Volunteers help further the mission of The Elephant Sanctuary in lots of ways! If you are interested in donating your time and energy to help, read below for details about volunteer opportunities.
The 2020 Volunteer Application has closed. Thank you for your submissions. If you were selected for a 2020 Volunteer Day, you will be notified by email.
To be notified when the next volunteer application becomes available, sign up for EleNews at the bottom of this page.
The Elephant Sanctuary’s onsite volunteer program serves two important purposes. It provides The Sanctuary with a devoted, short-term workforce helping complete a variety of work projects, and it gives The Sanctuary’s supporters an opportunity to donate time and energy into a cause they support while learning firsthand about the mission and work of The Elephant Sanctuary. To that end, The Sanctuary has set aside twelve separate Saturdays in 2020 as “Volunteer Days.”
Each Volunteer Day, twelve individuals will spend a day working alongside staff on grounds at The Elephant Sanctuary. Volunteer work projects may include painting, raking, weeding, pruning, clearing brush, moving/organizing supplies, creating enrichment items, and much more. No matter what task you are assigned during your Volunteer Day, you can rest assured that your donation of time and energy will make The Sanctuary a better home for our elephants
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Have made a gift of $50 or more to The Sanctuary in the past year** (Give Now)
- Be 18 years of age at the time of your volunteer day OR
- If 15 to 17 years of age, must have parent/guardian’s written consent
- Be in good physical condition, able to walk on uneven terrain, bend and squat, be on your feet for hours at a time
- Be able to lift up to 20 lbs
- Be comfortable working outdoors in extreme heat, rain, and cold
- Be flexible and willing to have FUN with other volunteers from all over the country and world.
** This requirement is waived for residents of Lewis County, TN.
Will I get to see elephants?
Volunteers will not have any direct contact with the elephants. The elephants are never put on display at The Sanctuary. If the volunteer work project happens in viewing proximity of the elephants, then so be it. There is no guarantee that volunteers will see elephants.
What is the schedule?
8:00 a.m. Orientation at our Elephant Discovery Center in Hohenwald, TN
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Work projects
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Brown bag lunch
12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Complete work projects and depart
How many people will I be working with?
Due to needs and safety concerns, we’ll limit each volunteer day roster to twelve individuals. This group will be directly supervised by The Sanctuary Staff at all times.
Can I bring a guest with me?
Each accepted volunteer has the option to bring a guest along with them. If you are not planning to bring a guest, please note that on your application form.
If I volunteered last year, can I volunteer again this year?
In order to allow more people to participate, The Sanctuary doesn’t allow individuals to volunteer onsite two years in a row. If you volunteered in 2019, you are ineligible for 2020. Please do not apply.
What should I bring?
Accepted volunteers will receive a 'packing list' via email.
Where do I stay?
Volunteers are responsible for their own accommodations. The Sanctuary will happily provide recommendations. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE RESERVATIONS UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY ACCEPTED.
The Elephant Sanctuary is a pet and tobacco-free facility.
The Elephant Sanctuary reserves the right to discharge any volunteer at any time for any reason.
Only volunteers who have registered and been approved by staff will be allowed on grounds.
Volunteer EleAmbassadors donate their time, energy, and enthusiasm to raise awareness of the needs of elephants in their communities and beyond.
EleAmbassadors staff exhibit booths, make presentations to local school and community groups, organize runs, host bake sales, and more!
For individuals seeking a meaningful way to take action for elephants, becoming an EleAmbassador is a great way to get started.
What you can expect from us:
• Online training and other resources equipping you to be a model spokesperson
• Invitation to an online community to share ideas and be inspired by other EleAmbassadors
• Materials and merchandise to support your work
• Recognition of your work in The Sanctuary's social media, online and print publications
If you are interested in becoming an EleAmbassador, please fill out the form below and The Sanctuary’s Volunteer and Outreach Manager will get back to you shortly!