RAL Guides    Lifestyle

40 ways to give back in Raleigh, NC

NC State students volunteering at United Ministries food pantry in Wake County

It’s officially thankfulness season, and while many folks in our community are passionate about giving back to the city that has given us so much, it’s often hard to decide exactly what to participate in — given the hundreds of opportunities around the Triangle. Well, why not start by using what you love to help others?

We’ve made it easy to turn your passions into a gift by putting together this volunteer guide catered to specific interests. From artists and makers to those passionate about our local minority groups, we’ve rounded up opportunities for everyone.

🦃 If the holidays are your favorite time of the year

○ Participate in Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Turkey Drive, Tuesday, Nov. 17 — or donate to support the organization’s efforts to alleviate hunger and homelessness.
○ Help feed families during the holidays with Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC (in need of donations + low-risk volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic)
○ Volunteer to combat homelessness and hunger with Overflowing Hands
○ Adopt a family through Wake County’s Holiday Cheer Program
○ Participate in the Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree drive
○ Donate toys to patients at WakeMed Children’s Hospital during their annual holiday drive

🍎 If you’re a natural-born teacher or mentor

○ Empower students to reach their full potential through Wake Harvest’s youth mentorship program
○ Teach English as a Second Language (ESL) through the City of Raleigh’s Cultural Outreach and Enrichment program (temporarily paused due to COVID-19 restrictions)
○ Be a lunch buddy to a Wake County School District student 

💙 If you want to be there for abuse victims

○ Help children feel safe + comfortable by volunteering at SAFEChildNC
○ Donate goods for women escaping domestic violence situations or volunteer with InterACT 

🏠 If you want to stay in your home

○ Contact a local assisted living facility to ask about becoming a pen pal with a resident
○ Donate airline miles (and other gifts) to children participating in Eastern NC’s Make-A-Wish program○ Arrange contactless pick-up of donated items via Salvation Army Charleston
○ Give to your favorite local charity or nonprofit virtually

💚 If you’re an advocate for mental illness + health awareness

○ Volunteer to support administrative, educational, and outreach projects at New Leaf Behavioral Health
○ Become an instructor or facilitator of support groups through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter serving Wake County.

🗓️ If you’re on a tight schedule 

○ Choose a time to donate blood through The Blood Connection
○ Be matched with a United Way of the Triangle event that works with your schedule 

🌳If you live + breathe Raleigh 

○ Donate or volunteer during various events hosted by the Preserve NC
○ Join the Friends of the City of Raleigh Museum to assist with artifact preservation and educational programming about our city.

♿ If you have a passion for disabled community members

○ Volunteer to read or record audiobooks for members of the NC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
○ From helping community members with cognitive to physical disabilities, get involved with local initiatives through the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities

🎨 If you’re an artist or maker

○ Become a teacher’s assistant or summer camp leader to help teach art to kids at Artspace
○ Instill the love + appreciation of art in others by helping to plan events or lead workshops at NCMA.

🐶 If you call yourself an animal lover

○ Help out the NC Zoo as a habitat translator, giraffe deck attendant, wildlife rehabilitation assistant, or honey bee volunteer
○ Help homeless animals feel loved through PIPs Rescue, Wake County SPCA, Wake County Animal Center, SAFE Haven for Cats, or Pasture Pals Equine Rescue.

🌳 If your an outdoorsy type

○ Participate in shore sweeps with Clean Jordan Lake
○ Maintain your green thumb by donating or becoming a garden volunteer with Dix Park Conservancy
○ Help keep our roads clean by participating in Keep NC Beautiful’s Adopt-a-Highway program

🏳️‍🌈 If you’re passionate about supporting local minority groups

○ Participate in outreach for Raleigh’s LGBTQ+ community through the LGBT Center of Raleigh
○ Assist local Spanish-speaking residents with resume writing, language learning, and childcare through the Hispanic Family Center of Raleigh.

📚If you’re a self-proclaimed bibliophile

○ Assist with Wake County Public Libraries’ annual book sales or become an ambassador for library programming
○ Donate gently-used books to your nearest Wake County Public Library
○ Participate in child literacy programs as a tutor with Read and Feed

🦋 If you’re a social butterfly

○ Join a volunteer organization like Junior League of Raleigh
○ Set up a giving circle through the Triangle Community Foundation
○ Get matched with your perfect volunteer opportunities through Activate Good

🔨 If you’re a handyman or woman

○ Build homes for the community through Habitat for Humanity
○ Transform the living spaces of those in need by delivering furniture with the Green Chair Project (temporarily paused due to COVID-19 restrictions)

Don’t see anything that fits your interests? Check out VolunteerMatch – a resource that helps you find local volunteer opportunities suited to your preferences.