There’s nothing that quite fills us with the warm fuzzies like a solid day of volunteering. There are some incredible non-profits all around the city making sure that the our less fortunate have a warm meal, a roof over their head and plenty of belly rubs (okay, that’s just the kittens and puppies). Not into traditional volunteering methods? Well, did you know that non-profits like Living Walls ATL rely on volunteers to create murals? Yup, you can work alongside talented artists to beautify the city and be filled with a sense of do-goodery. Not sure where you fit in? Well, that’s what Hands on Atlanta is for. Trust us, there are philanthropic opportunities out there for everyone – it’s just a matter of raising your hand. Here are a few places where you can lend a hand and do something different in this lovely city of ours.
Living Walls ATL
The annual conference takes over Atlanta and its many walls with local and international artists painting large murals over the course of a week. The conference is entirely run by volunteers – so they definitely need some help directing, moving and hustlin’ all kinds of projects, materials and people. The 2014 conference officially starts on August 13 and if you can’t help this time around, don’t worry — Living Walls has events throughout the year and guest artists that could always use a hand.
The Giving Kitchen is the knight in shining armor to many restaurants in ATL currently in crisis mode. Created after the overwhelming support behind the late chef Ryan Hidinger, the non-profit offers grants to restaurant owners that have encountered unexpected hardships. Funded by donations and fundraising events, The Giving Kitchen often needs volunteers in the areas of administrative help, event planning, marketing and day of event hep. So, polish off those skills and lend a hand to a truly awesome charity.
Atlanta Humane Society
All we have to say is — kittens and puppies. (How can you not be on board?) The Atlanta Humane Society keeps our furry friends safe and sound while they wait for the perfect home. There are multiple ways for to get involved in their two locations, too. Consider yourself a people (and puppy) person? You’ll make for a natural greeter. Internet savvy? They could use a hand with social media efforts, too. Just sign up for orientation – and you’ll be good to go. (Also, did we mention kittens?)
Part of the Atlanta Center for Self-Sufficiency, Cafe 458 on Edgewood Avenue offers a restaurant experience to the homeless, and oftentimes offers up the only meal they get in a day. Family and friends are welcomed too, so the displaced can work on relationships and eat a healthy meal a few times a month. All proceeds from the restaurant go right back into the non-profit to help homeless patrons restart their lives. As a volunteer, you help serve meals, support the kitchen, make reservations and bus tables. Pro-tip: Their Sunday brunch is one of the best Southern brunches around. It’s even award-winning! Possibly the best kept secret in town.
Hands on Atlanta
Hands on Atlanta has been helping the community at-large for a few decades now. Unsure of where you fit in? Hands on Atlanta is the place to find the perfect opportunity for you. Create a profile, attend an orientation and find your place in the many volunteer opportunities available, from mentoring and tutoring, to administrative tasks, helping the homeless and even improving Atlanta’s green areas. City-wide service days throughout the year include MLK, Jr. Day and Hands on Atlanta day in October. If you got little ones, bring them for Family Service Saturdays. They have something for everyone, so no excuses.
Scoutmob contributor Muriel Vega is a lifetime resident of ATL and full-time authorian legend, as well as a pie enthusiast. She has a dog that may be a meme and really loves to travel. You can read more of her work at the website that she co-edits, Common Creativ ATL.