Volunteering During COVID-19
Whether you’re looking for virtual, in-person, or hybrid volunteering opportunities, or just want to find out where you can donate food items, hygiene products, books, new/used clothing, and more, you’ve come to the right place! Some of the organizations listed below we currently partner with for group volunteering, but many of them offer exclusively individual volunteering for the time being. Below you’ll find information about a myriad of different Athens organizations with descriptions of their volunteering opportunities as well as information about which organization accept what kinds of donations! So go out there and immerse yourself in the Athens community we all at UGA are lucky enough to call home.
AAEFB volunteers have the opportunity to create meal packages for clients, provide administrative assistance in the front office or work on web and social media projects. To schedule a time to volunteer, please call the AAEFB office at (706) 353-8182. Volunteering Monday-Friday 9:00am-1:00pm. They also accepted canned good donations anytime!
FBNEGA offers in-person offsite and virtual volunteering opportunities. They are also always accepting canned good donations! Currently they have Mobile Pantry Volunteering on varying Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at times that vary between 1:00pm-5:30pm. The dates are listed here: February 10th, 16th, 18th, 23rd. March 16th, 18th, and 23rd. The Signup Genius links can be found below:
- Living Word Baptist Church Mobile Pantry, Feb 16th & March 16th
- Bethel Baptist Church Mobile Pantry, Feb 18th & March 18th
- Prince Pop-Up Mobile Pantry, Feb 10th
- Gardenview Funeral Chapel Mobile Pantry, Feb 23rd & March 23rd
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) offers many individual in-person and virtual volunteering opportunities addressing issues including Hunger Prevention (Food Pantries, Food Drives, Feeding events), Women's Shelters and Homelessness, Disaster Relief & Recovery, Back to School Giveaway events, Counseling, Teaching, or Speaking, Online help (social media, website help, etc), Photography or Videography, Fundraising and Outreach, and Athen’s own free Shifa Clinic, also listed under our clinical volunteering opportunities page!
The Athens Immigrant Rights Coalition (AIRC) seeks to highlight the collective vision of Human Rights and Immigrant Rights Advocates in Athens GA, channeling and organizing their efforts in the areas of labor and human rights, solidarity, education, migrant youth, spirituality and culture. They offer volunteering in the area of tutoring, college/financial aid application help, dinner provision, and transportation. You can also serve as a college coach (a weekly commitment) or simply donate to their scholarship fund!
The mission of the Oasis Católico is to be a place where English and Spanish speaking cultures can connect and enrich one another. Nestled among the trailers of Pinewood Estates North, the Oasis is a haven of calm amidst the confusion faced by many of the community residents. Oasis provides virtual tutoring for children from 4 years old Pre-K through fifth grade, Monday through Thursday from 3:00 pm - 5:15 pm during the Fall and Spring semesters. Tutors are asked to commit to one day a week for the semester.
Every weekday during the academic year from 2:45-5:15pm, UGA students provide individual tutoring and mentoring for local students. By providing homework help and extended learning activities, sponsored by the University of Georgia Honors Program, Thomas Lay works to create an atmosphere that encourages enthusiastic learning and play as well as fosters genuine relationships.
Books for Keeps works to improve children’s reading achievement by addressing barriers related to the accessibility and appeal of reading material. We give books to children whose reading opportunities outside of school might be otherwise limited due to geography, income, or other factors.
Whether it’s staffing the BFK Book Sale, assisting at distributions, or sorting books in our warehouse, they have plenty of opportunities. They particularly need volunteers who can assist with book pick-ups. Opportunities are available most weekdays from 9:00am-7:00pm. Books for Keeps is also always accepting new and used book donations!
Athens Area Homeless Shelter typically has volunteer opportunities ranging from tutoring, mentoring kids and students, gardening and facilities maintenance, and meal preparation and provision. Opportunities may be modified or on hold due to COVID concerns.
The Sparrow’s Nest is a Christian-based organization which ministers to homeless and food insecure individuals in Athens. They have a facility including meeting and dining rooms, laundry and shower facilities, and space to organize and distribute clothing and food. On top of offering food, supplies, and laundry and shower facilities the Sparrow’s Nest also offers classes that inspire lifestyle change. Volunteer opportunities they offer are focused on the areas of hospitality, homeless services, serving meals, donation organization, and facility maintenance.
DIVAS Who Win Freedom Center believes that recovery occurs in communities and extends out into the communities in which we live, work, worship, play, build relationships. As a Recovery Community Organization, our intent is to introduce Women to multiple pathways of Recovery through education, advocacy and training. They provide services including a Peer Lead Recovery Support Centre, Economic Development, Community Outreach to help women overcome sex trafficking, prostitution and addiction.
As an organization that began through the dedication of compassionate volunteers, Project Safe continues to deeply value every contribution made by volunteers. Volunteers make it possible for Project Safe to provide victims and survivors of domestic violence with more extensive services than our small staff could provide alone, and volunteers bring energy, enthusiasm, diversity, and new skills to their team. They currently offer several in-person opportunities including working in their Thrift Store. Project Safe is also always accepting donations of clothes, shoes, and most used items Monday-Saturday at their thrift store.
A mentor acts as a role model and friend; they encourage positive choices, promote high self-esteem, and support academic achievement. During normal times, Mentors visit their assigned “mentee” at school, ideally once each week during the school year, for a meal, game, academic help, school program, and conversation. Until in-person visits resume, we'll be focusing on our new Pen Pals initiative! Be someone that listens, offers friendship, guidance, and encouragement to a young person.
