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Lend a Hand Locally: Volunteer Opportunities in Franklin, TN, and Williamson County

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Lend a Hand Locally: Volunteer Opportunities in Franklin, TN, and Williamson County

In Franklin, Tennessee, and throughout Williamson County, the spirit of community and volunteerism thrives, but knowing exactly where to start can be overwhelming. This area is rich with opportunities to lend a hand, yet many of us wonder how we can best contribute. Whether it’s building homes with Habitat for Humanity, tending to animals at the Williamson County Animal Center, or protecting our parks and heritage with Friends of Franklin Parks and the Heritage Foundation, the options are plentiful. 

This guide is designed to help you navigate the vast landscape of volunteerism here, detailing how you can find your niche and make a real impact. Whether your strength lies in physical labor, advocacy, or professional expertise, there’s a meaningful way for you to get involved in Williamson County.

21st District Recovery Court

The 21st District Recovery Court focuses on ending the cycle of addiction and crime by providing support and accountability to non-violent offenders within the criminal justice system. Established in 2001, the court helps restore lives and improve community safety through intensive rehabilitation programs. More than 200 individuals have successfully graduated from this program since its inception, achieving significant personal and professional milestones. 

The court welcomes volunteers and donations from the community to support its mission. ​For more information, visit their website or contact them via email.

Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee

Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (BGCMT) has been serving the community for almost 120 years, focusing on helping young people achieve their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. BGCMT operates thirteen physical clubs across Davidson and Williamson counties, as well as an online digital club named Club NEXTThe organization is dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for youth during non-school hours, emphasizing high-impact development programs that foster academic success, good character, and healthy lifestyles.

Volunteer with Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee and make a difference in young lives, regardless of your background. From in-person and virtual tutoring to club beautification and athletics coaching, there are numerous ways to contribute. You can also provide mentorship, help with events, or lend your administrative skills. Whether you’re part of a group, organization, or corporation, your ongoing involvement will require a background check before you start. 

Learn more and fill out a volunteer form hereFor any questions, reach out to the Club Support Center at (615) 983-6836.

BrightStone

BrightStone is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving adults with developmental disabilities. From vocational training and life skills development to social activities and continued education opportunities, BrightStone aims to create a supportive environment where adults with special needs can thrive. 

Central to the organization’s success is the involvement of volunteers, who play a vital role in supporting program activities, fundraising, assisting with administrative tasks and events, as well as providing companionship to participants. By volunteering with BrightStone, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of adults with developmental disabilities, contributing to the creation of an inclusive community where everyone is valued and supported. To learn more about BrightStone and how you can help, contact them at (615)-790-4888.

Franktown Open Hearts

FrankTown Open Hearts is a non-profit organization based in Franklin, Tennessee, focused on improving the lives of at-risk youth through comprehensive educational and developmental programs. They offer programs including arts and crafts, automotive, culinary arts, fishing, safety and land conservation, leadership development, and more. The organization aims to equip children with practical skills and positive experiences, helping them build a brighter future.

FrankTown Open Hearts offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, mainly focusing on providing academic, vocational, and spiritual support to low-income youth aged 8-18. Volunteers can assist in educational classes, mentoring, meal preparation, and various vocational courses. They also need volunteers for special events and administrative tasks. A commitment of three evenings a week is typical, and all volunteers working directly with students must undergo a background check.

Friends of Franklin Parks

Friends of Franklin Parks is a nonprofit organization founded in 2011 to enhance the park experiences in Franklin, Tennessee. It operates as a public-private partnership, working closely with the City of Franklin and its Parks Department to improve and expand the 18-park system, which spans over 900 acres. The organization focuses on stewardship, conservation of open spaces, and community engagement through fundraising events and volunteer opportunities. Their efforts aim to preserve the area’s natural and cultural resources for future generations.

Volunteering with Friends of Franklin Parks offers an opportunity to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of Franklin’s parks and trails. The organization hosts various events such as cleanup days, festivals, and educational programs, where volunteers can engage in activities like invasive vine removal and community engagement events. For those interested in volunteering, more details can be found on their volunteer page.

Food Pantry Volunteers

GraceWorks

GraceWorks is a non-profit organization based in Franklin, Tennessee, dedicated to providing assistance and support to individuals and families in need within Williamson County and surrounding areas. Their mission focuses on addressing poverty and hunger by offering services and programs to help those facing financial hardship.

