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.
Athens Area Emergency Food Bank
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!
Food Bank of Northeast Georgia
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!
Athens Immigrant Rights Coalition
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
Use this link to register with GivePulse
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!
Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement
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.
Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA)
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.
Find Out More At GivePulse's Website Here.
Athens PBJs bridges friendships and builds community between homeless and non-homeless people in Athens, Georgia. They gather at 2 p.m. every Sunday afternoon, rain or shine at the corner of College Avenue and Clayton Street in downtown Athens and at other locations throughout the year to distribute lunches and waters to and build relationships with local homeless individuals.
A nonprofit organization—governed by a board of Athens residents and public representatives—that provides lasting community assets and permanently affordable housing opportunities for families. Athens Land Trust helps to develop rural and urban agriculture projects, commercial spaces to serve our community, affordable rental and cooperative housing projects, and conserve land or urban green spaces. The heart of their work is the creation homes that remain permanently affordable, providing successful homeownership opportunities for generations of lower income families.
A nonprofit whose purpose is to provide immediate shelter and guidance to families with children who are facing or experiencing the crisis of homelessness. They have a threefold approach - Preventing, Sheltering, and Sustaining and work to keep families together, safe, and ultimately independent.
To provide a safe and comfortable place for those in homelessness in Athens, Georgia, as they navigate the path towards sustainable housing. Volunteers can help prepare, serve, and clean up after meals as well as build relationships with those they are serving.
Hands On Athens is an initiative of Historic Athens that assists low-to-moderate-income homeowners with repair and maintenance of their historic homes.
An organization that works to identify and address the needs of the underserved Hispanic community within Athens. Volunteer opportunities include English language education, food distribution, Spanish language education, and tutoring and childcare.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center's mission is to create an inclusive, sustainable space of self-discovery for the LGBT community within the University of Georgia. Volunteer opportunities include assisting staff with establishing and maintaining an inclusive, welcoming environment for students, staff, and faculty of UGA and assisting with program development, special projects, and other initiatives.
Breaking the Shackles is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization that raises awareness about modern slavery through engagement of the college and music community in Athens, Georgia. They offer a variety of volunteer and fundraising opportunities throughout the year for individuals to get involved through service to raise awareness for human trafficking.
Girls Rock Athens is a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating self-empowerment for girls, women, and folx of all ages, backgrounds, gender identities, and abilities through music education, creation, and performance. They provide leadership opportunities, build self-esteem, and provide a safe place for self-expression. They have year-round volunteering on their Events Team, Program Team, Promotions Team, Grants & Fundraising Team, and Outreach Team. They also offer camp volunteer opportunities which include providing instrument instruction, providing campers assistance/guidance, or supporting camp staff during camp week. Finally, they also offer one-time volunteering which includes helping at a fundraiser, helping run the merch table at events, or sharing expertise at a workshop. They also have internship opportunities available for students.
UGA’s chapter of the the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) that works to support UNICEF internationally—a humanitarian organization that provides health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more to children and families in need.
Whatever It Takes (WIT) Mentoring
Whatever It Takes at UGA (WIT) is a student-led organization committed to combating educational inequity in Athens Clarke County. Students can serve as mentors to elementary, middle school, or high school students.
Girls on the Run of North Georgia
Girls on the Run in an organization which works to inspire ALL girls to build confidence and make intentional decisions, while fostering care and compassion for self and others. Trained coaches use physical activity and dynamic discussions to build social, emotional, and physical skills in every girl while encouraging healthy habits for life. There are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, including the opportunity to mentor a local student or group of students in ACC and run a 5k together at the end of the year.
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens is to inspire and enable all young people - especially those that need them most - to realize their full potential as responsible, caring, and productive citizens. They provide youth development programs with all activities supervised by trained professional staff members and dedicated volunteers. The staff works hard to provide positive experiences for youth on a daily basis. Bus routes directly from all the schools in the Athens area provide opportunities for kids to attend regularly. The Boys & Girls Club is an asset to the Athens community. It gives the youth of Athens a place to play, work and learn. Another great mentorship opportunity with local ACC youth!
