As we get closer to the season to the season of giving, it’s easy to get in the rut of wanting to give back, but not necessarily knowing how. Often times, once Thanksgiving and Christmas hit, many volunteer opportunities have come and gone. This year, we’re vowing to get started giving back early! Below are a few ways that we’re excited to give back. We’ll hope you’ll join!
PRO BONO WORK
There’s an amazing feeling that comes with giving the gift of a skill you have to a person or community in need. In Nashville, there are endless opportunities in the nonprofit world that would GLADLY use your time, talent and passion. To connect with a majority of the nonprofits to find a specific fit keep your eye out on Nashville’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence for networking and connecting opportunities and Hands on Nashville for specific projects every day of the week that you could lend a hand!
Are you a lawyer, a law student, or someone who is open to giving their time in a legal office? Boy is there work for you. Check out the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands for the amazing work they do to help low income and vulnerable families get the basic necessities they need.
The Arts + Business Council of Greater Nashville connects artists and art organizations without high budgets to every to every type of professional service you can think of, as pro bono work. Such a unique way to give back to the Nashville arts community.
Just like every other type of giving back, Middle Tennessee’s animals need some major lovin’ year round. Lucky for us (and the animals), there is an impressive number of amazingly passionate organizations that give our animals that need a little extra TLC the love they need. The Nashville Humane Association is the perfect place to start, with incredibly flexible ways to give time and resources. They also do a massive amount of pet adoptions (wink, wink, hint, hint) which is the ultimate goal of these shelters. At Agape, a foster-based shelter program, you can have the incredibly unique opportunity of fostering animals while they wait for their forever home. In addition, there is the SPCA of Tennessee, Music City Animal Shelter, and Critter Cavalry Rescue that are always looking for more animal lovers to name a few!
RESCUE MISSIONS & FOOD BANKS
For those in our community that are struggling, rescue missions and food banks are not only soul-warming and nutrient giving, but literally life-saving. Even though big holiday meals certainly need volunteers and food collected for, spend time this season figuring out a way to get plugged life-saving organizations year-round. The Nashville Rescue Mission has opportunities in multiple locations, times, and capacities – and needs thousands of volunteers to keep running throughout the year.
Second Harvest Food Bank is another life-saving organization that helps Middle Tennessee in an impressively large way. Second Harvest Food Bank has opportunities for individuals, groups, and different fun events that you can help out with. Don’t forget that donating and fundraising is also ALWAYS needed and helps the organization make the impact that they do. For a more intimate way to get involved with feeding Middle Tennessee, check out Nashville Food Project for a sustainable approach at feeding those in need.
HOST A FOOD DRIVE
While we are (clearly) in the mindset that volunteering and giving back all year is the way to go, hosting a food drive for one of the area organizations can be the perfect way to involve your office, school, church, neighborhood (and the list goes on …) without anyone having to go anywhere! Take it upon yourself to plan ahead, strategize and host an amazing food drive with these tips. To target places of great need, call around and see what food banks and food pantries are in need of what. For the lesser-known, smaller organizations to call around to, check out this list.