Tell Me Where Your Heart Is - Volunteer Guide

by Stephanie Miller
April 2011

Ever notice the proliferation of 5k runs around the John Nesbitt Loop in Wrightsville Beach? Most are planned to get the heart pumping while raising awareness and much needed funds for worthwhile causes. Nonprofit charitable outreach organizations are always looking for engaging ways to motivate the public to contribute, and a 5k run or fun walk might just win some hearts, along with a free T-shirt for the participants and the volunteers.

This month, as April swings into spring, is National Volunteer Month, a great time to get out and discover your volunteer fitness, find the right place to plant your passion and give generously of your abundant talents. Hundreds of local groups, now more than ever, are searching harder than ever for men and women eager to help build programs and sustain success.

In fact, in a January 2011 report authored by Dr. Laurie Paarlberg and Micah Owens of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, 72 percent of agencies surveyed, reported an increase in clients served. Of these, 20 percent attribute this increase to economic conditions. The time has never been better to lend a hand. The needs are greater and the number of opportunities is growing as the Azalea Coast welcomes dozens of new nonprofits each year.

The 104 organizations listed in this guide are seeking volunteers. Theres one thats right for you.

2011 New Hanover County CROP Hunger Walk

The CROP Hunger Walk is planned for Sunday, October 9 at Hugh McRae Park. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. and the walk at 2 p.m. Twenty-five percent of the money raised is used to help fight hunger in the Wilmington area. Church World Service will use the balance to help fight hunger throughout the world.

(910) 620-0944

Contact: Jim Sinclair

Airlie Gardens

More than 200 Airlie Gardens volunteers donate their time in many different ways: tending the gardens; giving tours of the grounds; selling gift shop items; educating young minds about the environment; and assisting with events, performing duties including ticket collection, parking and greeting visitors. Volunteering at Airlie is a great way to assist in the protection and preservation of New Hanover Countys prized historic garden.

(910) 798-7700

Contact: Flo Berry

American Red Cross Cape Fear Chapter

The American Red Cross relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. The Cape Fear Chapter serves Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover and Pender counties and helps area residents prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies, mobilizing people to help their neighbors during times of disaster across the street, across the country and around the world. The Cape Fear Chapter of the American Red Cross is seeking volunteers who wish to make a difference in their community in all programs, including: blood services, disaster services, health and safety services, services to Armed Forces, administrative support, fundraising activities and special events. Prospective volunteers are required to complete a basic application, submit to a background check, and indicate acceptance of the organizations Code of Conduct and Volunteer Handbook. Volunteers are the greatest asset of the American Red Cross.

(910) 762-2683 x 328

Contact: Wendy Flynn

AMEZ Housing Community Development Corporation

For nearly 17 years AMEZ has been a leader in affordable housing for people with low-to-moderate income, providing decent, affordable housing. The counseling agency also provides education to first-time buyers and existing homeowners, financial literacy, pre- and post-homeownership and foreclosure mitigation counseling. Volunteer opportunities include serving on the board of directors, serving on an advisory committee, grant research and clerical duties.

(910) 815-3826

Contact: Noel Edwards

The Arboretum at New Hanover County

The Cooperative Extension Campus and Arboretum of New Hanover County is an exciting environment for learning and inspiration. Volunteers help foster that environment through special events, grounds maintenance, Ability Garden assistance, gift shop duties, office work and fundraising.

Master Gardener Program

After 13 weeks and 40 hours of horticulture classes, which take place February through March, 30 new volunteers spend 50 hours in Master Gardener training. Master Gardeners support the consumer horticulture program by fielding questions about various plant and gardening issues on the Plant Hotline and at remote plant clinics.

(910) 798-7665

Contact: C.C. Hensley

Assistance League

Assistance League is a national nonprofit organization with 122 chapters that puts caring and commitment into action through community-based philanthropic programs. Greater Wilmington has five programs that serve children, seniors and families. The signature program, Operation School Bell, provides children in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties with new clothing and supplies. This gives them appropriate support, fostering the best foundation to help them succeed in school. Last year members contributed more than 8,650 service hours while touching the lives of more than 1,000 community members.

(910) 465-6029  

Contact: Judi Logan

The Bargain Box

Some volunteers are able to give eight hours a week, but even one hour is appreciated at the Church of the Servants thrift store. Help maintain its boutique appeal by steaming clothes and stocking toys, jewelry, books and household items or by assisting customers find their treasures. No experience is required for these positions.

(910) 362-0603

Contact: Kathy Vezzetti

Boy Scouts of America, Cape Fear Council

Through 2011, Boy Scouts of America are celebrating the beginning of its second century and more than 100 years of service to the youth of America. In Southeastern North Carolina, Scouts, young and old, continue to give back to their communities. There are ample volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in being part of Scoutings great tradition, please contact them.

(910) 395-1100 x 21  

Contact: Andrew Zeldin

The Brigade Boys and Girls Club Big Buddy Program

After a thorough screening and training process, mentors and tutors for at-risk youth will be matched with a little buddy. A two hour per week commitment is estimated depending on interests and needs. Mentors help with homework, play games, hang out and listen, coach tee ball in the spring or basketball in the fall. Anyone 18 and older will be considered, though a preference is given to those who plan to remain in the area.