Chess and Community is a nonprofit, youth development organization that prepares youth to lead. Their programs develop youth through community engagement and civic empowerment. They equip youth to build communities for collective uplift. Volunteers get to play chess with local students in after school programs and act as a mentor for local ACC students.
Athens Tutorial Program provides academic assistance, cultural enrichment opportunities, and other basic life skill enhancement for at-risk students as a means of helping them become successful in life. Volunteers can serve as tutors, administrative assistants, or help to host an event.
Grow It Know It partners with Georgia schools to grow solutions that address food insecurity, food waste, and climate change in comprehensive project based learning activities.
Green Roof Garden Geography Building UGA
In the 1960's, a green roof was constructed atop the UGA Geography-Geology building to serve as a temperature buffer for the Climatology Research Laboratory. Since 2007, a rotating cast of professors, students, and volunteers have planted and maintained a flourishing fruit and vegetable garden. Students, volunteers and the Office of Sustainability's Urban Agriculture Intern work to ensure that this 3,000 square-foot growing space stays healthy and productive. Produce from the Green Roof Garden is donated to the Campus Kitchen at UGA and added to their weekly delivery bags of fresh, wholesome food for families in need.
The Lunchbox Garden Project strives to engage children in conversations about nutrition, agriculture, and sustainability. Twice a week, they go to Barnett Shoals Elementary School where they work with children, as part of an after-school program, to help them build and tend to a garden. To go along with the more hands-on experience, they also teach a lesson related to food and/or the environment. Involvement in The Lunchbox Garden Project allows members to build meaningful and fulfilling relationships with the children of Athens-Clarke County.
Food2Kids raises awareness and funds to benefit the Northeast Georgia Food Bank Program Food2Kids. This program provides food-insecure children in Athens-Clarke County and surrounding areas with bags of non-perishable, easily prepared, nutritious food on Friday afternoon. Volunteers can help weed, plant, and maintain the garden or pack nutritious meals for students and more.
Citizens Advocacy Athens Clarke
The mission of Citizen Advocacy Athens Clarke (CAAC) is to establish relationships in the Athens community that offer protection and advocacy to people with developmental disabilities who are at risk of neglect, abuse, and social isolation.
Easterseals North Georgia strengthens children and families at the most critical times in a child's development.; All children are born with unlimited potential and a unique genius that is just waiting to be fostered.; Working together, they champion children fueling every child’s capacity for success; Together they help ensure that all children have equal opportunities to live, learn, work, and play in their communities. Volunteer opportunities include hosting donation drives, reading to children aged 1-5, helping with easterseals events, marketing, and advocacy.
Aces for Athens is a University of Georgia-based volunteer student-run organization dedicated to mentoring and educating local elementary and special-needs students through the sport of tennis. They partner with local organizations in the Athens community to hold fun and free weekly tennis lessons in which they teach special-needs and elementary students the fundamentals of tennis, as well as the importance of physical activity and socialization with others. Their current schedule provides opportunities to volunteer at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary and Barrow Elementary and no prior tennis experience is necessary!
ESP exists to create transformative experiences for people with disabilities & their families, changing communities for the better. Volunteer opportunities are available for weekly afternoons, day camps, one-time workdays, or event volunteers.
The mission of Live Forward is to build healthier communities through stable housing, improved health management, strong community outreach and widespread prevention services, ensuring those we help live with dignity and a positive quality of life. Formerly known as AIDS Athens, Live Forward was founded by a group of Athens residents in February 1987. Volunteering, fundraising, and internship opportunities are available.
