Apr 12, 2023 - Things to Do

Volunteer guide: 10 ways to give back in Charlotte this spring

American Red Cross

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 27: Signs are posted at an intake area during an American Red Cross blood drive to help alleviate a blood supply shortage as a result of the coronavirus pandemic at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 27, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The speedway plans to hold a total of four blood drives due to a lack of donated blood and facilities large enough to collect it while observing social distancing guidelines. Many blood drives across the United States have been canceled as a result of the spread of the virus. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

habitat for humanity logo
Presented by Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region ReStores. Love home decor and helping the community? Volunteer at one of the area's six ReStores.

We often think of volunteering around the fall and winter holidays when the spirit of giving is top of mind, but our neighbors need help all year.

What's happening: National Volunteer Week runs April 16-22.

Here are 10 ways to give back this spring, including a few favorites from our newsletter subscribers.

1. Be a lunch buddy

You can offer your time as a lunch buddy to a fifth grader at a Charlotte-Mecklenburg School.

  • “The commitment is small, less than an hour a week, but the impact, at least on me, is large!” reader Kristen S. tells Axios.
  • Register to become a CMS volunteer here. Other volunteer opportunities through CMS include tutoring and reading with a student/class.

2. Shine like Jane

Jane Harrell, who died from pediatric cancer at age 17, organized a school supply drive as a kindergartner. Today Jane’s Fund, a nonprofit organized by her parents, carries on her giving spirit by providing financial support to families with terminally ill children, helping out in the classroom and on the field, sending kids to camp and providing smiles (oral surgery and other dentistry needs).

  • Reach out to Jane’s Fund for volunteer opportunities here.

Go deeper: Charlotte teen’s parents carry on her legacy with Jane’s Fund

3. Get outside

Spread some mulch provided by Mecklenburg County at Latta Park in Dilworth to help stop erosion and rebuild soil for future planting.

4. Support seniors

Help seniors have fun with Mecklenburg County’s Senior Games/Silver Arts, which promotes health and wellness for people over age 50. You can help with everything from cycling to track and field events.

  • Volunteer here.
  • Find more ways to volunteer with Park and Recreation here.

5. Save a life

The American Red Cross needs blood transportation specialists to deliver blood, platelets and other blood products to hospitals.

  • Apply to volunteer here.

6. Build a home

Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region needs volunteers to help build homes for the community. Apply to volunteer here.

  • If construction isn’t for you, you could alternatively help organize donated items at the Charlotte Region ReStores or volunteer as a barista at Julia’s Café & Books. Apply to volunteer here.
  • Marcie R. tells us volunteering with Habitat for Humanity both at construction sites and ReStore is her favorite way to volunteer.

7. Rescue food

Feeding Charlotte rescues thousands of pounds of food, meaning excess food goes to people in need rather than being thrown away..

  • “It’s an amazing food rescue organization that collects unused food from places like Johnson & Wales, Atrium hospitals, and Table & Twine and delivers it to organizations feeding people who are food insecure like Leah’s Hopes and Dreams or Samaritan House,” reader Sarah H. tells Axios.
  • Feeding Charlotte needs food rescue drivers to deliver food to affiliate organizations.
  • Volunteer here.

8. Plant a tree

Trees Charlotte helps protect the area’s tree canopy by planting and caring for trees.

9. Help those leaving the hospital

You can help prepare and serve meals at Samaritan House, which offers a space of transition for unsheltered neighbors leaving the hospital.

10. Donate

Give a financial gift to a cause close to your heart.

  • Donate to Jane’s Fund here.
  • Donate to the American Red Cross here.
  • Donate to Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region here.
  • Donate to Feeding Charlotte here.
  • Donate to Trees Charlotte here.
  • Donate to Samaritan House here.

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