(910) 392-0747  

Contact: Dana Floyd

Burrito Lady Street Ministry

This ministry makes 110 burritos per week and hands them out to those in need on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; distribution begins at the Main Branch of the New Hanover County Library at 12:30 p.m. Leftovers are taken to the homeless camps. The ministry also provides tents and sleeping bags. Volunteers are needed to help in all areas.

Contact: Donna Cavedo

(910) 233-7277

Cameron Art Museum

The Cameron Art Museum is quickly becoming one of the premier cultural destinations in North Carolina. The museum presents six to eight special exhibitions annually; monthly family and childrens programs; and public programs such as lectures, films, workshops and classes with resident master artists. Those who are interested in art are invited to join the Cameron Art Museum as a volunteer. Reliable, dedicated helpers serve as docents, information desk volunteers and museum shop workers. No prior experience or training is required.

(910) 395-5999 x 1000

Contact: Christine Kilian

Cape Fear Green Building Alliance (CFGBA)

The CFGBA promotes building practices that are environmentally responsible, health conscious and financially sound. CFGBA supports education for both industry professionals and the public about green building practices, technologies and products. Volunteers are needed to help with events such as The Solar and Green Building Tour and The Green Living Expo and to assist in fundraising, marketing and development, financial or legal administration, and technology.

(910) 470-5697

Contact: Joy Allen

Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity

Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity, raising walls raising spirits, makes a difference. Swing a hammer, team up with friends to plan a party for a fundraising event, spend time with someone in need as a family services mentor, spread the Habitat word via social networking, help preserve the planet by volunteering at the Habitat ReStore. There are unlimited ways to create something together.

(910) 762-4744  

Contact: Kitty Yerkes, ext 102

The Cape Fear Jazz Society

The Cape Fear Jazz Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created to present and preserve the American art form of jazz. Membership is composed of jazz lovers throughout the Cape Fear region who volunteer for, attend and work during jazz-related events, like the annual scholarship concert in collaboration with the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the North Carolina Jazz Festival held in February.

Contact: Simone Mills Allen

Cape Fear Literacy Council

Tutor two days per week, three hours total, and put your literacy and math skills to good use. Tutors are needed to teach reading/spelling/writing, math, computer software technology, English as a Second Language and to conduct GED prep classes for adults. Tutors are also needed to teach small classes. No previous experience is necessary, and monthly tutor and orientation workshops are offered. If you have less time, join the Partners in Literacy Team and help organize great galas and fundraising events.

(910) 251-0911  

Contact: Rachel Forman

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science

Volunteer for the museums store where both morning and afternoon shifts are usually available. Training is provided, and no experience is necessary. Volunteers are also needed to handle the educational carts throughout the museum on the first two Sundays of the month for two hours. Volunteers are also needed for the summer camp program which begins in mid June.

(910) 798-4366  

Contact: Karen Smith

Cape Fear Optimist Club

Civic-minded men and women band together for progressive thought and action in community service. Membership, which is by invitation only, is composed of citizens drawn from business, industry, agriculture and the professions, by invitation. Members are motivated by the desire to contribute to the community from which they and their families draw daily benefits.

(910) 200-9637 and

Contact: Bennie Bass

Cape Fear River Watch

The Cape Fear River Watch is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, health, beauty and cleanliness of the Lower Cape Fear River basin through education and advocacy. Interested volunteers should submit an online volunteer application found on the organizations website. Choose special areas of interest, including cleanups, events and eco tours.  

Contact: Carrie Frohling

(910) 762-5606

Cape Fear Volunteer Center

Cape Fear Volunteer Center helps connect volunteers to the right opportunity. By working closely with many area nonprofits, businesses and colleges, it offers prospective volunteers one-on-one, individualized service. The center also helps organizations train new volunteers, partnering with online resources such as, and to help lessen the legwork. It also has several programs of its own, including Big Buddy, which offers one-on-one mentoring to at-risk youth. This program strengthens ties between volunteer services and churches and other civic groups.

(910) 392-8180  

Contact: Annie Anthony

Carolina Canines

For dog lovers, Carolina Canines offers the perfect volunteer opportunity. Foster a dog for two years or volunteer for animal assistant therapy, which involves taking a class with your dog and eventually visiting nursing homes, hospice and schools to brighten peoples days. Looking for less of a commitment? Carolina Canines is also in need of office help and volunteers for its annual Walk for Those Who Cant at Hugh McRae Park.

(910) 362-8181  

Contact: Laura Kranchalk

Child Advocacy and Parenting Place Exchange Club Center, Inc.

The CAPP Center works with families to strengthen the environment of the child by providing education, resources and support. CAPP Center is currently seeking volunteers to work with families and children in a variety of roles at evening group sessions and during the day in many areas including elementary and middle school tutoring. Volunteers are also needed to work with children by sharing/teaching special talents in art, music (including guitar and piano), storytelling, yoga/stretching, karate and dance (especially step dancing) or by sharing an unusual career. Administrative and fundraising help is always needed.

(910) 791-1057 x 21

Contact: Ann Sherman-Skiba

The Childrens Museum of Wilmington

There are plenty of fun ways to volunteer, including assisting educators with museum exhibits and planning various special events. Theres also a need for those with gardening, basic maintenance and carpentry knowledge. More of an indoor person? Help with office work, or support the museums grassroots marketing programs. Flexibility helps, especially on weekends, but CMOW wants to work with you.

