Volunteering in our community is a win-win for all parties involved! Those who receive help are grateful for your effort, and as a volunteer, you can appreciate, learn, and feel good about the impactful difference you’re making. Consider the following as ways you can start volunteering in our local community and pay good fortune forward.

Volunteer at a shelter: Whether you’re cuddling puppies at an animal shelter or feeding the homeless, be there to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate. Volunteering in typically doesn’t take much time and rarely does it cost anything. Here are some shelters you can try around Middle Tennessee! Love At First Sight, Nashville Humane Association, Williamson County Animal Shelter, New Leash on Life

Volunteer at a local school: Our amazing educators are often overworked and stressed. Provide a helping hand by volunteering to read stories to students, monitor outdoor sports, chaperone field trips, or buy extra classroom supplies. Your efforts will be an investment in our future generation. Check out these local schools! Farmington Elementary, Lakeland Elementary, Williamson County Schools, Franklin Special School District 

Visit a senior center: Spending time with the elderly at a nursing home can make a big difference in a resident’s life. Many live far from their families and are often confined to the grounds of the facility. Take an hour or two out of your week to visit with residents, you may even learn something about life from those who have already gone through the journey before you. Here are some places that are near you! Home Helpers, FiftyForward, Senior Citizens Center

Serve on a community board: Organizations and charities rely on volunteers for the community’s attention and support. Nonprofits are often at a disadvantage because they lack the resources to maintain staff and administrators. Lend your time, knowledge and insights to a nonprofit, community-based organization and help keep their operations and hard work thriving. Check out our local partner GROW Enrichment and make a difference in Middle Tennessee! 

Help the community clean up: Contact our municipal offices and volunteer to clean up a local park, lake, beach or other public spaces. Heavy transportation and foot traffic often leads to higher amounts of litter. Make our community a nicer place to live and help pick up leftover trash. 

Every day that goes by without helping another is an opportunity missed. Recognize that others have helped you achieve your goals, and now you have the opportunity to pay them back while paying it forward.