Weathering the Storm

Find the volunteeer opportunity that fits and feel good about doing it

It’s no secret that deflated budgets have left North Carolina’s nonprofits in the midst of a financial storm. But while Charlotte’s nonprofits might not have the funds they are used to, they do have a city full of potential volunteers who simply need a compass to guide them to the organizations that best suit their interests. That’s one reason we’ve joined Charlotte Mission Possible , a coalition of local media outlets working to raise awareness of nonprofit agencies. Here’s a guide to finding the right volunteer fit for you.

If you’re secretly nostalgic for your high school summers as a camp counselor, volunteer at: If you’re looking for a way to put a dusty performing or visual arts degree to good use, volunteer at: If you can’t seem to find anyone in your generation that thinks Parcheesi is as awesome as you do, volunteer at: If you’ve been feeling a little deprived of puppy love, volunteer at:

The Allegro Foundation

The Allegro Foundation provides free classes for children with disabilities. The classes use movement and performance to teach basic interpersonal skills, from consonant pronunciation to problem solving. You can volunteer as a teaching assistant in these classes, working individually with students to facilitate coordination and prepare them for a final class production.  

Theatre Charlotte

This eighty-one-year-old community theater keeps the performing arts alive and available to Charlotte with productions ranging from A Streetcar Named Desire to A Christmas Carol. There are volunteer opportunities on both sides of the stage. You can help build and paint scenery, setting the stage for Charlotte’s continued support of its theater culture, or audition for parts in any of the shows.

Friendship Trays

Friendship Trays delivers hot meals to Mecklenburg County citizens who have trouble preparing food for themselves because of age- or health-related reasons. With more than 600 daily deliveries, Friendship Trays needs plenty of help transporting meals from the South End office to the many recipients. Volunteer as a driver and bring these Charlotteans a warm dinner and an even warmer smile.  

CMPD-Animal Control Bureau

This CMPD division keeps Charlotte’s relationship with its animals harmonious by providing services to pet owners and shelter to abandoned pets. You can help keep the animals happy and fit by giving just a few hours a week to dog walking.

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

Children’s Theatre offers theater camps and classes, teaching basic stage skills that range from the dramatic to the technical. You can contribute by volunteering as an usher at performances like As You Like It or Treasure Island, enjoying free admission and the chance to encourage theater appreciation among Charlotte’s youth.

Mint Museum of Art

Donate your artistic expertise by volunteering as a docent at North Carolina’s first art museum. You’ll lead museum tours and guide visitors through special exhibits, staying abreast of the visual art scene while giving back to this valuable Charlotte institution.

The Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte

The Shepherd’s Center is run by and for Charlotte’s senior citizens, offering everything from computer classes to tax assistance. You can help the center keep its members active and independent by volunteering as a driver, helping bring seniors to the grocery store or doctor’s office.  

North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue

NMAR takes in and cares for Charlotte’s abandoned, homeless, or abused dogs, preparing them for the transition into adoption. Volunteer opportunities range from dog bathing to building new play areas.

Trips for Kids

This program teaches kids from high-risk areas the basics of mountain biking. If you’re a bike buff, volunteer to lead Saturday-morning rides at Colonel Francis Beatty Park. You’ll get to work out while offering kids a safe community and the chance for personal achievement.

Arts & Science Council

ASC advocates for and supports Charlotte artists and cultural organizations through grants and other types of operational assistance. The winter Annual Fund Drive raises a major part of ASC’s funds. By giving simple administrative assistance to the ASC development staff, you can join the 1,500 volunteers who make the fund drive a possibility.

Aldersgate Continuing Care Retirement Community

This retirement community on Shamrock Road looks to keep Charlotteans happy and active in their golden years by providing a busy and warm atmosphere. You can socialize with residents and have a little fun yourself by volunteering as a bingo caller or art instructor.

Humane Society of Charlotte

By taking in stray or abandoned animals, the Humane Society of Charlotte ensures a safe and caring environment for the city’s furry citizens. Volunteer for cat or dog socialization and spend one-on-one TLC time with the animals, helping reduce their shelter stress and prepare them for adoption.