(910) 254-3534 x 103  

Contact: Jessica Green

Christian Womens Job Corps HOPE (CWJC HOPE)

Mentors are needed for this faith-based initiative with a focus on women in poverty, a hand up, not a hand-out solution, equipping and empowering women to move from dependency into self sufficiency, walking alongside her where she is today, teaching, challenging, coaching and guiding her to her goals. CWJC HOPE mentors each woman one-on-one, teaching life skills, Microsoft Office, resume building, interview skills, money management, time management, negotiation skills, conflict skills and relationship building.

(910) 399-2771  

Contact: Mary Ellen Bowman

Clean Energy Events

A recently founded nonprofit, Clean Energy Events mission is providing power with alternative energy equipment such as a 3,000 watt solar generator, to support entertainment and demonstrate sustainability at local concerts, festivals, events and schools. The organization will be raising funds for student scholarships in Sustainability Technologies at Cape Fear Community College. Volunteer opportunities are available in planning, event staffing, technical development and promotion.

(910) 538-0075

Contact: Richard Groves

Coastal Horizons Center, Inc.

Volunteer opportunities in Crisis Intervention Services Programs, Crisis Line and First Call for Help hotlines, Open House Emergency Youth Shelter and Services, and Rape Crisis Center-New Hanover are needed. Basic crisis intervention skills training, including crisis theory, active listening, suicide intervention/prevention and hotline/in-person intervention skills are provided. Specialized training for handling clients/callers with issues such as substance use disorder, mental health concerns, depression, suicide, relationship issues, domestic violence and rape, sexual assault and/or sexual abuse are provided as well as on-the-job mentoring prior to providing services.

(910) 392-6936

Contacts: Hotlines/Youth Shelter and Services, Celine Adair or  

Rape Crisis Center, Julie Ozier or

Coastal Therapeutic Riding Program

The Coastal Therapeutic Riding Program provides quality therapeutic riding opportunities for individuals with special needs. It is a North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) Member Center and employs only NARHA-Certified Instructors. It serves all ranges of disabilities and age groups. The program is always looking for happy, energetic volunteers to help with lessons by working directly with clients. No experience is required. Training sessions are offered each month for new volunteers to meet the horses and riders.

(910) 470-0490  

Contact: Kimberly Niggel

Community Boys and Girls Club of Wilmington, NC

Coach 5-18 year olds in baseball, basketball and other sports. You can also tutor individuals and small groups of children. A background in art or a specialized field is helpful, but having a passion for working with kids is mandatory. Were especially in need of volunteers during after-school hours, from 2:30-7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

(910) 762-1252  

Contact: Richard Walker

Communities in Schools of Cape Fear

As part of the nations largest drop-out prevention program, CISCF is dedicated to surrounding students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CISCFs graduation coaches monitor student attendance, grades and risk behaviors. The after-school programs teach life skills, provide professional tutors and mentors and enrich students daily routines with art and drop-out prevention programs. PaSS (Partnering School Success) tutors third and sixth grade students weekly for the 10-week period leading up to End-of- Grade testing. Teen parenting classes gather resources for families. These and other essential programs depend on volunteer involvement.

(910) 343-1901  

Contact: Tracy Tisdale

Cooking for Change Inc.

Cooking for Change, Inc. is a nonprofit charity offering an educational program for economically disadvantaged adults. Our twelve or twenty-four month professional curriculum covers the basics of operating a food service business. Graduates will be qualified for career opportunities within the food service industry.

(910) 233-8262

Contact: Linda Glass Quinonez

Cornelia Nixon Davis Inc.

Spending time with elders is as fun and entertaining for the volunteer as it is for the senior. At Champions Assisted Living and the Health Care Center at the Davis Community, volunteers support therapeutic gardening, book clubs, music and art projects, faith-based programs, games, social events, pet therapy and community outings.

(910) 686-7195, Ruth Finch

(910) 686-8315, Vicki Hardiman

Curamericas Global

Founded in 1983, Curamericas Global partners with organizations in communities that lack basic health services to develop innovative, self-sustaining programs that deliver measurable improvements in child and maternal health. International volunteers are needed from all backgrounds to support our programs in Haiti, Liberia, Guatemala and Bolivia.

(919) 510-8787

Andrew Herrera

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 11 Wilmington

Wilmington Chapter 11 of the Disabled American Veterans is a true service organization, helping veterans and their families with claims, transportation to various VA hospitals and the acquisition of any benefits needed by veterans or their families. Volunteers are needed to man the phones, drive vans, provide building maintenance, and to prepare the Boxes of Love which are sent to the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and delivered to patients at the VA Hospitals and area nursing homes.

(910) 313-2190 

Contact: Ron Holtberg

Domestic Violence Shelter and Services, Inc. The Open Gate Shelter

The Domestic Violence Shelter offers many volunteer opportunities, including direct services (serve as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and their children), childrens advocates, on-call workers (during the night), Domestic Violence Advocacy Council, court advocacy, Evolve Wilmington (Coordinated Community Response Team that focuses on the prevention of domestic violence) and Speakers Bureau (acting as an information liaison within the community), board committees, fundraising, office assistance, work at the Vintage Values retail stores.

