How to volunteer
Donate a Meal or Food
We serve meals to 90 people each Wednesday night, September through May, and can use help with all or part of any meal. This can include preparing and delivering a meal, donating funds for a meal, or seeking donations from restaurants or grocers. We also seek non-perishable snacks for tutoring nights.
COVID-19 update: Due to classes being held online during fall 2020, we will not be able to accept any donated meals throughout the semester. As an alternative, we are accepting monetary donations that can be put towards grocery gift cards each week for students. Please click HERE to donate.
Invite us to Speak to your Group
Odyssey depends on grassroots support! Volunteers can help us to spread the word by inviting us to speak to a business, church, service club, or group of friends. Whenever possible we invite an Odyssey student to attend and to share their own story.
Tutor Adult Students / Alumni
Odyssey hosts tutoring sessions on Monday and Tuesday evenings in the UW South Madison Partnership classroom but can sometimes make tutoring connections with students at other times. We seek tutors with skills in writing/ literacy, math, science, foreign language, and English as a Second Language.
COVID-19 update: Tutoring nights will be placed on hold during fall 2020 while we adjust to remote learning.
Mentor Adult Students / Alumni
Odyssey is in the pilot phase of a mentorship program for students and alumni. If you would like to receive more information when we are ready to expand the program, please fill out the volunteer interest form.
Childcare/ Child Enrichment
Volunteers care for young children and work with older children (providing homework help, playing games, or doing crafts) on Monday and Tuesday evenings when parents attend tutoring at the UW South Madison Partnership classroom.
COVID-19 update: Tutoring nights will be placed on hold this fall while we adjust to remote learning, so there will be no need for in-person childcare assistance during fall 2020.
Host a Benefit
Odyssey supporters have hosted benefits in their homes and other community spaces, inviting friends to learn about our program, meet students, and support Odyssey. Program staff can help with invitations and other logistics.
COVID-19 update: We are suspending all in-person benefits throughout fall 2020. However, we are happy to discuss possibilities for the future.
Professional Services for Students
We can use pro bono services from attorneys, physicians/dentists, social workers, and others, to help students facing legal, medical, housing, and other challenges.
Volunteers can help to research a variety of topics including potential funders and programmatic ideas.
We can sometimes use help with typing, mailings, and other administrative tasks in our office at 21 N. Park St.
COVID-19 update: All Odyssey staff members are currently working remotely.
Photography or Videography
Help to capture photographs and/or video, especially from the Odyssey Junior classrooms on Wednesday evenings at Villager Mall, 2300 S. Park St.
COVID-19 update: Due to classes being held online during fall 2020, there will be no need for photography/videography assistance.
Meet our Volunteers!
Sandy Kaufman, Meal Provider and Organizer
Many times a year Sandy organizes a group that provides dinner for the Odyssey class. Sandy says this about her work with Odyssey: “The students of the Odyssey Project are amazing. Members of my PEO Chapter BC are happy to be able to provide meals for Odyssey students. I never lack volunteers for this most worthy project.”