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Want to give back this winter? Volunteer opportunities are available in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties

Ismael Paramo / Unsplash

The holiday season can add emotional and financial stress for many families, and this year is no exception. As Charlotte's housing prices continue to increase, many individuals and families are in need of housing and financial assistance.

According to the North Carolina Housing Coalition, the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness from 2020 to 2022 in NC increased from 2,558 to 3,625. Additionally, in the past month, NC 211 services received roughly 15,000 service requests, and of those requests, 52.7% were housing and shelter-related.

In order to help those experiencing difficulties in our community, we have compiled a list of volunteer opportunities at various organizations in the area that provide resources such as language classes, legal services, rental, financial, housing, and clothing assistance.


Alianza de Venezolanos en Charlotte
Address: N/A
Contact(s): (704)-533-2682 | Info@AVCCharlotte.org

The AVC organization was originally formed by Venezuelans in 2016 with the goal of providing assistance to Venezuelan immigrants trying to make Charlotte and its surrounding areas their new home.

For those interested in volunteering with AVC, there is a volunteer form at http://www.avccharlotte.org/contact-us/.

Catholic Charities of Charlotte
Address: 1123 S. Church Street, Charlotte, NC 28203
Contact(s): P: (704) 370-3262, F: 704-370-3290

The CC Immigration Program is accredited by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to represent individuals and families before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The bilingual staff (English/Spanish) assists people in better understanding their legal status and determining if they are eligible for any immigration benefits.

Volunteer opportunities with Catholic Charities include helping with refugee resettlement, helping with administrative tasks, coordinating donations, and more. To learn about all volunteer opportunities, visit https://ccdoc.org/volunteer-in-charlotte.

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy
Address: 5535 Albemarle Rd, Charlotte, NC 28212
Contact(s): (704) 376-1600 | Linea de Español: (800) 247-1931

The immigrant justice legal assistance program protects low-income, non-English-speaking, Latino residents and immigrants of other national origins from exploitation.

The center relies on volunteers and pro bono attorneys. These pro bono opportunities include child asylum, special immigration juvenile status, healthcare, criminal record expunctions, and more. Volunteer attorneys will be provided with training, malpractice insurance, and mentorship. To learn more, visit https://charlottelegaladvocacy.org/access-to-justice-pro-bono-partners/.

Charlotte Family Housing
Contact(s): 704-335-5488

Charlotte Family Housing is a transitional housing program focused on economic mobility for working families experiencing homelessness.

Volunteer opportunities with Charlotte Family Housing include landscaping, deep cleaning, and providing a welcome basket when families arrive at the shelter. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit https://charlottefamilyhousing.org/opportunities/.

Crisis Assistance Ministry
Address: 500-A Spratt St., Charlotte, NC 28206
Contact(s): 704-371-3001

The Crisis Assistance Ministry helps people in financial crises.

Both group and individual volunteer projects are available at the Crisis Assistance Ministry. Visit https://crisisassistance.org/volunteer/ to learn more.

Camino Community Center
Address: 133 Stetson Dr, Charlotte, NC, 28262 / 201 Stetson Dr, Charlotte, NC, 28262
Contact(s): 704-596-5606

Camino offers a number of services, including bilingual and multicultural services to the Charlotte community.

To learn about ways you can get involved with Camino, visit https://camino.org/get-involved/.

Community Link
Address: 601 E 5th St Suite 500, Charlotte, NC 28202
Contact(s): (704) 943-9490; 1 (800) 977-1969| intake@communitylinknc.org for assistance with housing needs

Community Link helps individuals and families obtain and sustain safe, decent, affordable housing. The non-profit also provides free tax preparation services for lower-income households. Each year, Community Link trains volunteers to be greeters, site coordinators, or tax preparers for this program.

The direct URL for this volunteer opportunity is: https://www.communitylinknc.org/pages/vita

El Puente Hispano
Address: 335 Ann Street NW, Concord, NC 28025
Contact(s): (980)-389-0615 | info@elpuentehispanoNC.org

El Puente Hispano offers programs that promote health, education, civic engagement, mentoring, and social services.

There are also volunteer opportunities available. To learn more, visit https://www.elpuentehispanonc.org/en/invol%C3%BAcrese.

International House
Address: 1817 Central Avenue, Suite 215, Charlotte, NC 28205
Contact(s): (704) 333-8099 | info@ihclt.org

Citizenship, low-cost English classes, tutoring, affordable legal assistance, and summer learning opportunities for young English learners.

Volunteer opportunities with International House include tutoring English, coordinating events, career coaching, citizenship tutoring, community outreach, and more. To volunteer, visit https://www.ihclt.org/volunteer.

Roof Above
Address: 945 N College St, Charlotte, NC 28206
Contact(s): 704-347-0278

Roof Above was created from the merger between the Urban Ministry Center and the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte. Roof Above offers food, housing, shelter, showers, laundry, over-the-counter medication, prescription assistance, and more for people in crisis.

Volunteer opportunities include helping with the front desk, resource desk, phone desk, laundry, showers, housing, and employment. Visit https://www.roofabove.org/volunteer/ for more information.

Loaves and Fishes/ Friendship Trays
Address: 648 Griffith Rd. Suite B Charlotte, NC 28217
Contact(s): (704) 523-4333 (For first-time referrals)

Loaves and Fishes offers a week's worth of groceries to those who have a referral.

Volunteer opportunities with Loaves and Fishes include meal delivery driving. Visit https://loavesandfishes.org/get-involved/ for more information.

Care to Share NC
Address: Greater Bethel AME Church: 5232 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28215
Contact(s): 980-430-5913 or 980-242-7704.

Care to Share NC is a non-profit that serves Mecklenburg County by providing groceries, information, clothing, and personal hygiene items for those experiencing homelessness.

Care to Share NC is accepting donations for canned goods, clothing, shoes, household items, toiletries, and more. Visit https://www.caretosharenc.org/contact-and-donate.html for more information.

Hope Street Food Pantry
Address: 4100 Johnston Oehler Rd, Charlotte, NC 28269
Contact(s): 704-584-9073

At Hope Street Food Pantry location (4100 Johnston Oehler Rd, Charlotte, NC 28269) 2nd and 4th Tuesdays: 10:30-11:30 AM; Thursdays: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

  • Southview Rec Center
    1720 Vilma St. Charlotte NC, 28208
    1st Monday: 10:30-11:30 AM
  • Waymer Rec Center
    14008 Holbrooks Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078
    3rd Wednesday: 10:30-11:30 AM
  • Bette Rae Thomas Center
    2921 Tuckaseegee Rd., Charlotte, NC 28208
    4th Wednesday: 10:30-11:30 AM
  • West Charlotte Rec Center
    2401 Kendall Dr, Charlotte, NC 28216
    4th Wednesday: 12:00-1:00 PM`

This pantry supplies a half week of groceries and toiletries to families in need.

The pantry accepts food donations and volunteers at each of its locations. Visit https://hopestreetfoodpantry.com/how-you-can-help/ to learn more.

Address: 3925 Willard Farrow Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215
Contact(s): Shani Mann | shani@joinourbridge.org

To volunteer or donate: volunteering@joinourbridge.org

ourBRIDGE for Kids is a nonprofit organization that supports the immigrant and refugee community in Charlotte, NC, by providing an out-of-school program and through community-based initiatives.

ourBRIDGE volunteering includes Community engagement-based opportunities, programmatic opportunities, and special projects. Visit https://joinourbridge.org/get-involved/volunteer/ for more details.

Project 658
Address: 3646 Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205
Contact(s): (704) 733-9934 | info@project658.com

Job training and resume workshops, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, Culinary Arts School, tutoring for young English learners, and free/low-cost clinic for immigrants.

Project 658 offers volunteer opportunities such as helping with quarterly community events, dropping off canned goods, and becoming a reading buddy for children in the community. To learn more, visit https://project658.com/volunteer/.

Project 70Forward
Address: 3010 Monroe Rd, 108A Charlotte, NC 28205
Contact(s): (704) 561-1134 | outreach@project70forward.org

Project70Forward hosts pop-up shops within the community, providing resources such as direct living support, clothing, COVID testing, vaccination clinics, and food and medical supply distribution. They are also involved in disability advocacy and connect people with other organizations or resources.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit https://project70forward.org/.

Refugee Support Services
Address: 3925 Willard Farrow Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215
Contact(s): (704) 458-3245

Refugee Support Services is a 501(c)3 nonprofit post-resettlement organization that facilitates programs and intercultural relationships to promote individual autonomy, cultivate social capital, and enrich our community.

Volunteers can connect with newly arrived refugees and help with sharing community resources, activities, and more. Visit https://www.refugeesupportservices.org/volunteer-hub/ to learn more.

Safe Alliance
Contact(s): (704)-373-1604 | info@safealliance.org

Safe Alliance is an organization that helps domestic violence survivors.

Opportunities with Safe Alliance include volunteering at the Clyde & Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter, the Victim Assistance Court Program, the Sexual Trauma Resource Center, and the Legal Representation Program. For more information, visit https://www.safealliance.org/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities/.

Second Harvest of Metrolina
Contact(s): 704-376-1785

Second Harvest of Metrolina has emergency food assistance for North Carolina and South Carolina residents. There is also assistance for pet food.

Individual, group, and court-ordered volunteer opportunities are available. Visit https://www.secondharvestmetrolina.org/2018-sign-up.

Charlotte Rescue Mission
Rebound: 907 W. 1st Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
Dove’s Nest: 2855 West Blvd.Charlotte, NC 28208
Contact(s): 704-333-4673

Every year, Charlotte Rescue Mission offers Christmas meals for those in need.

Volunteers under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent. Volunteers must be 13 years old to volunteer at the Rebound center, and 16 years old to volunteer at Dove’s Nest. For more information, visit https://charlotterescuemission.org/volunteer/.

Humane Society of Charlotte
Address: 1348 Parker Dr. Charlotte, NC 28208

After filling out an application, residents may be eligible for free pet food.

Volunteers must be 16 years or older. Visit https://humanesocietyofcharlotte.org/volunteer/ for volunteer opportunities.

Matthews Help Center
Address: 119 N. Ames St., Matthews, NC 28105
Contact(s): 704-847-8383

The Matthews Help Center offers once-a-week grocery pickup at the Help Center by appointment only.

Volunteer opportunities with Matthews Help Center include customer service, inspecting and pricing donations, and more. Visit https://humanesocietyofcharlotte.org/volunteer/ for more information.


Address: 2456 Charlotte Highway, Mooresville, NC 28117
Contact(s): 704-660-9010

After making an appointment, people are able to access the food pantry throughout the week from mid-morning to afternoon, depending on the date.

There are volunteer opportunities for adults, youth, and groups. Visit https://www.feednc.org/iwanttovolunteer for more.

Fifth Street Ministries
Address: 1421 Fifth Street, Statesville, NC 28687
Contact(s): 704-872-4045

Fifth Street Ministries offers housing assistance, shelter, health services and other community resources to those in Statesville and the surrounding areas.

Fifth Street Ministries needs volunteers to help set up, serve, and clean up lunch and dinner. The organization is also asking for kitchen and household supplies. To learn more, visit https://www.fifthstreetministries.com/needs-volunteer/.

Iredell Christian Ministries
Address: 752 Old Salisbury Rd - Statesville, NC 28677
Contact(s): 704-924-6700

Iredell Christian Ministries offers food and financial assistance to those in need.

Interviewers, shoppers, baggers, and driver volunteering opportunities are available. To learn more, visit http://www.iredellcm.org/howtohelp.html.

The Christian Mission
Address: 266 N Broad St, Mooresville, NC 28115
Contact(s): 704-664-2357

Eligible individuals and families can receive rental assistance, financial assistance, and more.

There are volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, and groups. To learn more, email volunteer@thechristianmission.org.


Community Shelter of Union County
Address: 160 Meadow St, Monroe, NC 28110
Contact(s): (704)-289-5300

The Community Shelter of Union County offers emergency shelter, food, and help with finding housing.

There are volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, and groups. There are also opportunities to provide meals, sponsor meals, or become a meal server. To learn more, visit https://www.unionshelter.org/volunteer/.

Union County Crisis Assistance Ministry
Address: 1335 W. Roosevelt Blvd, Monroe, NC, 28110
Contact(s): 704- 225-0440

Those in crisis are encouraged to call or contact the ministry.

For those interested in volunteering, fill out the form: https://unioncrisis.org/volunteer-application-form.aspx.


Cooperative Christian Ministry
Address: Concord, NC
Contact(s): 704-786-4709

Financial, housing, and food assistance for individuals in the Concord area.

For those interested in volunteering, there is a volunteer orientation. To learn more, visit https://cooperativeministry.com/donate/volunteer/.

Habitat for Humanity
Address: 8 Church Street S, Suite 101, Concord, NC 28025
Contact(s): (704)-786-4001

Habitat for Humanity advocates for affordable housing and helps people in the community build or improve their homes.

For questions about volunteering, contact volunteer@habitatcabarrus.org.

The Salvation Army
Address: 216 Patterson Ave SE, Concord, NC 28025
Contact: (704)-782-7822 | ConcordNC@uss.salvationarmy.org

The Salvation Army offers emergency shelter, food, clothing, rent and utilities assistance, and more.

For those interested in volunteering, call 704-782-7822.


B.R.E.A.D., Inc
Address: 3803 Old York Rd. Gastonia, NC 28056
Contact(s): 704-854-9221 | breadinc2011@gmail.com

The organization offers a food pantry, clothes, shoes, over-the-counter medicine, and toiletries, as well as items for those who are experiencing homelessness or transitioning into new housing.

Volunteers are needed to help with daily projects. To learn more, visit https://www.breadfoodbank.com/p/volunteer.html.


Crossroads at Children's Attention Home
Contact(s): 803-372-5980

This program serves those who are 17-20 years old and are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

There are volunteer opportunities in guest speaking, marketing, communications, lawn maintenance, events, serving meals, and more. Visit https://attentionhome.org/volunteer to learn more.

Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen
Address: 902 Crawford Road (Across from St. Mary's Catholic Church) Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730
Contact(s): 803-412-0411

Serving Rock Hill and York County residents.

Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen accepts supply donations Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 12:30 pm. To learn more about supply donations and volunteer opportunities, visit https://dorothydaysoupkitchen.org/contact-us.

Family Promise of York County
Address: 404 East Main Street, Rock Hill, SC 29730, US
Contact(s): 803-329-2456

Monday - Friday: 9 a.m- 4 p.m.

Part of the national Family Promise program, this service offers shelter and other support for families in York County.

Volunteers are welcome at Family Promise of York County. There are opportunities to help with projets and donation drives. For more information, visit https://familypromiseyc.org/volunteer.

Pilgrims' Inn
Address: 236 West Main Street, Rock Hill, SC 29730
Contact(s): 803-327-4227

Pilgrims’ Inn provides a variety of services, including emergency food assistance, transitional housing for families and childcare.

Pilgrim’s Inn is accepting volunteer receptionists, food pantry workers, data entry, preschool, and more. Visit https://pilgrimsinn.org/get-involved/volunteer-application/ for more information.

Tender Hearts
Contact(s): 803-684-3131

Women and children receive transitional housing, food, clothing, and counseling.

Volunteer opportunities include donation stocking, donation processing, community outreach, sorting the warehouse, and the community food pantry. For more information, visit https://tenderheartssc.org/volunteer/.

Clover Area Assistance Center
Address: 1130 Highway 55 East, Clover, SC 29710-1418
Contact(s): 803-222-4837

Families living in the Clover School District are able to receive assistance with food, bills, health services, adult education, and special needs items.

Volunteer opportunities include the intake desk, pantry intake, serving as a bagger, stocker, and more. Visit https://cloverareaassistance.org/volunteer-2/ for more information.

Mona Dougani is a community engagment producer with WFAE. Previously, she was an investigative research and reporting fellow and prior to that reported on local issues as part of the Queens University News Service.