GraceWorks Ministries offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals, groups, and families. They rely on volunteers for their food pantry, mobile food pantry, thrift store, and special events like the Turkey Trot and Golf Fore GraceWorks. You can volunteer on a regular or one-time basis, depending on your interest. For groups and school collaborations, GraceWorks provides special arrangements and orientation. To start volunteering, create a volunteer profile and sign up for shifts through their website. More details are available here.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury (HFHWM) builds affordable homes for families in Williamson and Maury Counties. They partner with families, secure funding, and rely on volunteers to construct energy-efficient houses. Their goal is to build safe and decent homes, revitalize communities, and offer a hand-up, not a handout, to families in need. 

Construction volunteers are crucial in building new homes throughout Williamson and Maury Counties. No prior experience is required as on-site training is provided.  Volunteers must be at least 16 years old, with certain restrictions for those under 18.  

At the ReStore, a donation center selling used furniture and building materials, volunteers assist with tasks such as loading/unloading merchandise, donation pickups, and customer service, offering flexible hours.  

Volunteer work in the HFHWM office involves administrative tasks like filing and data entry, suitable for those who prefer indoor work. Meal sponsors can provide breakfast and lunch for construction volunteers, with suggested menu items provided.  Volunteers can also lend their expertise to various committees, focusing on areas like homeowner services, marketing and events, development and fundraising, construction and site selection, or finance and administration.

Anyone who believes everyone deserves a decent place to live is welcome to volunteer or donate, regardless of background. Learn more about these opportunities and how to register here.

Heritage Foundation

Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN, is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and culture of the area. It operates several divisions including the Franklin Theatre, Downtown Franklin Association, Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens, and the Moore-Morris History & Culture Center. The foundation organizes events like the Heritage Ball and offers educational programs and preservation efforts. It also maintains sites with historic and cultural significance, ensuring they are preserved for future generations. 

Heritage Foundation offers a range of volunteer opportunities, involving roles such as Brand Ambassador, Festival or Heritage Ball helper, and Preservation volunteer. Volunteers receive training to effectively represent and support the foundation’s goals at events and within the community. 

You can find out more about these opportunities and download a volunteer application here.

Litter pickup volunteers

Keep Williamson Beautiful

Keep Williamson Beautiful (KWB) is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, dedicated to beautification, litter prevention, recycling, and community greening in Williamson County, Tennessee. They engage the community through various initiatives such as environmental events, volunteer programs, and education efforts. 

KWB offers School Environmental Education Programs to teach students about topics like recycling, waste reduction, and conservation, fostering eco-friendly habits from a young age. Their Plant Native Species program encourages residents to support local wildlife and maintain ecological balance.  Additionally, they provide litter cleanup kits, including safety vests, litter pickers, and gloves, to groups and individuals who want to maintain the county’s cleanliness. 

Learn more about KWB and how you can get involved here.

My Friends House

My Friend’s House is a nonprofit organization in Middle Tennessee that provides a supportive home environment for boys aged 12-18 who are in state custody due to neglect, abuse, or other risks. They focus on safety, structure, care, and personal development, aiming to help these young men recover from adverse situations and succeed as adults. Their program supports about eight boys at a time, offering them a family-like atmosphere where they can heal and grow. 

My Friend’s House offers volunteer opportunities such as the Chef for the Night program, where volunteers can either cook meals on-site or bring prepared meals for the residents. Other opportunities include house projects and helping with home repairs. Due to the sensitive nature of the resident’s backgrounds, all volunteers must follow strict guidelines to ensure safety and respect for the youths. More details on how to get involved and the specific guidelines can be found on their volunteer page.

One Generation Away

One Generation Away is a community organization dedicated to eliminating hunger in America. They focus on rescuing high-quality food from various sources like grocery stores and restaurants that would otherwise go to waste and distribute it to those in need through initiatives like their Mobile Pantry and Doorstep Pantry. Their services are accessible to everyone, emphasizing a “no questions asked” policy. 

One Generation Away offers a variety of volunteer opportunities in Middle Tennessee. You can assist at their mobile food pantry events, which occur on Saturday mornings, where volunteers organize and distribute food in communities in need. Alternatively, you can volunteer at their warehouse in Franklin, where tasks include bagging food items and creating emergency food boxes. This is ideal for small groups like students, families, and office teams. For more details, visit their volunteer page.

Saddleup!

Saddle Up! is a non-profit organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding for children with disabilities. Their mission is to empower growth through tailored programs like therapeutic riding, equine-assisted learning, and hippotherapy, fostering physical, emotional, and cognitive benefits, alongside confidence and life skills development.