(910) 343-0703  

Contact: Bonnie Iler

DREAMS Center for Arts Education

If you love to work with kids (ages 8-17) and have an appreciation for the arts, this is a truly special opportunity. Especially needed throughout the year are classroom assistants during after-school hours for activities that include painting, pottery, film and drumming. Most classes meet once per week and last from one to one-and-a-half hours. For those with less time, administrative help, as well as helping at special events, are great ways to give back. The application and training process is thorough.

(910) 772-1501  

Contact: Sarah Carpenter

Eastern Area Radio Reading Service

EARRS is a volunteer-run and contributor-supported nonprofit organization which provides a radio reading service for the blind and print-impaired. Volunteers are needed to work in the studio, read and help with office work and special events.

(910) 362-0903

Easter Seals UCP Wilmington Childrens Center

A typical day at the Wilmington Childrens Center is filled with learning, love and laughter. One of nine Easter Seals UCP inclusive preschools operating in North Carolina, the quality, five-star developmental day school serves developing and special needs children. The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Members of the community, adults of all ages and abilities, individuals and groups are invited to share their special talents with the center. Volunteers are needed for a wide range of tasks from office/clerical work, to child interaction, to general maintenance. Interested parties must be at least 18 years old, have a negative TB test and participate in a volunteer orientation.

(910) 392-0080  

Contact: Krista Blessing


Both adults and children are encouraged to share their abilities and love at this day care center for adults and seniors. Whether it be playing the guitar, painting, making ceramics or reading, just an hour can make a huge difference in someones life. Help is also needed answering phones, performing office work and setting up for snacks and lunch.

(910) 251-0660  

Contact: Trudy Tann

First Book

The mission is giving children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new book. We need on-call volunteers for special events (four to six hours, four to six times per year) and new board members (one meeting per month minimum, plus whatever additional time offered). Board members brainstorm ideas, network with other nonprofits serving children, liaison with schools, help with public relations and perform other duties as inspired.

(910) 200-1441  

Contact: Carol Barre

First Bread Ministry

The Charismatic Episcopal Church of St. Peter the Fisherman hosts a free hot breakfast for the homeless and needy in Wilmington, 7 to 8:30 a.m. every Sunday. Since May 1999 the program has fed the spirits and souls of more than 20,000 community members. It is a 100 percent volunteer-run organization and welcomes anyone who would like to assist.

Contact: Deacon David Hueholt

(910) 515-0765

First in Families of Southeastern North Carolina

FiF seeks volunteers to serve individuals with developmental disabilities and their families and help those families achieve their goals and dreams. FiF collects new and slightly used items year-round for a Christmas Shop and needs volunteers to donate items or to sponsor a "Christmas in July" (or any other month) to build the shops inventory. Larger household items, like furniture and appliances, are also collected and given to the families at no cost.

(910) 350-2737

Contact: Johnny Johnson

Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina at Wilmington

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina at Wilmington is part of "Feeding America," which is the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the country. Food is collected from large-scale donors and then distributed locally to those in need through partner agencies. Volunteers are needed for the food bank, to sort produce, box food, pick up and deliver, and work in the office. The Food Bank also needs help with special events, including food drives, and with the Speakers Bureau. Hours are very flexible and the Volunteer Coordinator will create a custom-fit schedule tailored to the volunteers availability. Children ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when volunteering.

(910) 251-1465 x 2202  

Contact: Johnny Simpson

Full Belly Project

The Full Belly Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to designing and distributing income-generating agricultural devices to improve life in rural communities. Our equipment provides some of the poorest people on the planet with the means to generate a viable commodity for the marketplace. Supporters of The Full Belly Project learn many life lessons while acting as outreach, fundraising and design volunteers. Those interested in volunteering should fill out a Volunteer Agreement, available on the website.

(910) 452-0975  

Contact: Daniel Ling

Girl Scouts USA

The premier leadership development organization for girls in the Cape Fear region, the Girl Scouts serve more than 600 girl members. Volunteer opportunities are varied and the benefits are endless. Help by becoming a troop leader/assistant leader, event director, product sales manager, troop organizer, camp promoter, trainer, media coordinator or learning consultant. Girl Scout volunteers can change a girls life forever.

(910) 231-0750

Contact: Debbie Todd

Girls, Inc. of Wilmington

Volunteers 18 years of age and older are needed to help with after-school programs at Girls, Inc. The program includes providing homework help, and tutoring as well as assistance with various activities for girls from Wilmington area city schools. Volunteers are especially needed for 6-8 and 9-11 age groups. The application process includes a background check.

(910) 763-6674  

Contact: Debra Cuevas

Good Shepherd Center

Good Shepherd Center is the largest provider of services for the homeless and hungry in the region. In addition to providing 100,000 soup kitchen meals and more than 36,000 nights of shelter annually, Good Shepherd offers a day shelter for the chronically homeless; a second helpings program salvaging 400 tons of food each year; a JOBS program; an on site medical clinic; mental health counseling; transitional housing for homeless veterans; and intensive case management and housing placement services. Volunteer orientations are held each Wednesday at 2 p.m. after which volunteers will be matched with available positions.

