- Dacey Orr For the AJC
Giving back to the community is a great way for new residents to get to know the city and for native Atlantans to expand beyond their comfort zones, too.
In the case of millennials and young professionals, giving time and talent can be the most impactful way to enrich the city and feel like a part of something bigger.
Here are seven great places that offer plenty of feel-good options for the millennial volunteer:
982 Memorial Drive SE, Atlanta. 404-254-5955. wonderroot.org.
Those who love the arts will delight in volunteering at Wonderroot, a community center that provides resources and programs for artists and children looking for an outlet. Sign up to be an occasional volunteer and receive notifications when events are held or the community garden needs some extra love. For those looking to embed themselves in an organization, Wonderroot offers a program for regular volunteers who can commit to a five-and-a-half hour shift each week over a six-month period. Not much of a planner? Stop by the community center any time and pick up a broom or help keep things clean.
2. Trees Atlanta
225 Chester Avenue SE, Atlanta. 404-522-4097. treesatlanta.org.
Help this environment-minded non-profit restore Atlanta's greenery and get some time oudoors in the process. Saturday projects have volunteers meet in a different neighborhood each week to get their hands dirty planting, caring for, and restoring trees and greenery. Sporadic weekday opportunities to prepare for events, assist in education programs and generarally contribute are available, too.
3. Open Hand Atlanta
181 Armour Drive, NE, Atlanta. 404-872-2707. projectopenhand.org.
Open Hand is an organization that delivers meals to those in need, whether they cannot afford proper nutrition or are unable to leave their homes for health reasons. Companies like Good Measure Meals help take care of providing the food, so Open Hand's greatest need is for delivery drivers. Get a group of friends and sign up for a shift — they usually run two to three hours and include 15 to 20 clients — and make a difference while cruising the city.
4. The Atlanta Beltline
100 Peachtree St. NW #2300, Atlanta. 404-477-3003. beltline.org.
Be a part of the project that's changing the way Atlanta lives by volunteering with the Beltline, whether it's with one-off events like the Beltline 5k or regular shifts as a community office volunteer. As a non-profit, they're always looking for extra hands, and regular listings on HandsOnAtlanta.org are a great way to keep an eye on opportunities.
5. Habitat for Humanity
824 Memorial Drive SE, Atlanta. 404-223-5180. atlantahabitat.org.
One of the city's most well-known and far-reaching non-profit organizations, Habitat for Humanity holds plenty of opportunities for involvement. Join the organization's Young Professionals group for regular "Lunch and Learn" events throughout the year, and join one of three committees furthering efforts in membership/fundraising, service, or social. Meet-ups for the group make this a fun and beneficial opportunity for any young professional looking to get involved in the Atlanta area.
6. Atlanta Friends Junior Committee (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta). 404-785-7303. fjcatlanta.org.
This young professionals organization collects $40 annual dues in exchange for the opportunity to volunteer at select Children's Healthcare of Atlanta events, using the money and the time of its members toward fundraising events, social gatherings and hands-on opportunities to benefit the patients and families at CHOA. Attend one of the monthly socials to become a member or visit the group's website to fill out a form.
7. Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta - Club Blue. 1275 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 500, Atlanta. 404-527-7100. bgcma.org.
This nationally-known organization uses its Club Blue program to engage with young professionals looking to devote their time to good. Coach for a Cause and get to know local youngsters interested in athletics by helping to lead a sports team, or donate money and keep an eye on more opportunities as Boys and Girls Club continues to refine its programs for young professionals.