30+ ways to give back in Raleigh, NC

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

The holiday season is quickly approaching, 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 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)

💙 If you want to be there for abuse victims

○ Help individuals feel safe + comfortable by volunteering for SAFEChild’s Moms Supporting Moms program
○ 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
○ Give to your favorite local charity or nonprofit virtually
○ Arrange contactless pick-up of donated items via Salvation Army

💚 If you’re an advocate for mental 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 educational programming about our city.

♿ If you want to help disabled community members

○ Volunteer to read or record audiobooks for members of the NC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
○ Get involved with local initiatives through the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities

🎨 If you’re an artist or maker

○ Assist summer camp instructors or event support 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 homeless animals feel loved through PIPs Rescue, Wake County SPCA, Wake County Animal Center, or SAFE Haven for Cats.

🌳 If your an outdoorsy type

○ Participate in shore sweeps with Clean Jordan Lake
○ Become a Charter Donor at 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

📚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 the holidays are your favorite time of the year

○ Help feed families during the holidays with Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC 
○ Volunteer to combat homelessness and hunger with Overflowing Hands
○ Adopt a family through Wake County’s Holiday Cheer Program
○ Donate toys to patients at WakeMed Children’s Hospital during their annual holiday drive

🦋 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.