It’s National Volunteer Week, and United Way of Greater Knoxville (UWGK) has a simple, fun way to get active in your community! Our Spring Volunteer Guide details all kinds of ways to give back between April and the end of June. Opportunities are sorted by impact area–ranging from environmental conservation to education and social services–with a key that tells you at first glance which opportunities are family-friendly or perfect for groups.

“Giving your time and energy to projects you care about makes a difference in your community and the lives of your neighbors. Local and national nonprofits depend on volunteers to deliver their essential services to those who need them,” said Matt Ryerson, President and CEO of UWGK. “Our annual Spring Volunteer Guide makes it easy to find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you, whether you’re a student needing to complete volunteer hours before the end of the semester or a parent wanting to get involved with the whole family.”

The Spring Volunteer Guide features all kinds of ways to give back–from supportingbook and bike giveaways to painting faces at a 5K. Whether you only have a few hours in your schedule or you’re looking for a long-term commitment to service, the Spring Volunteer Guide can help! Gatlinburg’s Inaugural Handcrafted Festival is seeking volunteers for May 18 for just four hours of support. You could also sign up to drive seniors and people with disabilities to medical appointments, shopping trips, beauty appointments, and more. There truly are volunteer opportunities for all ages, interests and levels of commitment.

“Volunteering offers a unique opportunity to not only contribute to your community, but to grow as an individual,” said Kate Barnett, Community Engagement Manager for the UWGK. Recently, Kate enjoyed volunteering with Dogwood Elementary: “We pulled weeds, we got in the dirt, and it was no doubt a lot of fun, but the most rewarding part was connecting with new people in my community that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. Those new perspectives, relationships, and lessons learned are priceless.”

At UWGK, we encourage our entire team to take time out of their busy schedules to give back. Recently, our food systems team had a great day volunteering at Beardsley Farm. The team packed produce bags with spring favorites for Bridge Refugees families and local Community Schools. They also helped transport compost made from community food scraps to grow more veggies. This year we have also had team members volunteer with Vine Middle Magnet School, Second Harvest Food Bank, Muse Knoxville, Trees Knoxville, disaster recovery efforts and more.

The Difference a Volunteer Can Make

Organizations like For the Love of Reading, a local nonprofit dedicated to getting Knox County elementary-aged students on reading level, depend on volunteers to carry out their mission. Volunteers like Nate who connected with For the Love of Reading as a way to spend time with his family doing a meaningful activity. Six years later, his family’s commitment to service has inspired others to join the fun! “Our organization is better off because of their consistent investment in literacy,” said Esther Bennett, Program Coordinator at For the Love of Reading.

Stay Updated on Ways to Give Back

Explore the guide and discover the countless ways you can make a positive impact in your community. The resource will be continually updated through the end of June, so check back often to find new opportunities! Check out the guide today at

The Volunteer Newsletter is another great way to stay up to date with upcoming volunteer opportunities. Subscribe today to receive regular volunteer highlights and tips.