Use summer to help others

By Erin Rountree, News Editor

Summer break—the time to catch up on sleep, work on a tan, earn some spending money and relax with friends. In addition to enjoying time off from school, summer is a great time to find a hobby and passion in volunteering for a unique outreach.

1. Manna House— If you are looking for a way to serve others on summer evenings, consider volunteering at the Manna House. Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4-7 p.m., individuals and families come to the Manna House to receive food, clothing and hygiene items. Jobs may include packaging meals, greeting people as they pick up food, sorting clothes and hygiene items or unloading boxes. Volunteers do not need to register prior to service and may serve any time from 2-7 p.m. Visit for more information.

2. Veterans home— As the summer kicks off with Memorial Day, take a day to visit with local veterans. Floyd E. “Tut” Fann State Veterans Home, located on Meridian Street in Huntsville, is home to veterans from various wars and welcomes volunteers and donations throughout the year. Common items requested are equipment for the dayrooms, and volunteers are welcome to visit and play games with or read to the veterans. The address and phone number can be found at

3. Botanical Gardens- Wanting to have fun in the sun this summer? The Botanical Garden has opportunities for people of all ages and with different talents to volunteer at one of the most well-known tourist attractions in Huntsville. Jobs may include greeting visitors, assisting in the gift shop, working with the horticulture staff or helping execute special events and programs. More information, including the volunteer application, can be found at

4. Nursing home— Valley View Nursing Home in Madison is open to teenagers coming to visit residents. Call 256-830-2316 to let the coordinators assist in planning a visit, then show up with a friendly face and sunny attitude.

5. The Ark— What better way is there to spend a summer day than by playing with animals? The Ark is an animal shelter in Huntsville that allows anyone age 18 and older to volunteer around the shelter with jobs such as walking dogs and cleaning cages. The Ark also has opportunities for those younger than 18 to help the animals. Go on a shopping spree to provide the shelter with items off of their wish list, located at Anyone interested can contact The Ark to make a donation.

6. Harvest Youth Club— Students who enjoy being around children should consider volunteering as a tutor or mentor at the Harvest Youth Club. The club is open during the summer from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The staff likes to know ahead of time that an individual or group will be volunteering, and contact info can be found at

7. Sci-Quest- Science-savvy students who want to help teach others about science can volunteer at Sci-Quest to help during summer camps, assist with camp sign-in, prep work and office work. Volunteers need to be older than 14, and the volunteer application can be found at A list of specific opportunities can be found at

8. Yard work for senior citizens- Individuals or groups who enjoy being outdoors and doing yard work can serve the senior citizens of our community by providing services such as raking leaves, cutting grass and trimming hedges. Projects must be scheduled in advance and the volunteer must transport equipment to the client’s home. Visit for more information.

9. CASA Community Garden- Groups and individuals who want to get their hands dirty can plant, weed and harvest produce at the CASA Garden. Make sure to wear close-toed shoes and sunscreen, and show up ready to work. Gardening supplies will be provided. Group dates must be scheduled in advance. Visit for more information.