Earlier this month, we posted a list of the upcoming holiday festivities in Nashville. We also wanted to use our platform to highlight something more important: namely, exciting volunteer opportunities in our fair city. Whether you’re visiting to connect with family or have lived here for years, we invite you to consider giving back this Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Nashville Thanksgiving Volunteer Opportunities
Farm Friday at Mill Ride Park
Antioch is getting a new park! Mill Ridge Park is set to occupy over 600 acres of nature, right in the heart of Davidson County. Supporters hope that this area will help to strengthen bonds in the community – between residents, their neighbors, and nature. Farm Fridays are a great opportunity to help improve the farmhouse and farmyard at Mill Ridge Park. Volunteer alone or in a group to remove invasive plants, pick up trash, repair structures and fences, or plant and mulch trees.
Host: Friends of Mill Ridge Park
Date and Time: 11/19, 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM
GraceWorks Ministries Turkey Trot
Every year, GraceWorks hosts a Turkey Trot 5k and 10k on Thanksgiving Day! This is one of their most important fundraisers of the year, and all volunteers will be finished by 11:00 AM (leaving plenty of time for family fun). If you sign up to work this event in Franklin, you can help with set up, tear down, handing out goodies, directing routes, and passing out water to the runners.
Host: GraceWorks Ministries
Date and Time: 11/25, 6:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Dinner at the Hospitality House
Hospital Hospitality House provides weekly meals for families on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This place serves as a home away from home for patients and caregivers in Nashville area hospitals. HHH stays include meals, lodging, and supportive services. If you own a restaurant or have any culinary flair, this could be a great chance to give back to the community. HHH asks that the dinner be able to feed 30 adults – that’s the number of residents they host at any given time. There are no dietary restrictions.
Host: C. Wright Pinson Hospital Hospitality House of Nashville
Date and Time: 11/23, 11/25, 11/30, 12/2, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Share a Meal with Dismas House
Dismas House offers case management, clinical support, life skills training, and fellowship for formerly incarcerated men who are seeking second chances. Their motto is “More than a chance: a change.” On Thursdays, the Nashville Food Project provides fresh, healthy food for Dismas House residents. As a volunteer, all you have to do is bring yourself and enjoy dinner and conversation with this community.
Host: Dismas House of Nashville
Date and Time: 11/25, 6:00 PM to 7:09 PM
Christmas Coat Drives, Hygiene Kits, and More
Cheekwood Holiday Lights
Remember Cheekwood from our holiday activities post? We’ve found a way to see the lights and promote a good cause. If you sign up for this event, you’ll serve as a greeter or way finder for this seasonal display. As a bonus, volunteers will be granted free access to the event after their shifts. Cheekwood asks that each participant be 16 or older, wear a mask while indoors, and show proof of COVID vaccination.
Host: Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
Dates: Every day except 12/25, 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM or 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Family Holiday Drive-Thru Extravaganza
That’s right, we’ve got an extravaganza on the docket. Are you one with the holiday spirit? Do you love nothing more than decking the halls? The Family Center is seeking volunteers to help them string lights, decorate for Christmas, and pass out gift bags to their families. They need people for both of their locations – in Nashville and Murfreesboro – so if it fills up, you still may be able to have fun for a cause. The Family Center provides a safe space for parents and children to cope with trauma and break multi-generational cycles of child neglect and abuse.
Host: The Family Center of Tennessee
Date and Time: 12/11 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, or 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
For many of us, the holidays are a time to appreciate just how much we have – and to give back however we can. There are many Nashville-area nonprofits who have requested items like toiletries, winter coats, and other supplies for this season.
Bethlehem Centers of Nashville needs women’s socks, large print books, wipes, dishwashing liquid, batteries, and deodorant.
Building Lives has asked for materials for “welcome home kits” that they give to veterans who move into permanent housing (sheets, pillows, shower liners, cutlery, and other household items are included on their list here).
CommuniServe has requested senior supplies like walkers, canes, and adult diapers.
Fannie Battle Day Home for Children asks for donations of school supplies, including crayons, glue, markers, notebook paper, and pencils. Click here for the full list.
Morning Star Sanctuary has recurring needs for their emergency shelter, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hairbrushes, soap, deodorant, and bus passes.
Mother to Mothers is always looking for new or gently used baby gear, including strollers, high chairs, pack-n-plays, and car seats. You can also donate wipes, formula, baby clothes, and diapers.
Poverty and the Arts is in search of art supplies, including canvases, colored pencils, pastels, paint pens, markers, frames, mat board, and jewelry-making supplies.
Second Harvest Food Bank needs non-perishable items. Canned goods, peanut butter, rice, and pasta are at the top of their list.
The Nashville Food Project is also in need of food items, many of which are seasonal. They’ve requested olive oil, fresh fruit, graham crackers, nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews), pumpkin seeds, honey, cranberries, canned pumpkin, and unsweetened applesauce.
YWCA requests one-day MTA bus passes, gift cards for gas, full-size toiletries, soup bowls, and full- or twin-size bed linens.
We hope that this list has inspired you to volunteer or donate during this holiday season. Webconsuls is a digital agency based in Nashville, TN.