arge group of food bank volunteers

Where to Volunteer in the Volunteer State

During the War of 1812, thousands of volunteer soldiers came from Tennessee and had a large hand in The Battle of New Orleans. Four decades later in the Mexican-American War, President Polk called for 2,600 volunteer soldiers from each state, and within the week, Tennessee produced 30,000 volunteers. Despite ongoing debate over the exact origin of Tennessee’s nickname, “The Volunteer State,” there’s no question the state earned its name through the residents’ patriotism and willingness to serve their country.

Over a century later, Tennesseans continue to honor their nickname through philanthropic organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life in their state. If you would like to give back to the community by volunteering but don’t know where to begin, check out Volunteer East Tennessee and Hands on Nashville to find organizations in need and volunteer event calendars.

Nashville Rescue Mission 

“Providing hope for today, hope for tomorrow, and hope for eternity to the hungry, homeless, and hurting.”- NRM Mission Statement

A faith-based community, Nashville Rescue Mission serves the homeless and hungry by providing emergency services ministries, which focuses on meeting the basic needs of those in need. Once an individual has been fed, clothed, and given a safe place to sleep, they are introduced to life recovery programs, which help to build and sustain a new life. Volunteers can serve in the kitchen, help lead Bible studies, monitor the computer lab, tutor children, and assist with nightly children’s program.

H.A.L.T. (Humans & Animals Learning Together)

“H.A.L.T. is a nonprofit program that provides a therapeutic intervention for at-risk adolescents through a series of dog obedience training classes while increasing the adoptability of shelter dogs.”- H.A.L.T. Mission Statement

Since 1987, H.A.L.T. has worked with thousands of troubled teens and shelter dogs to offer adolescents a safe environment where they can develop a positive sense of self-respect, teamwork, patience, and pride. Due to the added risk of working with animals, H.A.L.T. is always in need of volunteers willing to work with dogs. Volunteers could do anything from training classes with dogs and kids, adoption events, and fundraising events. So, if you’re interested in seeing how animals can positively influence our lives, H.A.L.T. is the place for you!

Century Harvest Farms Foundation

“To provide our community with direct market access to the highest quality locally and sustainably farmed foods.”- Century Harvest Farms Foundation Mission Statement

Dedicated to sustainable farming, CHFF not only provides the community with the highest quality food, but the resources needed to continue safer farming methods. “Helping Hands in the Field” is a volunteering event hosted by the foundation, inviting the community to work together on the farms tending, harvesting, and washing the crops for those in need.

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