How to Help

A story in our July issue detailed how area charities are feeling the effects of the worsening economy. Here's how you can help at the nonprofits mentioned.



Classroom Central's main goal is to provide school supplies to teachers and students in the Charlotte area. Since it opened in 2002, the Classroom Central free store has given more than $12 million worth of school supplies to teachers who work in local low-income schools.
What They Need:

Store Volunteers: Classroom Central's free teacher store needs volunteers to stock shelves in the morning and work with teachers and clients in the afternoons.

Warehouse Assistants: Volunteers will assist the warehouse supervisor with receiving and sorting donated merchandise.

Die-Cut Program Volunteers: Classroom Central volunteers will make and package paper cutouts for teachers to use for decorating classrooms or enhancing lesson plans. This program provides a very flexible schedule.

Donations: In order to stock the store, Classroom Central asks for traditional school supplies, such as pencils, scissors, books, erasers, and binders. They also need non-traditional office supplies, including liquid soap, desk organizers, interior design samples, and tissues.

When and Where: There are opportunities to volunteer in the store or the warehouse Monday-Friday in three-hour shifts, usually between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Classroom Central is located at:
2116 Wilkinson Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28208
Phone: 704-377-1740  


Since 1955, Community Health Services has been providing health care services for children and adults in Mecklenburg County. CHS currently serves more than 25,000 clients who are uninsured, underinsured, or unable to afford proper healthcare services.

What They Need:

Donations: Community Health Services relies heavily on annual giving to support its programs and services. For the price of a night out in Uptown Charlotte, donators could help provide healthcare and hygiene supplies to those in need or send a nurse to provide health education classes to low-income families.

Health Care Items:  Gift certificates to Target, Wal-Mart, or similar stores, hot or cold packs, multivitamins, cough syrups, and antacids are some of the items needed in order to provide care to clients. Community Health Services also asks for general office supplies for the agency.

Nurses and Flu Shot Clinic Volunteers: Nurse volunteers are greatly needed during peak days at the clinics when staff nurses are serving off-site flu clinics. Flu shot clinic volunteers will greet, register, and assist patients during their visit.

Administrative volunteers: In order to keep operations running smoothly, administrative volunteers are needed to help with monthly mailings and regular administrative duties.

When and Where: Depending on the type of volunteer work, shift length and day of the week can vary, but donators can make contributions with the click of a mouse on the Community Health Services' Web site.

Community Health Services is located at:
601 East 5th Street, Ste. 140
Charlotte, NC 28202
Phone: 704-375-0172

This local emergency food pantry provides a week's worth of groceries to adults and families facing hard times. Sixteen Loaves & Fishes pantries are located throughout Mecklenburg County and serve more than 70,000 people.  

What They Need:

Phone Center Volunteers: Working in three-hour shifts, volunteers are stationed in the telephone referral center. The volunteer will take calls from possible clients, check the database for eligibility, and input that information into a separate database.

Pantry Volunteers: For a more personal experience, volunteers can help to prepare grocery orders for clients based on a bagging list. Volunteers will have the opportunity to meet families and get to know the rest of the volunteer staff.

Delivery Crew: Volunteers will work with a staff member to make deliveries around the Charlotte area.

Donations: Loaves & Fishes' priority list includes canned fruit, 100% juice, pork and beans, peanut butter, canned meat, and soup. They also need freezers and refrigerators in good condition, as well as any type of funding.

When and Where: Volunteers can participate daily, weekly, monthly, or whenever their schedule allows a few hours of free time. Visit the Web site to locate the nearest of sixteen Loaves & Fishes' pantries.

Send donations to:
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantries
P.O. Box 11234
Charlotte, NC 28220

For more information contact:
Beverly Howard, executive director