The Cottage raises awareness and facilitates the healing of individuals, families and communities affected by sexual violence and child abuse. Formerly known as the Sexual Assault Center of Northeast Georgia, its name was changed in 2009 to The Cottage, Sexual Assault Center and Children's Advocacy Center to denote the agency’s full mission and to associate the organization with the little blue cottage that houses it. Today, “The Cottage” serves Clarke, Oconee, Madison and Oglethorpe Counties. The Cottage continues to operate the 24/7 crisis hotline. In addition to providing direct services to survivors of sexual assault, The Cottage works within the community on child abuse and sexual assault education, intervention, healing and prevention efforts through trainings with communities, schools, churches and other agencies and public awareness events.
Nuçi's Space is a resource center based in Athens, Georgia, United States, that provides rehearsal and performance space for local musicians, as well as services to support the well-being of the music community. Their mission is to prevent suicide. With a focus on musicians, Nuçi’s Space advocates for and helps to alleviate the suffering for those living with a brain illness and fights to end the stigma of mental illness. Volunteers can serve in a variety of ways.
The mission of the University of Georgia Medical Reserve Corps is to support the UGA Campus, Clarke County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Public Health and the local hospitals response plans where medical personnel support is needed. Specifically, the UGA MRC will focus their mission to the following areas: Preparedness and Community Resilience: Support for campus and community preparedness education, health and preparedness events, community health and preparedness outreach. Response: Support for mass dispensing of medication, hospital, health center medical surge, mass casualty triage. And Recovery: Support for ongoing medical surge needs, D-mort operations, and post-event medical education and follow-up.
The UGA Chew Crew is a student-led effort to restore neglected green spaces on campus to their former glory using goats. They have two enclosures, one at Tanyard Creek and one at Driftmier Woods, where they set the goats free to do what they do best. Chew! The goats eat invasive plants and some native ones too then we go back afterwards to sow the seeds of native species in hopes of swinging the ecological balance back in their favor.
They rescue and protect companion animals by providing for their wellbeing, uniting them with loving homes, and advocating for a compassionate society. Volunteers can help in the shelter, act as an administrative assistant, assist spay/neuter staff with sanitization, and more!
Athens-Clarke County Animal Services protects the public safety and health from at-large and dangerous animals and protects animals from inhumane treatment. Volunteer opportunities to help out in the shelter are available.
Bear Hollow Zoo is home to a variety of non-releasable wildlife residents. These animals have encountered a challenge that they could not overcome, either physical or behavioral, and have been placed here to live out their lives serving as ambassadors for their species. They are here to educate visitors about the wonderful wildlife with which we share space. Volunteer opportunities exist for animal care, conservation, environmental education, and more!
Unplug and tune back in to the vibrations of Mother Earth take a walk and listen. We provide a space to reconnect by offering cabins and yurts designed to do just that! Privacy and peace abounds! We also offer a pavilion for events that are nature inspired and open air! They offer alternative and holistic health services and also have outdoor volunteer opportunities available for individuals to work on the farm.
The historic Brooklyn Cemetery was established by the Bethlehem Cemetery Society in 1882. It is the final resting place for many African Americans from Athens and surrounding communities. This organization honors their memory by restoring a serene dignity to this sacred ground, their final resting place. Friends of Brooklyn Cemetery, with the help of hundreds of volunteers over the years, has worked to restore the landscape by removing invasive plants, fallen trees, and uncovering, marking, and tagging graves that had been covered by time and nature. Volunteer opportunities for educational outdoor service.
Shop with a Bulldog (SWAB) is a student-run non-profit at the University of Georgia. Each year they partner with elementary schools throughout Athens-Clarke County to organize an annual Event Day. On Event Day, UGA students and participating children spend a day together shopping, wrapping gifts, and enjoying fun activities. With money raised by UGA students and the Athens community, each child can spend $120 on items that they need and want. Volunteer opportunities exist for fundraising, mentorship, and more!
Masterlist of many current volunteering opportunities available to the UGA community. You can actively signup and easily attend events this way without having to go through an application/email process for more information about certain organizations. Makes finding service simple and easy.
Updated: April 2021