The Volunteer State

Your guide to the area's charitable organizations

Volunteer Coordinating Organizations

Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA)

Founded in 1968, MIFA has numerous programs that tackle homelessness, education, nutrition, and legal and financial concerns for more than 60,000 people each year. MIFA's programs give individuals a chance to live independently with hope and dignity. MIFA depends on support from the community for volunteer time, leadership, and donations.(271-6432,

Volunteer Mid-South


This organization, formerly Hands On Memphis, works with hundreds of local nonprofits to provide volunteers with periodic and ongoing opportunities at partnering agencies throughout Memphis and the Mid-South. Its Flexible Volunteer Program (formerly Hands On Monthly Projects) provides ways for busy people of all ages to serve, from tutoring children and feeding the homeless, to visiting seniors or preserving the environment. (523-2425, ext. 200,



House of Mews


House of Mews is a nonprofit cat sanctuary and gift shop dedicated to the rescue and care of abandoned cats and kittens in Memphis. Volunteers are needed to feed the felines, clean cages, screen clients for adoptions, work directly with the cats as caretakers, and serve in the retail area. (272-3777,

Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County


Walking dogs, socializing cats, cleaning kennels/cages, and providing foster homes for animals are just a few ways to help the HSMSC, located near Shelby Farms. Other opportunities include community outreach, humane education, and assisting with mobile adoptions, special events, and programs that raise money for the animals' medical needs. (937-3900,

Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services


This nonprofit provides affordable spay/neuter services to Memphis and the tri-state area. Volunteers are needed to help check in animals for surgery, monitor them, assist in post-surgical recovery, explain after-care needs to their owners, and help with cleanup. (324-3202,



CASA of Memphis


A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained community volunteer assigned to an abuse or neglect case by a judge to represent the best interest of the child involved. With the support of a program director and staff social workers, the volunteer makes an in-depth investigation into a child's case, produces a written report, and makes recommendations to the judge or referee on the child's behalf. (522-0200,

Exchange Club Family Center


The Exchange Club Family Center provides prevention, therapeutic intervention, and educational and support programs for children and families who are dealing with the traumatic effects of child abuse and domestic violence. Volunteers are needed for child care, tutoring, mentoring, fund-raising, and special events. (276-2200,

Youth Villages


Dedicated to serving emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families, this Memphis-based organization reaches 13,000 clients each year. Volunteers can give their time as mentors, assist at special events, organize regular volunteer activities, or tutor children in math or reading. (251-4827,

Disability Services


Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired

Clovernook works to foster independence and promote the highest quality of life for those with visual impairments. Volunteers are needed to transport clients, read to them, serve as companions in a trusting relationship, work in the Braille production facility, or perform administrative tasks. (523-9590,

Memphis Center for Independent Living


The Memphis Center for Independent Living is a disability rights and advocacy organization. Volunteers are needed to carry out the center's various programs, perform administrative functions, and assist the staff, most of whom have disabilities. (726-6404,

The Arc of the Mid-South


The purpose of Mid-South Association for Retarded Citizens is to empower people with developmental disabilities and mental retardation to achieve their full potential. The Arc has a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, including teaching, communications, advocacy, mentoring, and office/clerical work. (327-2473,

Raymond Skinner Center


The Raymond Skinner Center's mission is to provide community-based recreational opportunities for those with physical and/or mental disabilities in a safe, attractive facility. Volunteers can assist with after-school programs, summer camp, weekly dances, and other activities and programs. (272-2528,, click on communities/parks and recreation)

WYPL Talking Library


WYPL FM 89.3 provides the visually impaired and physically handicapped in Shelby County timely access to the news and other printed information over the radio. Volunteers read magazine and newspaper stories on the air. (415-2752,

Health Services


Church Health Center


The Church Health Center provides health care for uninsured working people and their families. All types of health professionals are needed to staff the clinic on a volunteer basis during evenings and Saturdays. The center is also seeking dependable, dedicated volunteers to make phone calls, do clerical work, sort medicine, and perform other tasks. (272-7170,

Crisis Center of Memphis


The Crisis Center provides a lifeline through 24-hour live telephone support for individuals who are suicidal, in emotional distress or physical danger, or experience various types of crises. Trained volunteers use a combination of empathic listening, risk assessment, and intervention to assist clients with immediate problems and link them with the long-term resources they need to cope and overcome. (To volunteer, 271-5492; suicide hotline, 1-800-SUICIDE; other help, CRISIS-7 or 800-273-TALK)

Friends For Life


Friends for Life provides supportive services to persons affected by HIV/AIDS. Volunteer opportunities include assisting in the food pantry and in the Positive Living Center, performing administrative tasks, and helping with Feast for Friends, a twice-monthly meal program held at St. John's United Methodist Church. Volunteers additionally assist with fund-raising and special events. (272-0855, ext. 233,

