7 Ways to Help Atlanta in 2019
Photo above: Participants in a Green Infrastructure and Resilience Institute (GIRI) event create stormwater runoff relief with a rain garden.
Here at Southface Institute, we’re committed to building better communities through consulting, workforce development and advocacy for sustainability. But there are so many ways to help the environment, the community and each other. While you’re planning your 2019 approach to be a part of leaving things better than you found them, here is a collection of ways to volunteer in Atlanta.
Caring for nature and the environment
These are some terrific volunteer opportunities to help improve our natural world:
- Trees Atlanta is dedicated to protecting and improving Atlanta’s urban forests. Learn about how to care for trees by planting and pruning them, or bring more trees to your own neighborhood through the NeighborWoods program.
- Fernbank Museum of Natural History offers lots of volunteer opportunities, including customer service roles, hands-on natural history programs, exhibit facilitators, office work and animal care. There’s also a special program for teens.
Promoting arts and education
Education and the arts are key to our becoming better-informed, more whole human beings.
- Atlanta Music Project seeks to empower underserved youth with tuition-free musical education. High school and college students can mentor, as can working professionals. Volunteers on the Street Team help organize student performances.
- Amana Academy is a charter school in Fulton County founded on the principles of stewardship and responsibility toward humanity and the environment. Volunteers can choose to work in the classroom, at school activities or on overnight field trips.
Many of our fellow Atlantans struggle to obtain even the basics: housing, food, healthcare and more, necessities that these organizations seek to provide.
- The Salvation Army is a well-respected and much-loved international organization offering emergency financial assistance, youth programs through Boys & Girls Clubs, help for the homeless, food kitchens, neighborhood beautification projects, mentoring and more. These efforts depend on volunteers.
- The Atlanta Community Foodbank provides nutritious food to other nonprofits that distribute to low-income Georgians suffering from food insecurity.
- Friends of Disabled Adults and Children provides wheelchairs, hospital beds, and essential medical equipment to the disabled. Volunteers with mechanical, electrical, administrative or computer skills are always needed.
- Habitat for Humanity empowers Atlanta area families through homeownership and neighborhood revitalization. You can help build and renovate homes or participate in community outreach programs. Organizations are welcome to volunteer too.
In addition, TransFormation Alliance is a partnership of organizations seeking to connect communities in the Atlanta area through enhanced public transit and by working to improve the overall quality of our daily lives. Volunteer opportunities in the following organizations span nearly every skill and interest, including community events, art education, mentoring, trades, clerical and computer skills.
TFA members include:
- Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, dedicated to making our city more livable and accessible through biking
- West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, or WAWA, an all-volunteer organization that promotes water quality and sustainability in West Atlanta
- Georgia Sierra Club, the oldest grassroots environmental organization in the U.S.
- ECO-Action, helping communities take action against environmental problems that impact them
- WonderRoot, engaging artists and the community in order to bring positive change through the arts
- Georgia WAND, working to redirect excessive military spending to meet human and environmental needs instead.
As a TransFormation Alliance member and its Climate Champion, Southface leads various initiatives including Atlanta CREW, a green infrastructure workforce development and implementation program. Atlanta CREW is integrating arts/culture education and design in partnership with WonderRoot and the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance. Volunteer opportunities include recruitment to training participants and employers, project design and install.
A little means a lot
Even if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to volunteering, a little goes a long way. Your time and skills make a difference, sometimes in ways you can’t imagine.
Southface was started by volunteers in 1978, so it’s in our DNA. We’re in excellent company with partners in the Atlanta community, who work hard to keep our communities cleaner, healthier and more vital, both now and for future generations. Be assured, there is always more need than hands, so your help will be warmly welcomed.