Volunteering is a nice way to give back and do something great with your time. It’s also a good way to meet new people and get involved in your community. We’ve updated our list of some great volunteer opportunities in the Triangle. Like most places, the Triangle Area has chapters of national and international organizations such as the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the SPCA. We also have some incredible initiatives that were founded here to specifically serve our communities. I’ve highlighted some special ones from our area below and I’d also love to hear what other volunteer organizations you’ve found that serve our area.
Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program
Helping Horse is an organization that gives children with special needs the opportunity to take riding lessons that combine important skills with games and activities. The program works hard to meet the needs of different students and ensure a safe and rewarding experience. Therapeutic horse riding helps to improve communication, listening, social skills, strategies for handling stress, physical fitness and confidence. Helping Horse provides group and individual classes to children and adults with special needs, ages 4-and-up.
Poe Center for Health Education
The Poe Center strives to educate and empower the youth of North Carolina to live healthy lifestyles. The center is full of interactive and exciting exhibits for children to learn about general health, proper diet, gardening, mental health and much more. They also have adult programs and digital resources that teachers can use in their own classrooms. Check out their site for a range of events, programs and resources.
Wake Ed Tools 4 Schools
Teachers in North Carolina spend an average of $526 out-of-pocket on school supplies for their students each year. WakeEd Partnership’s Tools4Schools store provides FREE classroom supplies for nearly 11,000 teachers in North Carolina’s largest school district – the Wake County Public School System. The program has created a school supply store where teachers can get what they need without using their own hard earned money.
Realtor Giving Network, formerly known as as Realtor Foundation of Wake County
The organization aims to support the community by improving housing solutions. The group of realtors engages in activities like providing housing nonprofit grants, furnishing apartments for those who need help getting back on their feet, distributing A/C units to homes that don’t have them and giving gifts to underprivileged children around the holiday season.
The Green Chair Project
Green Chair exists to help those who have gone through very rough life experiences get back on their feet. The organization provides furnishings for individuals who have transitioned from experiencing homelessness or disaster and have secured sustainable housing. Volunteers repair and clean up furniture that’s been donated by the community and then rent it for a small fee to families working with case workers. Please also consider donating your household items to Green Chair.
Artspace, popular visual arts center and venue, is always in need of more help. Volunteers can assist with everything from bar tending on First Friday to delivering newsletters every other month. If you want to help support the local art community this is a great way to get involved. Neat artwork and artists studios to visit.
Carroll’s Kitchen is an amazing organization and restaurant that aims to end women’s homelessness in Raleigh. It helps women who were unhoused, in the prison system, or both. The organization provides them with work and potentially housing as well as skills and knowledge to succeed in the future. Carroll’s Kitchen is also an amazing restaurant that has been ranked one of the best breakfast and lunch spots in Downtown Raleigh. Volunteers are needed to help do everything from delivering catering orders to photography and website design as well as share job skills.
Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina
The Food Bank provides food for at risk individuals and families in 34 counties in Eastern and Central NC. The food bank serves a network of more than 800 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, shelters, food pantries and more. There are branches in both Raleigh and Durham as well as several towns in the eastern part of the state. It’s easy and fun to volunteer as an individual or with groups.
The Scrap Exchange
The Scrap Exchange is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote creativity, environmental awareness and community through reuse. The organization collects unwanted materials from local businesses and residents and then redistributes them to a wide range of groups including artists, students and educators. Individuals and groups are both welcome to volunteer helping to run the store and with any other tasks that may arise. Great store to visit with kids!
Museum of Life and Sciences
One of the most fun and innovative museums around, The Museum of Life and Sciences is also a great place to volunteer. The spacious 84-acre campus has a two-story interactive science center, one of the largest butterfly houses on the East Coast, over 60 species of live animals, and much more. There’s something here for everyone and it’s a great environment to volunteer in!
One World Market
Started in a church basement in 1991, One World Market focuses on providing fair wages to low-income craft persons from all over the world. The organization works with artists from over 70 developing countries, giving them access to the US market. Volunteers help by providing customer service, unpacking and processing shipments, store maintenance, helping with events, sharing product knowledge and much more.
Animal Protection Society of Durham
The APS of Durham has been helping animals in the city since 1970. They manage the Durham County Animal shelter and do lots of outreach. They need volunteers to help at the shelter, take dogs on walks, take care of the cats, help at educational events and much more. If you love animals and want to help them and spend time around them this is a great way to do it!
SEEDS is a two-acre urban garden and kitchen in the heart of Durham. SEEDS aims to teach young people about growing and cooking their own food as well as important life skills such as sharing, cooperation and leadership. The garden has operated since 1994 and continues to have a unique and powerful impact in the community. There are volunteering opportunities for groups and individuals including help in the garden and kitchen as well as tutoring and teacher assisting.
Carolina Tiger Rescue
A tiger rescue in the hills of North Carolina? I know, it does seem pretty random. Due to a lack of laws on the ownership of exotic animals in North Carolina and several other states, there are many big cats who end up without proper homes. The Carolina Tiger Rescue provides a permanent home for these animals and does its best to give them happy and full lives. The rescue also works to advocate for appropriate pet ownership laws. Individuals and groups can volunteer in a range of different options.
That wraps up our list of local organizations but below I’ve also included links to local chapters of bigger organizations as well as helpful databases for other volunteer options in our area. Thanks for reading and make sure to check back at the beginning of March when we post our monthly list of fun activities around the Triangle. Take care!