(910) 763-4424 x 113  

Contact: Dawn Carter, Director of Resource Development

Guardian ad Litem

This rewarding opportunity requires compassion and tenacity. The Guardian ad Litem Program is about helping children and finding resources for them. Advocating (through the Department of Social Services) for abused, neglected and dependent children who are in the foster care system, volunteers work directly with a child and an attorney to make recommendations to the court on the childs behalf. A thorough background check and flexible 30-hour training program are required. In-depth knowledge of legal proceedings is not expected; maturity, good judgment, and strong verbal and written communication skills are. Locally, more than 400 children are served by GAL each day. Currently there are at least 30 children without a volunteer advocate to speak up for them.

(910) 251-2733

Contact: Liz Kachris-Jones

Historic Wilmington Foundation

HWFs historic home tour, which takes place in and around downtown during the last weekend of the Azalea Festival, utilizes approximately 150 volunteers for planning, promoting and running this annual event. We also need volunteers for the September 5k Run and Mile Walk for Preservation, and the annual gala held in the fall. Tour guides are needed for the Tar Heels Go Walking program, developed for New Hanover Countys third grade students. Training sessions are held in the summer for the fall program that leads students throughout downtown, teaching them about history, architecture and public art. Office assistance opportunities are available throughout the year, and periodically volunteers are needed to serve on committees.

(910) 762-2511  

Contact: Amy Fulbright

I am My Brothers Keeper

Volunteers are sought to assist with Operation Stitch, making sleeping bags for the homeless; with The Open Door, teaching teen mothers lessons for their children birth to five years old; with Book Drive, providing reading/storybooks for children at salons and barber shops; and with Grandparents Day Dinner which was held last year in September.

(910) 471-1385, (910) 395-4508

Contact: Juanita Williams, Sandra Robinson

International Seamens Center of Wilmington

Volunteers of Christian faith welcome sailors, take them ashore to shop or whatever else they might need to do. The Seamens Center is a home away from home equipped with computers that are offered for use at no charge to the sailors.

(910) 762-3792, (910) 297-3669

Contact: Chaplain Ritchie B. Wammack

Junior Achievement of the Cape Fear Region

Inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Junior Achievement volunteers provide K-12 students with valuable age-appropriate lessons about financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work-readiness skills. Last year, 188 JA volunteers delivered programs to more than 4,600 Wilmington area students. To prepare volunteers to teach a JA class at a local elementary school, JA provides training, lesson plans and classroom materials in exchange for five visits and a five-hour commitment. Each volunteer arranges a mutually convenient teaching schedule with the assigned classroom teacher.

(910) 762-3690  

Contact: Judi Paquet

The Junior League of Wilmington

The Junior League of Wilmington empowers women to enrich and improve the community through trained volunteer leadership. More than 300 active, provisional and sustaining members are responsible for countless volunteer hours, educational programs and the raising of thousands of dollars. The Junior League of Wilmington is a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, one of 296 exclusively charitable and educational leagues worldwide. It is always looking for new members who are interested in serving the community and making lifelong friends. New member classes start each summer.

(910) 799-7405

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Coastal Carolina

JDRFs mission is finding a cure for diabetes through support of research. It is the largest charitable fundraiser for Type 1 diabetes research and has raised $1.5 billion since 1970. The Wilmington office needs volunteers for its two main events: the Hope Gala, in May and Walk to Cure Diabetes, in the fall. Volunteers are needed to help set up and clean up, register walkers and guests and much more. Other opportunities are available year-round. Become involved, call the office and enter your contact information into the database. As each event draws closer, JDRF sends an e-mail to everyone with more information about how to help.

(910) 509-9899  

Contact: Cheryl Stanbury

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center

The turtle hospital is an all-volunteer organization that rescues and rehabilitates sick and injured sea turtles then releases them back to the wild. Located on Topsail Island, the turtle hospital offers opportunities for volunteers ages 13 and older. The opening of a larger facility in late 2011 will provide additional volunteer opportunities. The hospital is open to the public for tours and other educational opportunities.

(910) 470-2800  

Contact: Jean Beasley

Kids in Media

We are the leading force in a youth program developed and sponsored by TVI Video and Stills Production and The Seed of Abraham Outreach Ministries. We teach writing, acting, videography, martial arts and science to kids. Volunteers are needed for web advertising, social networking, typing, follow up calls, administrative assistance, filing and set design for productions.

(910) 251-3797  

Contact: Beverly Judge

Kids Making It

Kids Making It has been active full-time in the Wilmington area since 2000. The organization prides itself on teaching woodworking in a strong mentoring environment and instilling patience, pride, perseverance, confidence, teamwork and self-esteem, while building character through consistent modeling of the Golden Rule, community service projects and imparting the truth of actions and consequences through the woodworking process. Youth-artists involved in the program earn 100 percent of the profits from everything they make and sell in KMIs retail store. Volunteers are needed for everything from working at the store, to grant writing, to assisting woodworkers and artists. Interested volunteers need not be experienced.

(910) 763-6001  

Contact: Kim Rode

The Kings Breakfast

The Kings Breakfast was organized to meet a need in the community for meal assistance in response to the lack of any Saturday breakfast feeding program in the area. This is a multi-denominational effort, with volunteers from several area churches offering a fresh hot breakfast to those in need. Volunteers are needed to shop or solicit food donations; cook, feed, serve and clean; transport guests; prepare the fellowship hall; socialize with the guests and more. The breakfast is held at the Pine Valley Church of God at 3810 Shipyard Blvd. on the first Saturday of every month.

