Hands-on Savannah: Making a Difference through Volunteering

When you join our vibrant and active community here in Savannah, you’ll find we’re a city dedicated to making a difference.  Savannah is a treasure trove of unique volunteer opportunities just waiting for you to explore. Another great aspect to volunteering is that it is a great way for people who moved or are planning to move to get connected to the local community more intimately.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Melanie Sparrow, the Education & Outreach Coordinator for Ogeechee Riverkeeper, to find out the best ways to get involved and the impact of volunteership. Ogeechee Riverkeeper is a local organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the Ogeechee River and its tributaries.

In the interview, Melanie Sparrow shared that at Ogeechee Riverkeeper, and in most cases especially those run by nonprofits, it can be very difficult to cover the amount of ground they need with minimal staff. “Our volunteers are our eyes and ears on the waterways.” Melanie says.

Out of the 22 counties in South Georgia that Ogeechee Riverkeeper restore and upkeep, Chatham County is one of the most crucial. Which is why they have their “Protect the Vernon’‘ project where they rely on volunteers for assistance with things like water quality testing, litter cleanups and more. Like many nonprofits, they need people who are passionate about change and growth and especially recreation, fishing and those who use the waterways in our area.  

Looking to volunteer in the Savannah area they can help with “Protect the Vernon” with water testing, they are open to any kind of help so if you have a speciality that you like or research, they accommodate- their main office is located downtown off King George Blvd. and those who are interested to volunteer can easily pick up any supplies.  You can find out more about how to volunteer for Ogeechee Riverkeeper here. 

To name a few, here are 21 other volunteer opportunities in Savannah- check out our full list:

Nature/Wildlife:

  • Savannah Tree Foundation: Contribute to the beautification and preservation of Savannah’s urban forest by volunteering for tree planting and maintenance projects.
  • Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary: Help protect and restore Gray’s Reef, a unique and vibrant marine habitat located off the coast of Georgia.
  • Georgia Conservancy: Join this statewide environmental organization and volunteer for conservation initiatives, outdoor stewardship, and advocacy campaigns.
  • UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant (UGA): Assist with research projects, educational programs, and conservation efforts focused on Georgia’s coastal ecosystems.
  • EDF Action: Join this environmental nonprofit and participate in advocacy campaigns focused on climate change and clean energy.
  • Tybee Island Marine Science Center: Assist with educational programs, marine research, and rehabilitation efforts focused on Georgia’s coastal ecosystems.
  • Georgia 4H: Mentor and guide youth in various educational and leadership programs offered by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.
  • Chatham Emergency Management Agency: Assist with disaster preparedness and response efforts to help keep the community safe during emergencies.

Animal Rescue:

  • The Humane Society: Make a difference in the lives of animals by volunteering at the local Humane Society and assisting with animal care, adoption events, and community outreach.
  • Pooler Paws Inc: Support this nonprofit animal rescue organization by volunteering your time to care for and find forever homes for abandoned and neglected animals.
Humanities:

  • First City Pride Center: First City Pride Center is an inclusive advocacy, social, and service organization actively working to meet the needs for safety, empowerment, education, and wellbeing of Greater Savannah’s LGBTQIA+ community. 
  • SCORE Savannah: If you have business expertise, you can mentor aspiring entrepreneurs and contribute to the growth of local businesses.
  • The Creative Coast: Make an impact on Savannah’s startup community by volunteering through their learning programs, events and more!
  • League of Women Voters in Coastal Georgia: Promote civic engagement and voter education by volunteering with this organization dedicated to democracy and social justice
  • Shelter from the Rain: Make a difference in the lives of homeless individuals by volunteering at this organization that provides essential services and support.
  • Habitat for Humanity (International): Participate in building affordable housing and providing support to families in need.
  • Savannah Care Center Inc: Offer support to individuals facing unplanned pregnancies by volunteering at this nonprofit organization.
  • Savannah Hospice: Provide companionship and support to patients and families in need of end-of-life care.

Arts and Museums:

  • Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF): Preserve and protect Savannah’s historic buildings and neighborhoods by volunteering with HSF’s advocacy and education programs.
  • Savannah Music Festival: Contribute to the vibrant arts scene in Savannah by volunteering during the annual music festival, assisting with concerts, events, and artist support.
  • The Jepson Center/The Telfair Museum of Art: Support one of the oldest public art museums in the Southeast by volunteering as a docent or assisting with special events.
  • Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum: Share the stories and experiences of World War II veterans by volunteering at this historic museum.
  • Davenport House Museum: Become a docent and share the rich history of this restored 1820s home, showcasing Savannah’s architectural and cultural heritage.

Savannah never has a shortage of ways to get involved, so choose to volunteer with an organization you believe in. If you are interested in volunteering in Savannah, explore Volunteer Match and SCORE Savannah to find the perfect volunteer opportunity.

So, if you’re ready to make a positive impact, explore the various volunteer opportunities in Savannah and find an organization or cause that resonates with you. Together, we can create a stronger, more vibrant community while protecting the natural beauty of our coastal city.