Saddle Up! relies on the dedication of volunteers, donors, and community partners to ensure their programs are accessible to everyone, regardless of financial circumstances. Volunteers can serve as horse leaders or sidewalkers during therapeutic riding sessions. Those interested in hands-on work with the horses can assist with barn tasks like grooming and stall maintenance. Additionally, volunteers can contribute to special events, office support, or join committees focused on fundraising and program development. Training and orientation are provided, and volunteers are asked to commit to a consistent schedule. To learn more about the program and how you can get involved, visit their volunteer page.

The Arc

The Arc Williamson County is an organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. They offer a range of services including advocacy, family support, and independent support coordination to help participants actively engage in community life. The organization also facilitates community and social activities through various events and support groups. 

Contact The Arc Williamson County to learn how you can get involved.

Pet shelter volunteer with dog

Williamson County Animal Center

The Williamson County Animal Center (WCAC) is dedicated to promoting animal welfare. This center provides various services including pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, rabies vaccination clinics, and animal control. 

WCAC offers various volunteer and engagement opportunities to support animal welfare. The Pet Foster Program provides temporary homes for animals, supplying all essentials for care at no cost. Additionally, specific programs for cat and dog volunteers offer comprehensive training for participants as young as 12, with responsibilities like socializing animals and aiding in adoptions. WCAC also offers special programs like Pawsabilities for community members with special needs, options for fulfilling community service hours, and various children’s programs including the Book Buddies Reading Program. Group volunteer options focus on supporting operations without direct animal interaction.

Learn more and register here.

Williamson County CASA

Williamson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) supports abused and neglected children within the juvenile court system in Tennessee. Their mission is to ensure every child has a safe and permanent home through advocacy. Volunteers are crucial to CASA, providing a stable adult presence for children until they are placed in loving permanent homes. 

Williamson County CASA offers volunteer opportunities as Court Appointed Special Advocates for children. Volunteers need to be at least 21 years old, complete a 30-hour training course, and pass a background check. They advocate for children’s best interests in court, ensuring the child’s needs are met and they find a permanent, safe home. More information on these roles and responsibilities, including how to apply, can be found on their volunteer page.

Williamson County Public Library

The Williamson County Public Library (WCPL) offers a range of services including a catalog of physical and digital resources, various programs and events such as story times, book clubs, and educational series. The library provides community support through initiatives like Alzheimer’s caregivers’ support groups and garden talks

WCPL offers a range of volunteer opportunities for individuals looking to contribute to their community. Volunteers can assist with various roles, such as shelving books, helping with special events, or supporting library staff with administrative tasks. These roles provide a great opportunity to engage with the library’s services and support its mission of fostering lifelong learning and literacy in the community. Interested individuals can find out more about these roles and learn how to get involved by visiting the library’s volunteer page.

Williamson Health

Williamson Health is a comprehensive healthcare system in Williamson County, Tennessee, providing world-class medical services. The facility offers a wide range of services including primary care, specialized care in orthopedics, surgery, and cardiology, along with urgent care clinics and various outpatient services. 

Williamson Health offers both adult and student volunteer programs. The adult volunteer program welcomes individuals looking to give back to the community and gain personal satisfaction from helping others. The student volunteer program provides young people with valuable experience in a healthcare setting, fostering a sense of responsibility and community involvement. Both programs offer meaningful opportunities to support hospital operations, interact with patients and visitors, and contribute to the overall well-being of the community.

Those interested in volunteering can apply online or contact the Volunteer Services Manager for more details. 

Williamson County United Way

United Way focuses on uniting community resources to ensure children, individuals, and families thrive. They address various challenges like poverty, education, and community health. Key initiatives include breaking the cycle of poverty, giving children equal educational opportunities, and meeting basic community needs. United Way encourages involvement through volunteer work, advocacy, and various community events. 

Volunteer opportunities include tutoring, tax preparation assistance, and reading to infants and toddlers. They also have special Days of Action events focusing on community impact. You can find a suitable project and more details on their volunteer opportunities page.

Smiling Volunteers

Find your Cause: Volunteer in Williamson County and Make a Change

The guide above serves as a roadmap for anyone looking to join the community of volunteers in Franklin and Williamson County. By tapping into your strengths and finding a cause that speaks to you, you can truly make a difference. 

Whether you’re passionate about ending the cycle of addiction and crime, supporting vulnerable youth, or preserving natural and cultural resources, there are countless ways to make a positive impact. Find a cause you care about and volunteer your time, talent, and heart with one of these organizations!