Memphis is known for its music and its cuisine, but good tunes and good eating both require heart. In addition to pouring their souls into a blues lick or the perfect BBQ sauce, Memphians are also invested in caring for one another and bettering the wider world. Whether you’re interested in protecting the environment, helping neighbors in need or sharing cultural experiences, there’s a chance for you to lend a hand and get a priceless experience in return. This September, why not check out these opportunities to meet your neighbors, make friends and make a difference?
Wrap and roll for the homeless
Start off September right by providing delicious burritos to homeless Memphians. Stop by the First United Methodist Church at Second and Poplar the morning of Saturday, Sept. 1, and bring a few friends if you can. There will be plenty of wrapping and rolling for all comers.
Let your sense of civic pride blossom
The butterflies that visit Memphis or call it home need your help! The Memphis Botanic Garden is seeking volunteers to record information on butterfly populations and assist with gardening tasks that support butterfly health and migration. Some experience with recording data, basic gardening or conservation is preferred. If you’re willing to get dirty for Memphis’ most glamorous denizens, volunteers are needed on Wednesday afternoons from April to November.
Lend a (second) hand
If you have some weekday mornings free, consider assisting Catholic Charities of West Tennessee with its Clothes Closet, which provides new and gently used clothing and household items to Memphians in need. If you’d like to sort donations and help your neighbors find something that suits them, stop by and lend a hand. Clothes may make the man, but working with those in need makes a community.
Commune with nature
There’s nothing more relaxing than a nature walk. Taking in the sights and sounds is much easier when a trail is well-maintained, and the Lichterman Nature Center would like your assistance in removing debris and non-native plants once a month. If you feel like you’ve been planted in your office chair lately, uproot yourself and take a leaf out of your environmentally minded neighbors’ book.
The cultural and ethnic diversity of Memphis is one of its greatest strengths, and the Memphis Japan Festival on Sept. 30 is just one example, providing an opportunity for Memphians of Japanese descent to celebrate their heritage and for all Memphians to explore Japanese art and history. The festival takes place at the Memphis Botanic Garden, and volunteers will assist staff to create an event to remember. Festivals can be physically challenging, so be ready for a full day on your feet as you work to further this culturally rich experience.
The opportunities detailed above are just a small sampling of what Memphis has to offer the civic-minded. If this list whet your appetite for more, stop by Choose 901 for more ways to give back to your fellow Memphians year-round.