Hope House


Hope House provides day care and social services to the growing number of children and their families impacted by HIV/AIDS. It assists with activities, recreation, companionship, and emotional support for affected children and their parents. Volunteers can rock babies, mentor children/parents, clean gutters, paint classrooms, rake the yard, and assist with fund-raisers and special events. (272-2702, ext. 214,

National Foundation for Transplants


The National Foundation for Transplants provides financial assistance, fund-raising expertise, and advocacy to organ and tissue transplant patients nationwide. For a description of volunteer opportunities call Emily Joyner. (684-1697,

Hunger and Homelessness


Memphis Union Mission


This Christian-based organization ministers to the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of men, women, and children who are homeless, addicted, and in crisis. Volunteers can serve meals, plant flowers or maintain the vegetable garden, work in clothing/food/book drives, assemble hygiene kits, or assist in the office. Other opportunities include baby-sitting, literacy/GED tutoring, mentoring clients, and participating in chapel services. (526-8403,

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis


Habitat builds homes for families who could not otherwise afford them, in partnership with each family. Volunteer opportunities exist for individuals, businesses, faith-based organizations, and community groups. Besides actually helping to build a house, volunteers can review applications, communicate with homeowners, serve on committees, work in the office, and assist with fund-raising and special events. (761-4771, ext. 217,

Mid-South Food Bank


The Mid-South Food Bank provides food and other grocery items to charitable feeding programs throughout the Mid-South. It also runs Kids Cafe sites and sponsors the Feed the Need program in local grocery stores. Volunteers serve at Kids Cafes, sort and pack food items, clean and stock the food pantry shelves, and help in the office. (527-0841,

Soup Kitchens


Many groups throughout the city operate volunteer-run soup kitchens, where those in need can obtain a good meal. Among them:

Emmanuel Episcopal Center

(523-2617, 604 St. Paul, 38126)

First Presbyterian Church

(525-5619, 166 Poplar, 38103)

Food, Not Bombs, Mid-South Peace

and Justice Center

(725-4990, 1000 S. Cooper, 38104)

Friends for Life, Aloysius Home

(274-8321, 28 N. Claybrook, 38104)

Highland Heights United Methodist Church (458-5966, 3476 Summer, 38122)

Holy Community United Methodist Church (523-2485, 602 Looney, 38107)

Memphis Union Mission

(526-8403, 383 Poplar, 38105)

St. John's United Methodist Church

(726-4104, 1207 Peabody, 38104)

St. Luke's United Methodist Church

(452-6262, 480 S. Highland, 38111)

St. Mary's Catholic Church

(522-9420, 155 Market, 38105)

St. Patrick's Catholic Church

(527-2542, 277 S. 4th, 38126)

Literacy and Education

Memphis Literacy Council


Volunteers provide private and group tutoring to low-literate adults, work in the computer lab or office, and assist with the family literacy programs for parents who want their children to become better readers. (327-6000,

Neighborhood Christian Center


The center's mission is to build healthier families and stronger communities, and to meet the practical and spiritual needs of people from all walks of life. Volunteers can tutor or help children in grades K-12 with homework, sort donated items such as clothing, perform clerical tasks including data entry, and help with special events. (881-6013, Pamela Cox,

Streets Ministries


Streets is a Christian ministry providing tutoring, computer training, Bible study, after-school programs, and summer/weekend camps to children and adolescents from low-income neighborhoods. Volunteers are needed to tutor and mentor children and adolescents, and participate in club meetings. (525-7380,

Senior Services


Alzheimer's Day Services, Inc.


This program for Alzheimer's patients provides a safe and stimulating social environment for participants in an effort to help maintain a maximum level of functioning. Volunteers assist clients with daily group activities and provide one-on-one interaction as needed. (372-4585,

St. Peter Villa


St. Peter Villa is a nonprofit skilled and intermediate care facility supported by the Catholic Diocese of Memphis. Volunteers can befriend residents, help them with daily activities, serve as small-group leaders, and assist with special outings or other events. (725-3568,

Volunteers Online


National volunteer resources are also available on the Internet, including: 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

Fifty Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About St. Jude

January 1, 2012 01:00 AM

The Top Ten New Restaurants in Memphis for 2015

March 5, 2015 04:54 PM


March 1, 2008 12:00 AM
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Stories

The Insider's Guide to 42 Memphis Bars and Taprooms

November 12, 2015 03:59 PM

A Tour of the Local Music Scene

November 12, 2015 03:37 PM

The Best Local Memphis Blogs

November 12, 2015 03:17 PM

Add your comment:
Edit Module


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Related Articles

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags