Make an Impact! How to Get Involved in the Charlotte Nonprofit World!

By: Lindsay Snyder

 

A Glimpse into the Charlotte Nonprofit World

As a young professional, it can be a balancing act to try to keep up with the constant demands that constantly pull at your attention.  While it can seem like young professionals have abundant free time available in their schedule, it can be extremely difficult to figure out how to spend those precious out of work hours.  

Charlotte is a growing city and each day there seems to be more and more opportunities and available activities making it harder and harder to decide where to plug in.

Getting involved in the community and volunteering with a nonprofit is a great way to build up your resume, make new connections and spend a portion of your week giving back to others in your community.

Limited time, Most Impact

In reality, most jobs these days require more than just 40 hours a week. It is eye opening to get hired at your first job and realize how much of your week is spent at work or commuting.  Days are long and it seems those after work and weekend hours are precious and few.  Though time is limited, time spent volunteering carries many benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing as well as a wide range of other positive benefits.  

Volunteering can be an avenue to meet new people and make new friends while giving back to others.  Working together and sharing a common hobby or interest is a great way to build meaningful relationships.  Volunteering has shown to reduce stress and provide a sense of personal satisfaction.  Serving others can also serve to equip you with added skills and experience to help further personal growth.  Time spent volunteering impacts your own life as well as others making even a small commitment of time vastly more significant.  

Below are some of ideas of ways to volunteer with available nonprofit opportunities in our community.

Mentoring

If you enjoy being around kids, one available volunteering opportunity is to sign up as a mentor to a child in our community.  Many schools, afterschool programs and other nonprofits offer mentoring opportunities in various locations across town.

Some programs ask for as little as 30 minutes a week to be paired with a child to help them read or be their homework buddy.  Giving just a small piece of your time on a consistent basis to sit with a child can transform a child’s world and make a significant positive impact.

Some organizations that offer mentoring opportunities are Boys and Girls Clubs of Charlotte, Sidekicks Mentoring and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte.

Working with your hands

If you enjoy opportunities to work with your hands, Charlotte nonprofits offer a variety of volunteering options that could be your perfect fit.  Physical volunteer activities can range from landscaping, construction and building maintenance to sorting and organizing donations. 

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit that brings together groups of volunteers to help build homes for local families. Even if you have no formal training in construction, they will train and assist you to help you contribute to the home build.  

Crisis Assistance Ministry and the Metrolina Food Bank offer opportunities to sort through mass donations of food and goods. They need large groups of volunteers on a daily basis to help them process the generous gifts of the community and help get them distributed to people in need.

In addition, many of the local parks have clean up days where you can be a part of helping to keep our parks looking beautiful. Reach out to one of these nonprofits and see what opportunities there might be to work with your hands to serve others.

Serving a Meal

There are numerous nonprofits around town that provide meals on a daily basis to their clients. Many of these facilities serve to house clients and therefore serve 3 meals a day, 365 days a year.

It is a huge task to feed so many meals and these organizations have a constant need for volunteer groups to come in and help with meal preparation and service. Whether you enjoy cooking or prefer to help on the service end, each and every volunteer is an important part of getting each and every person fed.  

Reach out to the Center of Hope Women and Children’s Shelter, Charlotte Rescue Mission or the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte if you would like to help serve or prepare a meal for others.

Volunteering Organizations

There are a couple volunteer organizations in our community that specifically serve to help match volunteers with nonprofit needs.  

These organizations have partnered with local nonprofits to provide listings of volunteer activities going on around town. These websites offer a wide range of volunteer activities letting your find a fit for your specific passions and skills.

Check out the Hands On Charlotte website or the VolunteerMatch.org website to look through available volunteer opportunities and see where you might find your match.

Fundraising

Fundraising is always a concern for all nonprofits. For each of these organizations to make an impact in our community, they must have the funds to operate. Another way that you can help support your local nonprofits are to get involved with a fundraiser. 

There are many fundraising events that go on around town that need volunteer help and people to participate.  

Get involved with a walk or run like the AIDS WALK, the The Leukemia and Lymphoma Light the Night Walk, the Isabella Santos 5K/10K, or the Susan G Comen Race for a Cure.  

If you enjoy cycling, Charlotte hosts a 24 Hours of Booty event to support the Levine Cancer Institute.  In addition, there are numerous holiday events and other annual fundraising events around town that can be a way to help support a local cause or organization and allow them to continue to make an impact in our community.  

As you plan your calendar, look at ways that you can spend your free time supporting worthy causes.

There are many ways in the community where you can make your free time matter. As you plug in with what is going on in our city, consider what events are out there are available that would help to support a local charity organization. 

Volunteering is the perfect way to meet new people, learn more about yourself, and get plugged in with the real happenings in our city.  Time is valuable and you can make your time hold even more value by looking to serve our community with it.

 

By Lindsay Snyder | @linstigator14

Extreme extrovert with affection for kittens, puns and IPAs.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit that brings together groups of volunteers to help build homes for local families. Even if you have no formal training in construction, they will train and assist you to help you contribute to the home build.  

Crisis Assistance Ministry and the Metrolina Food Bank offer opportunities to sort through mass donations of food and goods. They need large groups of volunteers on a daily basis to help them process the generous gifts of the community and help get them distributed to people in need.

In addition, many of the local parks have clean up days where you can be a part of helping to keep our parks looking beautiful. Reach out to one of these nonprofits and see what opportunities there might be to work with your hands to serve others.

Serving a Meal

There are numerous nonprofits around town that provide meals on a daily basis to their clients. Many of these facilities serve to house clients and therefore serve 3 meals a day, 365 days a year.

It is a huge task to feed so many meals and these organizations have a constant need for volunteer groups to come in and help with meal preparation and service. Whether you enjoy cooking or prefer to help on the service end, each and every volunteer is an important part of getting each and every person fed.  

Reach out to the Center of Hope Women and Children’s Shelter, Charlotte Rescue Mission or the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte if you would like to help serve or prepare a meal for others.

Volunteering Organizations

There are a couple volunteer organizations in our community that specifically serve to help match volunteers with nonprofit needs.  

These organizations have partnered with local nonprofits to provide listings of volunteer activities going on around town. These websites offer a wide range of volunteer activities letting your find a fit for your specific passions and skills.

Check out the Hands On Charlotte website or the VolunteerMatch.org website to look through available volunteer opportunities and see where you might find your match.

Fundraising

Fundraising is always a concern for all nonprofits. For each of these organizations to make an impact in our community, they must have the funds to operate. Another way that you can help support your local nonprofits are to get involved with a fundraiser. 

There are many fundraising events that go on around town that need volunteer help and people to participate.  

Get involved with a walk or run like the AIDS WALK, the The Leukemia and Lymphoma Light the Night Walk, the Isabella Santos 5K/10K, or the Susan G Comen Race for a Cure.  

If you enjoy cycling, Charlotte hosts a 24 Hours of Booty event to support the Levine Cancer Institute.  In addition, there are numerous holiday events and other annual fundraising events around town that can be a way to help support a local cause or organization and allow them to continue to make an impact in our community.  

As you plan your calendar, look at ways that you can spend your free time supporting worthy causes.

There are many ways in the community where you can make your free time matter. As you plug in with what is going on in our city, consider what events are out there are available that would help to support a local charity organization. 

Volunteering is the perfect way to meet new people, learn more about yourself, and get plugged in with the real happenings in our city.  Time is valuable and you can make your time hold even more value by looking to serve our community with it.

 

By Lindsay Snyder | @linstigator14

Extreme extrovert with affection for kittens, puns and IPAs.