While not currently offering in-person volunteering on builds, you can shop at any of their ReStore locations to help support this organization! The ReStores are also taking individual volunteers Tuesday-Saturday from 9:00am-5:00pm.
Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful
Housed within the Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department / Recycling Division, the mission of KACCB is to educate and empower citizens and businesses with the resources to take action as environmental stewards of litter prevention, waste reduction, and beautification. KACCB is a local affiliate of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Keep Georgia Beautiful program and the national Keep America Beautiful program. They offer many volunteering events, ranging from stream, street, or downtown cleanups as well as community gardening events and more!
The AADM provides community service opportunities on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday’s. During the COVID-19 crisis the AADM will offer online community service. What does mean? Clients will receive online assignments such as writing a blog post or by doing research on a justice reform topic, assist with online promotions, participate in AADM weekly Zoom-meeting, and/or share your story. Other opportunities are also available to volunteer to feed the homeless or clean up your neighborhood, community canvassing and awareness, peer to peer tutoring and test prep, and more!
The Backpack Project, Inc. ("TBP") is a student-run non-profit dedicated to packing and hand-delivering backpacks containing food, toiletries, and other necessities to those experiencing homelessness. Founded in 2015, TBP operates throughout the state of Georgia with a focus on Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, and Savannah.
UGA students and Athens community members work together to help recover food, cook meals, pack groceries, and deliver items to older adult-headed households and human service agencies across Athens-Clarke County.
Food4Lives offers in-person volunteering events every Sunday at 1:00pm for cooking, sorting, or distributing food and donations. They also offer Tuesday volunteering, and they accept new or used clothing donations at all times!
In addition to providing quality healthcare, and clinical volunteering opportunities, one of the Clinic’s priorities is making sure their patients have the supplies they need to maintain good hygiene. They are ALWAYS accepting hygiene kit donations including the following items: Washcloths, Soap, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Socks, Deodorant, Shampoo, Razors, and Lotion.
ACCA’s mission is to promote a lifetime of wellness through engagement, advocacy, education and support. Volunteer opportunities include driving, supporting children in the classroom or daycare, providing information and education about Medicare, delivering meals, visiting and advocating for residents of nursing homes, packing groceries, gardening, leading arts and craft activities, and more!
(Fem)me is a simple yet meaningful answer to ending the suffering and indignity surrounding menstrual hygiene experienced by the homeless in our community. The organization was founded to fill the need for menstrual hygiene products by homeless individuals and the organizations that serve them. (Fem)me provides menstrual hygiene kits to homeless shelters, day centers, clinics, schools, and other nonprofits that serve homeless and displaced adults and adolescents across the Athens and Northeast Georgia areas. Each hygiene kit provides a monthly supply of menstrual hygiene products including panty liners, sanitary napkins, tampons, sanitary wipes, Midol®, hand sanitizer, and targeted health messages in a reusable bag.
(Fem)me also aims to reduce the stigma surrounding menstruation with education, research, and advocacy at the local, state and national levels. They are an organization ran entirely by volunteers and supported by the generosity of the University of Georgia and Athens communities. If you would like to donate any feminine hygiene products please reach out!
Is gardening your thing? If so, this might be the perfect opportunity for you! The mission of UGArden is to build a community of students centered on a sustainable food system. The goals of UGArden are: 1) to teach students to grow food using organic practices through experiential learning; 2) to share healthy, sustainably grown food with members of the local community who are facing food insecurity; 3) to provide an opportunity for engagement, service and experimentation; and 4) to foster an entrepreneurial spirit.
They offer volunteering for harvest, weeding, watering, and more!
Learning Ally is an organization devoted to increasing literacy and advocating for students. With early student assessment, intervention and accommodations, we can identify and can help prevent learning issues and work with schools and educators to support new and struggling readers. Thus, building a strong foundation for independent, engaged learners who are empowered to achieve socially, emotionally and academically, regardless of background or learning difference.
Volunteers are working to solve the literacy problem - the 65% of students who are not proficient in reading by 4th grade. Learning Ally volunteers share their talents to create human-read audiobooks and provide support in roles that help them reach the 30 million students who struggle to read. By volunteering, you can help remove the barriers that stand in the way of students’ right to education.
Volunteer opportunities include working in the Children's Area, tutoring Monday through Thursday between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., shelving, storytelling, and more. There is a need for Spanish speaking volunteers, so if you are fluent this might be a great opportunity for you
Destination Dawgs is a program for students with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 18 -25 who have a personal desire - and support from family- to gain skills for self-determination, independent living, and career development at the University of Georgia by completing a four semester program to receive a Certificate in College and Career Readiness from the UGA Center on Continuing Education bearing ~100 continuing education units. They have opportunities for interested students to become a Peer Mentor which is a commitment of 3 hours of peer mentorship per week over the course of the semester, mandatory pre-service training, completion of feedback forms, voluntary participation in research, ongoing meetings, and participation in relevant workshops when possible. You can even earn course credit for this!
Of course, these are not all the opportunities available to you! You can find even more opportunities using GivePulse.
GivePulse is a free website where prospective volunteers can sign-up for volunteering events in and around their community. Volunteering events vary by type, date, and involvement levels. Some of the events we attend as AMSA require sign-up via GivePulse.
Updated: January 2021