Settling into your dream home with brand new furniture, amenities, and memories to be made is what we love to celebrate. But with a new home comes a new community, something we value and love celebrating too. Whether you spend just one weekend or consistently volunteer throughout the year, don’t miss out on the many (more than many) opportunities to pay it forward and tangibly serve our city. Grab a new neighbor, take your family, or go after work with your buddies, and check out these four organizations (just to name a few) that are making major ripples in Atlanta.
Ronald McDonald House Atlanta
Ronald McDonald House Atlanta: Established in 1976, the Ronald McDonald House aims to provide the families of sick and hospitalized children with a nearby place to stay, a community to help heal and cope, and lift any financial burden from medical and housing expenses. With Atlanta locations at Scottish Rite and Egleston, there are always many volunteer slots to be filled and families to be loved and supported. You can go individually or as a group and serve a meal, provide an activity, or participate in off site projects such as making hygiene kits and hosting fundraising events.
Atlanta Community Food Bank
Atlanta Community Food Bank: With such a variety of delicious restaurants around us, it’s easy to forget that food isn’t always put on every table at the end of a long day. The Atlanta Community Food Bank sorts through over 60 million pounds of food each year to give to hundreds of their nonprofit partners who then serve families in 29 different counties. Both groups and individuals can sort through and pack grocery donations at the Product Rescue Center, can serve with Kids In Need by shopping and restocking supplies for teachers in low income schools, groups can help plant in the Community Garden, and individuals can serve as personal shoppers for the different agencies when choosing their groceries.
Trees Atlanta: If you’re passionate about wildlife, the outdoors, and conservation, this is the perfect community outreach opportunity for you! Spend your Saturday morning (from 9am-Noon) and help plant trees, learn about tree care, and work on forest restoration projects in your neighborhood. If you really want to kick it up a notch, you can even apply to be a TreeSpeaker (give presentations), TreeKeeper (teach classes on conservation), Guide for the BeltLine Arboretum Walking Tour, or volunteer other behind the scene skills (marketing, event planning, photography).
Gateway Center: If you would like to be more informed about homelessness in our city, the issues that come with it, and how to address such problems, Gateway Center is a great place to spend your (spare) time. With individual and group opportunities such as preparing and serving meals, sorting donations, supervising the computer lab, training men and women for job interviews, and tutoring adults for the GED, simply being a willing and able helping hand goes a long way. Whether you thrive behind the scenes, never meet a stranger, or want to become a consistent presence in your community, give a few hours of your weekend and get to know Gateway.
Even the smallest efforts can make an impact. Take a step. Make yourself uncomfortable. This is the year.