(910) 367-1137

Contact: Pat Bradford


The Lifeguide program needs volunteer mentors to work one-on-one with a young person who has been referred by the New Hanover County Department of Social Services. These young people are in the process of aging out of the foster care system and are facing the world on their own. They need a caring adult in their lives to serve as a friend and a mature role model. The qualities of caring, consistency and understanding are important in all of our volunteers.

(910) 793-3472

Contact: Denny Smith

Life Line Pregnancy Center

Because of the trauma an unplanned pregnancy can often present, Life Line offers emotional, material and spiritual support to those faced with this situation. Life Line welcomes volunteers to become part of its team, as a client mentor, working with teen programs, assisting in the baby shop, reception, mailings and cleaning. All training and materials are provided.

(910) 799-0270 x 103  

Contact: Jarrot

LINC, Inc.

LINC, Inc., a nonprofit organization, focuses on two different areas: providing shelter and services to help adults recently released from incarceration get back on their feet, and a youth program called LITE Manhood, LINC Initiative To Educate. LITE is a structured enrichment program designed for African American males 16-21 to reduce barriers in education and/or employment. Facility volunteers answer phones, help with office and computer work or assist with fundraising efforts. A LITE mentor assists a young adult in need and helps build his life, through social and education skills. Both facilities are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. One day per week is the average volunteer commitment. A flexible schedule is helpful. The application process is relaxed, with a basic background check. No previous experience is needed.

(910) 762-4635  

Contact: Larkin Rausher

Lower Cape Fear Historical Society

This historical preservation group relies heavily on committed volunteers to help organize and run its events throughout the year. Docents are often needed to give guided tours of the Latimer House and Historic Downtown Wilmington, especially during the peak summer months. A training book is supplied, and some general knowledge of the area is helpful. Theres also a need for archive filing and research.

(910) 762-0492  

Contact: Candace McGreevy

Lower Cape Fear Hospice and LifeCareCenter

Completion of a 15-hour training orientation is required before volunteers may help patients and their loved ones dealing with life-limiting illnesses. The average volunteer donates two hours a week and may also assist with various duties at the 12-bed inpatient facility, performing various administrative tasks or by helping with one of many special events. Reliable transportation is a must.

(910) 796-7927

Contact: Chris Scott

Lumina Academy

Lumina Academy seeks to fight poverty by building a sustainable, cost-effective means of enabling underprivileged children from Asia to Africa to reach their full potential via this education-without-boundaries platform. It offers a host of online courses based on the American K-12th grade curriculum. Volunteer N.C. licensed teachers and others are needed to help with graphic design, videography, screen writing, cartooning and post editing with Final Cut Pro.

(910) 538-6819  

Contact: Angie Ki

Facebook: Lumina Academy

Meals on Wheels/Home Delivered Meals program

Volunteers with their own vehicles, valid drivers licenses and proof of insurance, are eligible to deliver meals to elderly, home-bound neighbors in need during the week, on weekends, once a week or once in a while. Mileage reimbursement is offered along with other volunteer opportunities, including on-site meal packaging.

(910) 798-6423

Contact: Ashley Huffman, Volunteer Coordinator

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Committed to engaging and mobilizing everyone who wants to do something about MS now, the society helps make a difference in the lives of individuals living with MS. Volunteers can participate by raising awareness through the speakers bureau, by serving on event and program planning committees, by inviting attendees to the annual Women on the Move luncheon and by helping to raise critical funds by supporting the Wilmington Walk MS on April 30, 2011.

(919) 792-1017  

Contact: Paula Lipford

New Hanover County Community Emergency Response Team

The mission is assisting citizens to become self-sufficient for a 96-hour period immediately following a disaster by helping to educate the general public to do the same. The free training program teaches basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.

(910) 798-6900 x 3

Contact: Kristen Wingenroth

New Hanover County Public Library

Hundreds of thousands of visitors check out over a million items each year at the countys library branches. Volunteers are involved with shelving, assisting computer users, book sales, local history projects and more. Visit the website and click on Support Your Library.

(910) 798-6309

New Hanover County Senior Resource Center

The New Hanover County Senior Resource Center helps place seniors, 55 years and over, in various volunteer positions through its RSVP, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. RSVP matches volunteers to one of more than 90 stations within New Hanover County, including Wilmington International Airport, Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher and The Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts. It also supports the Foster Grandparent Program in which seniors mentor students in New Hanover County schools. The program requires a commitment of 20 hours per week, and certain eligibility restrictions apply. A small hourly stipend is paid.

(910) 798-6407  

Contact: Bunnie Brush

Contact: Beth Wooten, New Hanover County Foster Grandparent Program, (910-798-6408)

The New Hanover County Special Olympics

Throughout the year, New Hanover County Special Olympics is looking for volunteers to help coach people with intellectual disabilities. Choose one of 13 different sports and help train the athletes. Training lasts for 10 weeks and takes about one and a half hours each week. Or help out with one of the many events, including April track and field games, the July summer camp, the October Sports Expo or the March swim meet.

(910) 341-5876  

Contact: Jonathan Batts

New Hanover Humane Society

The New Hanover Humane Society is looking for volunteers 18 and older to come to the shelter once per week, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Help is needed to clean the shelter, do laundry, dishes and yard work. However, volunteers are needed especially to play with the dogs and cats, socializing the animals to make them more adoptable. If you love animals, this is the perfect opportunity for you. If you are interested, pick up an application at the Humane Society.

(910) 763-6692

New Hanover Regional Medical Center

NHRMC includes the main hospital on South 17th Street, Cape Fear Hospital, Hospitality House, Surgical Pavilion, Betty H. Cameron Womens and Childrens Hospital, Rehabilitation Services at all locations (Oleander, Independence and the Rehabilitation Hospital), Zimmer Cancer Center, Medical Mall and The Oaks. Volunteers can make an impact in the lives of patients and families in 35 different placement areas.

(910) 815-5317  

Contact: Eileen McConville, CHVM

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

Join approximately 200 active volunteers four hours per week for at least four months out of the year. Positions range from acting as a small-group tour guide, assisting the horticulturist with plant care and helping with the general maintenance of the aquariums, to serving as a dive volunteer and presenting daily educational programs to audiences at the aquariums dive shows. Among other requirements, dive volunteers must complete 50 hours of volunteer service, be scuba certified and pass a swim and underwater skills test. All volunteers must be 18 or older and attend one orientation. The aquarium also offers a junior volunteer program for students ages 15-17.

(910) 458-8257 x 232

Contact: Suzanne Holtzclaw

North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry

NCBAM is a dynamic Christ-centered ministry resource for individuals 65 and older that treats the aging and their families with dignity and respect. The mission is to enable the aging to maintain independence and quality of life.


North Carolina Coastal Federation

NCCF is a nonprofit organization that focuses on restoring the coast of North Carolina through education, advocacy and habitat preservation and restoration. The mission is providing citizens and groups with the assistance they need to take an active role in the stewardship of North Carolinas coastal water quality and natural resources. Volunteers can participate in on-going initiatives. Upcoming opportunities include: planting rain gardens, making oyster shell bags for oyster reef restoration, restoring a salt marsh with wetland plant installation, conducting coastal cleanups, researching coastal environmental issues and staffing educational displays at area festivals.

(910) 509-2838 x 202  

Contact: Ted Wilgis

North Carolina Holiday Flotilla

The North Carolina Holiday Flotilla needs volunteers for all events including the 5k run, the launch party, Day in the Park, the boat parade and the fireworks finale. Planning continues year-round. Become part of this at Wrightsville Beach holiday tradition.

(910) 256-2120  

Contact: Linda Brown

North Carolina Sorosis and North Carolina Junior Sorosis

Sorosis offers diverse opportunities for hands-on community service as well as personal growth for women of all ages. Both clubs are committed to promoting volunteerism, improving the community and fostering new friendships by promoting education, preserving natural resources, encouraging healthy lifestyles, working on behalf of the elderly and people with disabilities, advocating for issues of concern to women, children, and families and supporting participation in the arts.

(910) 686-7724  

Contact: Sharon Lane Smith

Nourish NC

Nourish NC provides weekend food to New Hanover County schoolchildren by sending home non-perishable food with identified children each Friday (seven meals per child). The 100 percent volunteer run program helps fill a gap in the community. It needs help packing food bags, picking up donated food, and taking inventory. The program started in one school and now has expanded to seven, with more waiting.

Contact: Kim Karslake

(910) 442-7831

Ocean Cure

Ocean Cure provides surf experiences for medically fragile, special needs and at-risk youth, supplying the equipment, instructors and volunteers to create a safe and super fun surf experience at no cost to the participants. The ocean and learning to surf have powerful uplifting and healing properties. Students inevitably progress from apprehension to joy and self-confidence. They leave the program with a sense of "If I can do this, I can do anything."

(910) 274-3565

Contact: Jack Viorel

Operation Project Linus

Serving New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties, volunteers make blankets for children in crisis from infancy to 18 years of age. Operation Project Linus delivers to hospitals as well as EMS providers. It also supplies blankets to hospitals and agencies that work with social services and domestic violence. Child-friendly cotton materials or washable yarns are needed, as are volunteers to make quilted, crochet or knitted blankets. Meetings are held at 10 a.m. on the third Monday of the month at St. Pauls Lutheran Church at 6th and Market Street. Tax-deductible donations of money or gift cards sent to help purchase batting or materials are also welcome.

(910) 681-0452

Contact: Sharon Black

Panacea Adventures

This adventure therapy organization is committed to fostering interpersonal development and individual empowerment through professionally facilitated outdoor adventure experiences such as backpacking, rock climbing, white-water rafting, sea kayaking and surfing. Panacea Adventures is currently seeking volunteers for the development team, the fundraising team, and for the emergency response team. Volunteers are also needed for Panacea Paddle, June 11 to buddy-up with participants with disabilities. All proceeds benefit a week-long expedition for those who are normally not able to participate, including cancer patients, those with cystic fibrosis, Wounded Warriors, and the visually impaired or physically disabled.

(910) 508-8088  

Contact: Zac Adair


Phoenix Employment Ministry

Helping the sheltered homeless find and keep satisfying employment, volunteers work with clients to identify jobs appropriate to their interests and skills, help prepare resumes and cover letters, assist with online applications, and drive clients to job sites for application submissions and interviews. All volunteers have the opportunity to work directly with clients to provide the coaching and encouragement needed in their search for work. Anyone who has a free morning (8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or afternoon (noon-3 p.m.) and is interested in helping others in a congenial and uplifting environment is welcome to apply. Volunteers are also currently needed for the public relations committee and for assisting with fundraising events like the annual spring luncheon.

