents and families to provide one-on-one mentoring relationships with the kids they serve. The Big Brothers Big Sisters website explains how to become a big brother or big sister and what the responsibilities are.

Where: 680 Murphy Ave. SW

Corners Outreach

The mission of Corners Outreach is to equip metro Atlanta’s underserved students of color and their families to lead full lives through educational development and economic opportunities. During the school year, Corners Outreach needs volunteers for the early learning program. Jobs include reading books in Spanish or English, preparing crafts, aiding parents with more than one child during program hours, donating healthy snacks or supplies and providing books for toddlers.

Where: 1854 Shackleford Court, Norcross

Covenant House Georgia

Covenant House Georgia is a shelter. And it provides more than a bed and a meal for youth experiencing homelessness and escaping trafficking. Covenant House shows unconditional love and gives comprehensive support so that the youths who come there can and will realize their fullest potential. What can you do to help? Plenty. All new individual volunteers must be at least 18 years old and must attend a volunteer orientation prior to signing up for volunteer opportunities. Once you are signed up, you can be a recreation volunteer, a gardening volunteer, a clothing closet or life skills volunteer or you can prepare and share a meal. Groups and corporate teams are welcome to volunteer.

Where: 1559 Johnson Road NW

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Volunteer at Fernbank. The dinosaurs will appreciate it. (Photo courtesy of Fernbank Museum of Natural History)

Here’s your chance to commune with the dinosaurs. Fernbank Museum of Natural History hosts hundreds of volunteers a year (312 to date his year), ranging in age from teens to adults of all ages, and even corporate groups. Volunteers are essential to the success of Fernbank Museum. The museum offers a variety of roles, from greeting guests to behind-the-scenes assistance and more. Community service volunteering opportunities are available. The Fernbank Youth Interpreter program is an opportunity for young people, ages 13-17, to be directly involved in public events and education at Fernbank Museum. These volunteers must commit to the program for a minimum of one year and provide a minimum of 45 hours of service to the museum. Check the Fernbank website for more information.

Hands On Atlanta

Hands On Atlanta offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. (Photo courtesy of Hands On Atlanta)

Hands On Atlanta always offers a variety of ways to volunteer. Areas where volunteers are needed include education, food insecurity and the environment. You can create a team or get your family involved.

For a seasonal opportunity, join Hands On Atlanta’s Festival of Tree’s Train Team. You will be helping riders on and off the train, ensuring smiles and safety and leave everyone feeling merry and bright. The Festival of Trees is located at Georgia World Congress Center thus festival goers will be riding MARTA. These spots are available for people 12 years old and older. The festival ends on Nov. 26 and it’s closed for Thanksgiving so the time to help is Nov. 24 from 9:30 until 2 p.m.

Here is an opportunity that sounds like fun. People 16 and older can volunteer to “work” at Dad’s Garage Theatre. Your job: helping the front of house department with different tasks to help the patron experience before, during and after the show.

Where: 384 Northyards Blvd.

HOPE Atlanta

HOPE Atlanta needs volunteers Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to help prepare and serve warm meals to food-insecure friends. The Women’s Community Kitchen serves women and children from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Also, HOPE Atlanta is always looking for food and supplies to aid outreach, housing and hunger relief teams. There are a range of kits needed, from move-in and hygiene supplies for families transitioning out of homelessness to meal packs for the food-insecure.

Where: 458 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE

United Way of Greater Atlanta

United Way of Greater Atlanta always offers volunteer opportunities. One example is Homelessness Compassion Outreach, a weekly outreach designed to build relationships with individuals experiencing homelessness and to provide meals, hygiene products and clothing. Every Thursday evening, volunteers gather for training to learn more about homelessness, outreach and what to expect.

The team then travels together in a Frontline Response van to engage with individuals who face the everyday struggle of survival on the streets in and around metro Atlanta and Dekalb County areas.

The goal is to meet immediate needs and to form trusting relationships in order to help people transition off the street whenever they are ready to make that decision. Whatever their story or circumstance, United Way builds intentional relationships and share not only meals but also invitations to new lives.

Roles for volunteers include handing out food bags to individuals, building relationships through conversation, informing individuals of the homelessness hotline.

Where: 40 Courtland St. NE

Seasonal Ways to Give

Winter Coat Drive Benefiting Atlanta Mission

Visit Marcus Bar & Grill to donate a coat and enjoy some hospitality. (Photo by Annie Spratt/Unsplash)

On Dec. 10, from 4:30 until 7:30 p.m., join Marcus & Friends for a winter coat drive benefiting the Atlanta Mission. Help Marcus Samuelsson of Marcus Bar & Grill – with your coat to donate, if you can – and enjoy bites and specialty cocktails available for purchase on the patio and bar area, plus a non-alcoholic and spiked hot cocoa and cider bar. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Boogie Lov. Expect local brands to be popping up shops, too.

Toy Drive for Agape Youth and Family Center

PXG Atlanta is collecting packaged toys for Agape Youth and Family Center’s Holiday Gift Store through Dec. 11.  The mission of Agape Youth and Family Center is to empower and support underserved families to help them discover, embrace and achieve their full potential. The purpose of the annual Holiday Gift Store is to help fill the gap when families are unable to make holiday wishes come true. In an effort to help the nonprofit secure more donations, PXG Atlanta is collecting packaged toys for the families in need at its Buckhead store. 

Toys can be dropped off at PXG Atlanta during the regular store hours and need to be in their original packaging. Through this partnership, PXG Atlanta aims to help Agape’s Holiday Gift Store reach the goal of providing more than 2,000 toys to local families.

Customers who provide a packaged toy for Agape will be automatically entered into a raffle to win a dozen PXG golf balls and a PXG hat. One lucky winner will be announced on Dec. 11. Customers are limited to three raffle tickets, but are encouraged to donate as many toys as they can to help Agape reach its goal.

Organizations coming to Atlanta for meetings and conventions often include community engagement on their agendas. Find out more about Atlanta Community Engagement or learn about Corporate Volunteer Opportunities in Atlanta.

Journalist Carol Carter writes and edits for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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