Lend a Hand: Volunteer Opportunities in Atlanta

Help out with something you're passionate about. Here are some things you can volunteer to do in Atlanta.
  • Center for Puppetry Arts is a happy place to volunteer. (Joleen Pete Photography)
    Center for Puppetry Arts is a happy place to volunteer. (Joleen Pete Photography)
  • Get in the swim of things at Georgia Aquarium. (Joleen Pete Photography)
    Get in the swim of things at Georgia Aquarium. (Joleen Pete Photography)
  • Help the environment by planting a tree with Trees Atlanta.
    Help the environment by planting a tree with Trees Atlanta.

Volunteering for a good service project can be life changing. Volunteering helps you look beyond your own needs to help other people, animals and the environment. It can also help you meet new people, learn new skills and create lasting memories. Volunteering as a family can help create a stronger bond through teamwork, as well as help instill empathy and compassion in children. Think beyond the holiday season and consider volunteering throughout the year. Here is a list of Atlanta organizations that regularly need volunteers.

  • Center for Puppetry Arts is looking for committed volunteers, 16 and older, with a variety of skills and backgrounds. Adults who enjoy puppetry, learning new things and sharing knowledge with others are invited to apply to be a museum docent. Docents greet guests, lead tours, assist with special events and act as ambassadors of the center. Other volunteer opportunities include Create-A-Puppet workshops, birthday parties, special events, administrative and house management. Summer Teen Volunteers are trained to interact with visitors, facilitate hands-on interpretive Pop-up Puppet Carts and work with families in the interactive museum exhibitions. The deadline to apply for this particular program is in the spring.  

  • Chattahoochee Nature Center –   Volunteers are an integral part of CNC, and there are many opportunities available. These include special events, group projects and community garden volunteers. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old for most of the ongoing opportunities. Some exceptions may be made for individuals volunteering with a parent or legal guardian. Another opportunity is to become a docent. Docents help others gain an understanding of the natural world. Some docents lead interpretive hikes or train to be wildlife handlers. 

  • Delta Flight Museum – Interested in aviation? Apply to volunteer at the Delta Flight Museum. The museum needs volunteers for special events, to help in the office, in exhibits, with aircraft maintenance and more. 

  • Furkids – Georgia's largest animal rescue and no-kill shelters welcome children of all ages to volunteer. Opportunities include heading up a fund-raiser or supply drive, reading to cats and providing foster homes to dogs and cats. Children 12 to 15 are welcome to volunteer as  dog shelter caretakers or weekend event dog handlers with a parent or guardian present. Teens 16 to 18 years old can volunteer at the thrift store. 

  • Georgia Aquarium has a volunteer team of more than 1,500 people who are passionate about aquatic life and conservation. Volunteer programs include guest services, gallery interpretation, activity tables and education programs. These volunteers are at least 16 years of age and must commit to 100 hours per year, approximately 8 hours per month. There are also limited behind-the-scenes positions, assisting staff with repairs, water quality tests, animal care and cleaning exhibits from the inside (diving!). Note that these volunteers must be 18 years old, volunteer at least 50 hours in the public area and complete any additional training required for their area of interest before interviewing to work behind the scenes. 

  • Hands On Atlanta helps individuals, families, corporate and community groups strengthen greater Atlanta through service at more than 400 nonprofit organizations and schools. Volunteers work every day of the year tutoring and mentoring children, helping individuals and families make pathways out of poverty. 

  • High Museum of Art provides the opportunity for individuals older than 18 to assist museum members and guests and gain customer service skills while meeting others with similar interests through assisting in educational programs, greeting and helping with special events. The High Volunteer Program requires a commitment of six months to a year, with at least 6 hours (2 shifts) per month. 

  • Lift Up Atlanta is a nonprofit committed to helping the homeless and feeding the hungry. The organization works with several homeless shelters in metro Atlanta and directly with the homeless by providing basic needs and job training. There are many ways you can volunteer your skills and abilities through a variety of programs. Examples of these include GED tutoring, backpack school supply drive, summer lunch for needy children and the family day out program. You can also donate to meet a family's basic care needs. 

  • Trees Atlanta is a nationally recognized nonprofit citizens' group that protects and improves Atlanta’s urban forest by planting, conserving and educating. There are volunteer opportunities for people of all ages for projects like forest restoration, Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum and youth education. 

 

Joleen Pete lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their 4-year-old son. On the weekends they enjoy going into the city for family fun and exploration. Joleen is the professional photographer behind Joleen Pete Photography and family blogger behind Love, Joleen.

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