If you like the outdoors UA’s Arboretum is the place for you! The Arb is a beautiful outdoor nature museum. Volunteering duties include gardening, learning about succulents, and nurturing the unique plant collection. TBH it’s therapeutic and a great way to escape busy school schedules. The food grown in the garden goes directly to the West Alabama Food Bank to help combat food insecurity in Alabama. The only thing required is closed toed shoes!
Outdoor Outreach (OO) is a site organized through Serving Bama in the Center for Service and Leadership (CSL) that will work with local and state entities to help beautify the community in and around the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We meet on Sundays from 2-4 and this semester will primarily be working at Hurricane Creek with contacts from Tuscaloosa County Parks and Recreation Authority (better known as “PARA”). The goal of this site is not only to benefit and give back to the community we serve, but also to spread awareness about the environmental issues that affect our local ecosystem. To fully understand these problems, we must develop a solid foundation of knowledge concerning our local ecosystem. The students who spend a semester volunteering with this site will gain invaluable knowledge about an ecosystem that may be foreign to them and be able to be an advocate for one of the most diverse habitats in the United States. Students will be doing mostly physical labor but will be provided sunscreen, bug spray, and, of course, water. Tools and transportation will be provided. Volunteers will be expected to make a commitment to volunteering with this site in order to maintain good volunteer retention through the semester.
Caring Days Adult Daycare provides a positive and happy environment for older adults with different forms of memory disorders and dementia, such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. At Caring Days, we will be providing company and help to the participants there during different group activities, meal time, and more, and get to learn the personalities of each person there. Background checks required. Dress casually but appropriately, t-shirts and open toed shoes accepted.
Crimson Village is a retirement home off of veterans memorial in Tuscaloosa. Residents live on site in general living and the memory ward. Students interested in volunteering will work alongside residents as they go about their activities such as arts and crafts, movie nights, and occasionally playing corn hole. All the residents need is a friendly face willing to talk with them! Occasionally students may help with maintenance and keeping Crimson Village looking pristine. Volunteering with Crimson Village does not take much effort but it means the world to the residents.
The Arc of Tuscaloosa serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and Fit Friends is a time for those adults to exercise and cook a healthy snack. Extra points (and snacks) go to volunteers who wear workout clothes and a big ol’ smile!
Arts n’ Autism is a local after school program for children and young adults with autism. Volunteers at Arts n’ Autism act as teacher’s aides in fun elective classes like music, dance, painting, LEGO building, yoga and karate. Volunteers are asked to come with a positive attitude while aiding these students in developing new skills through fun experiences.
The mission of The Brown House is one of proximity, community, and opportunity. By living with those on the outskirts of society, we can better see and meet the needs that arise. The Brown House strives to be a place in the West Circle community where those historically denied by society can find belonging, ways to provide for their family, and the personal dignity of every human being. The After-School-Thing is an after-school tutoring program for children in West Circle multi-family housing community during the school year. It is a time where neighbors and volunteers come together to study and play.In the Community Garden we grow more than vegetables – we grow relationships. The garden is set up for folks to garden their own spots. It’s a place to sit and visit while we watch our vegetables grow.We also offer counseling, assistance in navigating social and emergency services along with spiritual counsel to our community in West Circle.
Volunteers at the Salvation Army shelter in Tuscaloosa will have the opportunity to help serve meals and interact with those who lodge there. Last year alone, the shelter lodged 17,000 people and served 40,000 meals. The Salvation Army is a church, but no religious affiliation nor religious action is required to volunteer there.
The West Alabama Food Bank services nine counties: Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marion, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa. The food is distributed by WAFB member nonprofit agencies who pick up and distribute food to those facing food insecurity in their respective communities.At the West Alabama Food Bank, we do a variety of activities that includes packaging food and stocking the market area. Dress is casual, and closed toe shoes are required. No background check necessary.
Wings of Grace Relief Center was established through Forest Lake Baptist Church in effect of the 2011 Tornado that swept through Tuscaloosa destroying homes and establishments. What most people fail to realize is that natural disasters have a long-term effect on their victims for years to come. WOG is thriving in growth and outreach because they understand the need for clothing, food and other resources to this day. The Center has expanded in their efforts by providing aid to any individual or family that visits them. Every Thursday and Friday, you will find them giving donations of food, clothing, toiletries, linen, etc. to the public. WOG is requesting the following from their volunteers: pack food and toiletry bags, sort and display clothing, wrap Christmas presents, help facilitate during events, and to be personal shoppers for their clients. Everything at WOG is free of charge! The expectation is that as a volunteer, you will submerge yourself into the experience, learn from the clients, all while being a cheerful giver!
At Woodland Forrest Elementary School, volunteers will mentor third grade students by teaching weekly STEM lessons and completing related activities afterwards. Volunteers will need to complete a background check and child protection training to be able to go to the elementary school and interact with the students.
Volunteering at The Humane Society of West Alabama cat shelter is an awesome opportunity. The shelter is an old house purchased by the HSWA that consists of 3 rooms, a kitten room, an adult cat room, and the elderly cat room. We spend our time doing some housekeeping around the shelter and helping their volunteers, and then we get to spend a lot of time just socializing with the cats and really giving them people interactions they may not normally get to experience.
The Dog Shelter through the Humane Society of West Alabama is home to about 15-20 dogs at any given time. As a volunteer there we do daily housekeeping things, like cleaning the room that the dogs sleep in, pulling weeds, picking up after the dogs. For the second half of our time we get to give the dogs some good quality time with us in play groups and play fetch and run around with them. It seems simple but this time is super important in the dogs development and preparing them for their future lives when they find their “fur”ever homes.
Therapy Riding of Tuscaloosa (TROT ) is a site created to benefit those with developmental challenges through the therapeutic experience of horseback riding! Serving Bama TROT volunteers will help maintain the TROT site through different weekly activities as directed by the site coordinator. Some activities may include cleaning stalls and water buckets, stripping horse stalls, and replacing shavings. It’s important to wear long pants, close toed shoes, and clothes that you don’t mind getting a little messy when working on the TROT site.