Interested in Volunteering in Nashville? Music City is a great place to give back.
I spent a week in Nashville partnering with local organizations that serve the city’s vulnerable populations, which showed me that there are a lot of unmet needs in Nashville.
Working with folks on the ground who have volunteer “shift work” ready to go is an ethical and easy way to help out. They know what the needs are, but just need some extra pairs of hands — yours!
So, whether you’re just in town for the music or you’re ready to call it your home, here are three places that you can make a big impact!
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Nashville Rescue Mission
Nashville Rescue Mission is one of the best places to do volunteering in Nashville simply because the scope of its impact. Its plan is to bring hope for today, hope for tomorrow, and hope for eternity to the people of Nashville.
You can partner with the mission to provide a hot meal, clothing, and place to rest to Nashville residents, as well as invest in their brighter future.
The Mission says that, “we assess each individual’s situation and develop a plan specifically for them that will take them out of the situation they are now in and help them make plans for a better tomorrow.”
We worked at different organizations around Nashville for the week we were there, and my students literally begged me to assign them to a second shift at Nashville Rescue Mission. It’s a great place!
1716 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208
639 Lafayette Street, Nashville, TN 37203
The minimum volunteer age is 10 years old. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
To sign up for a shift, please click here. If you plan to bring a big group, you should email or call first. Here’s the info: firstname.lastname@example.org | 615-312-1544
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Second Harvest Food Bank Middle Tennessee
Donating food, and assessing and sorting previous donations is a highly effective way of volunteering in Nashville. You can make a huge impact to stamp out hunger in Middle Tennessee in only a few hours.
There is always a need for more hands on deck, so you can look through the volunteering opportunities on the calendar here.
Be sure to bring a jacket in case you are assigned to work in the 40-degree cooler.
You’ll need to create a Volunteer Hub account to register for your first shift.
The minimum age for volunteers is 12, except for Family Night on Thursday when the minimum age is 6. Volunteers under age 18 must have a youth volunteer waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.
Habitat of Humanity of Greater Nashville
There are so many opportunities to serve with Habitat for Humanity, so it’s one of the best places to go if you are interested in volunteering in Nashville.
If you live in the area and are confident with tools, registering here to help with a potential build is a great way to get involved. Habitat teams build 32-50 houses a year in Davidson, Wilson, Dickson, and Cheatham counties.
If you will be in Nashville for a short trip, or don’t feel comfortable on a construction site, then you can register to help in the “Restore” with opportunities to help customers, stock shelves, and sort donations Monday through Saturday, from 9AM – 5:30pM.
When I was there, the Restore had just moved into its awesome new location. My team and I had the opportunity to help set up and merchandise it. Over our three day stay, we were really able to see the impact every little bit of help makes, as the store went from an empty warehouse to a real store!
414 Harding Place
Nashville, TN 37211
Three Tips for Volunteering in Nashville
- Dress to work!
You should always wear closed-toed, sensible shoes when volunteering in Nashville (or anywhere!). The places I partnered with during my visit would not allow you to work if you were not dressed appropriately, due to safety concerns.
It’s also a good idea to bring a hat and jacket in case you need to work outside or keep your hair out of you face.
- Be early.
I can’t stress this enough. Even if you are giving your time for free to an organization, the work you came to do still deserves your respect. Show up 15 minutes early, ready to work and listen to instructions.
- Publicize it!
Did you have a great time partnering with your organization? Do you really believe in its mission and wish others knew about it, too? An easy way to get the word out is to post a quick video on your Instagram stories (during your break!) letting your followers know where you are and how to get involved, or run a fundraiser on your Facebook once you get home.
Both are easy, high-impact ways to spread the word. Just make sure that the work is the focus, not you!
Emily’s all over the place. She’s an expert on working holidays, studying abroad, and turning your #GapYear into a #GapLife. Learn how here.
Your last point of “be early” is very important! Thanks for the reminder.
I got you fam.