Where to volunteer in Chattanooga, TN

Let's start making a difference. | Photo by Pexels

It’s a new year and we’re doing new things, like spending more time volunteering. 💪 Hi, ChattanoogaTrista here, and y’all gave me so many good responses when I asked last week where you like to volunteer. Thank you. 🙏 Now it’s time to take action.

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No matter where your interests lie, there’s a volunteer opportunity in Chattanooga for everyone. Finding the time to do it might be another issue, but planning a volunteer day with someone else or a group who will hold you to it is always a good move. And when you get out to lend a hand, tag us in any photos you share so we can give you a virtual high five. ✋

From the editors ✍️

Chatt Endeavors Inc. + Opie Acres are my 2020 picks, and Chloé picked Girls Inc. of Chattanooga

  • Chatt Endeavors is an organization with a mission to offer legitimate second chances to former offenders and their loved ones. One way to do this is through letter-writing, something many volunteers find rewarding. If you’re interested and would like to join me in this effort, fill out an application here.
  • Opie Acres is a local opossum rehabilitation + education center. I know, maybe you’re wondering why we care about rehabilitating the creature, but it’s because they are extremely beneficial to our ecosystem. Opossums take care of many unwanted insects and animals — think ticks + venomous snakes — that would otherwise invade our yards + streets. Opie Acres could use volunteers to care for the animals, prep food, do laundry + aid in groundskeeping. The easiest way to get in touch is to send them a message on Facebook.
  • Girls Inc. of Chattanooga has a host of programs that help tweens and teens become “strong, smart and bold.” From learning about impactful, influential local women through the UnBought & Unbossed Awards (named for Shirley Chisholm, the country’s first black congresswoman) to participating in literacy programs — Girls Inc. provides priceless resources for young women here. Chloé most recently volunteered to raise money for the org by performing standup comedy, but there are plenty of other ways to get involved

From the readers 👀

  • Reflection Riding! Great place to be with nature and help out mother earth! Kids are usually welcome too” – @kena1289
  • Contact your neighborhood schools in Hamilton County–we are always looking for community volunteers” – @rosaheintz
  • @mckameyanimalcenter! They are always in need of help especially with dog walkers and cat room help” – @cdaniels42
  • I volunteer at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Fort Oglethorpe. It is a small military museum that highlights the history of the army in our area. We need volunteers!” – Durinda C.
  • Help us pick up trash in and around Chattanooga! Take pride in our city, our planet, our home❤️” – Green Steps
  • I love helping the Chattanooga Area Food Bank! Taking care of the most basic of needs is priority #1!” – Mercedes B.
  • I would love to volunteer for A Second Life Chattanooga… I enjoy helping out with A Step Ahead Chattanooga.” – Treston T.
  • I volunteer Monday afternoons at Chattanooga Community Kitchen! I’m also in the process of becoming a Big for Big Brothers Big Sisters.”– Lauren H.
  • The professional staff at the Chattanooga Zoo operate an excellent volunteer program. Extensive training, flexible scheduling, and a variety of opportunities are available. Volunteering at the greatest little zoo in America is both rewarding and fun. I started volunteering because of the animals and stayed for the people.” – Joe H.
  • The Chattanooga Theatre Centre is a rewarding place to volunteer, no acting needed. Some opportunities are set construction, sewing costumes, lights & sound, selling concessions, taking tickets, and (of course) acting. They also have an active youth group.” – Erik L.
  • I love volunteering with local road races, especially those with the Chattanooga Track Club. It’s like they say in “Grease,” if you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter!” 
  • Jenny B.
  • I believe it is the Miracle League of Chattanooga (we checked—it is) that provides a ball field accommodating special needs kids so they are able to play a legit game of baseball against other special needs kids.” – Candice M.
  • Nooga Diversity Center, Chattanooga Pride/Tennessee Valley pride, The Chattahooligans” – Maria S
  • Welcome Home of Chattanooga” – Ashley P.

Honorable Mention:

If people are wanting to make Chattanooga a better place by volunteering themselves, then just help the city. Pick up trash you see on streets, open a door for someone, give a visitor assistance.” -Also Erik L.