If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, you’ll most likely want to get involved with something you truly care about. Whether it’s animals, literacy, mentoring, or helping the needy, there are plenty of chances to volunteer.
American Red Cross
American Red Cross Greater Carolinas Chapter–Volunteer opportunities are targeted toward various age groups. Prevent, prepare and respond; that is what Club Red for young professionals in the Charlotte area does. They use community, education and social fundraising to assist the Red Cross. You can also volunteer through the Become a Partner program by donating money, giving blood or hosting a fundraiser. Youngsters can help, too, through Red Cross Youth Groups, which emphasizes training for schoolchildren. Charlotte office for Red Cross: 2425 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28203, 704-376-1661.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control
If you love animals, this one is a natural for you. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department needs volunteers to bathe, groom and exercise animals, as well as clean cages, greet customers and to photograph animals. Many, many opportunities exist here, but volunteers must be at least 18, complete a drug test, and undergo background checks. CMPD, 601 E. Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202, 704-336-7600.
Central Piedmont Community College Literacy
Education–You can’t afford not to have it, but according to the Central Piedmont Community College website, there are over 1 million residents in North Carolina who cannot read well enough to hold down a job. Be a champion of higher education at CPCC, where there are opportunities to tutor adults in basic education, English as a Second Language (ESL) or those studying for the General Education Diploma (GED). CPCC-Cato Campus, PO Box 33009, Charlotte, NC, 28235, 704-330-4814.
Pilgrim’s Inn is full of heart and offers hope and support to homeless women and children. Located in nearby Rock Hill, South Carolina, this non-profit agency seeks volunteers for tutoring, mentoring, cleaning, transportation, office support, maintenance and entertainment.
Pilgrim’s Inn offers a safe harbor for homeless women and children at the Dorothy Bing Inn Homeless Shelter, which houses up to 17 individuals. Tricia’s Court Apartments offers ten apartment units with subsidized rent and utilities for individuals or families, including families with at least one adult who has been diagnosed with a mental issue, such as Bi-Polar disorder. There is also a child care center and a food pantry that assists members of the community. Pilgrim’s Inn, 236 West Main Street, Rock Hill, SC 29731, 803-327-4227.
Loaves and Fishes
In an effort to help all people in the community to meet basic hunger needs, Loaves and Fishes provides groceries and support for those in need. Since 1975, this non-profit organization has worked in Charlotte to alleviate hunger for all. Loaves and Fishes delivers a week’s worth of nutritional groceries, including fresh meat and eggs, for those in a crisis.
There are several ways to volunteer; in the phone center, volunteers field referrals from schools and social services to determine if there is a true need for emergency food. Other volunteers prepare grocery lists, and others deliver the food. Groups can also volunteer or conduct food drives. Loaves and Fishes, PO Box 11234, Charlotte, NC, 28220, 704-523-4333