(910) 343-8469  

Contact: John Furniss

Reaching Hearts

This nondenominational outreach ministry is busy year-round with programs that provide single mothers with the ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal and Christmas gifts; widows and the elderly with heart-shaped balloons and boxes of candy on Valentines Day; and female prison inmates with essentials like soap and toiletries. Reaching Hearts distributes book bags filled with school supplies to needy elementary school students; sponsors Grace Girlz, a mentoring program; and hosts a girls summer day camp. Volunteers are needed and appreciated year-round for each program.

(910) 792-0997

Contact: Brenda Matthews

The Ruffian Foundation

This all-volunteer organization provides sanctuary for feral cats, many driven from their local habitats by neglect and rapid human land development. These cats face suffering and often death. Whenever possible the Ruffian Foundation, in cooperation with similar agencies, traps, alters, vaccinates, relocates and cares for the cats in natural enclosures on the sanctuary grounds. It also strives to educate the public on humane solutions for feral cat overpopulation and related community health concerns. Volunteers are needed weekly to help at the sanctuary in rural Pender County to clean enclosures and share kind words. Other needs are for grant research and for fundraising planning.

(910) 259-2728

The Salvation Army

Volunteers are needed in the emergency shelter and in the soup kitchen, which is open seven days per week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., serving three meals every day. Just one hour of time is greatly appreciated. Volunteers are also needed for the shelter store to manage donations and stock merchandise.

(910) 762-7354

Contact: Korey Giordano

Southeastern Carolina Crossroads, Inc.

In 2007, some residents of Southeastern North Carolina, who were concerned about how alcohol and other substance abuses were ravaging the community, formed SCCI. The mission uses Christian principles to provide residential recovery assistance to substance abusing and/or dually diagnosed adults. SCCI needs volunteers to assist with office support, web design and maintenance, outreach, organizing special events and facilitating group discussion sessions.

(252) 544-1421

Contact: Glenn Silver

Sunburst Foundation of Wilmington Canine Rescue

Help at one of Sunbursts many adoption fairs, presented in front of various stores and at yard sales, or with fundraising efforts. Volunteers help to find homes for mid-sized, mixed breeds, typically six months to four years old. The only requirement is a love for mans best friend. Sunburst benefits from the First Annual Cape Fear Dragon Boat Race and Festival to help homeless animals (

(910) 622-0011

Contact: Linda Ferrell

Surfrider Foundation

The Cape Fear Chapter of Surfrider Foundation is looking for volunteers to help with its ongoing efforts to educate area residents about their environmental impact. Help out by volunteering to visit local elementary schools to talk about the importance of preserving the ocean and environment. The local chapter conducts beach sweeps. Twice a year, volunteers come together to pick up trash on Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Masonboro Island.  

Contact: Suzanne Blake

Thalian Hall

More than 200 volunteers help make Thalian Hall a success. One primary volunteer opportunity is Thalian Hall Usher Corps that assists the public and house management by collecting tickets, serving concessions and assisting in seating location and handicap access. Volunteers at Thalian provide information and act as hospitality assistants for featured artists. Volunteers are allowed to register to work for any event that their schedules allow, with an incentive program to assure a consistent number of ushers for every event. There is no minimum number of events one must attend in order to retain membership in the Usher Corps. Orientation and training are offered the first Monday of the month.

(910) 632-2281  

Contact: Mike Morelli

Tileston Health Clinic, Inc.

Celebrating its 20th year of service, this nonprofit clinic has a volunteer staff of more than 20, but still needs help in various facets of the dental and healthcare fields. It is especially in need of pharmacists, dentists, dental hygienists, physicians, nurses and administrative professionals.

(910) 343-8736  

Contact: Gordon Boyd

Trinity Children Foundation

This volunteer-only organization is in need of an administrative director to advance the cause and a grant writer to fund and develop more programs to work with children. Volunteers are also needed to help with coordination, set-up and take-down of events, as well as to sell tickets to the annual Motorcycle Raffle which funds support of abused and neglected children in North Carolina. The Trinity Children 6th Annual Charity Ride will take place on June 16-18. A bike raffle will be held at the celebration dinner at the end of the ride.

(910) 458-5635 or (910) 742-1937

Contact: Doris Eakes or Tom Lamont   Use subject line "Trinity Children"

United Way of the Cape Fear Area

The United Way of the Cape Fear Area is a nonprofit organization that raises funds locally and distributes them to nonprofit programs and services that address the highest priority needs in the Cape Fear area. These programs focus on: education and youth; financial stability and income; and health. United Ways volunteers are involved in campaign projects, community impact planning and implementation and grant reviews. They serve on financial committees that focus on community needs.

(910) 798-3900 x 101

Contact: Mallory Broomfield

University of North Carolina Wilmington

There are many ways that members of the community can volunteer at UNCW. Serving on boards, mentoring through programs such as the Cameron Executive Network and Project Protg, providing internship opportunities for students, making classroom presentations as an expert in your field and serving as host families for international exchange students are just a few of the available opportunities. You wont be alone. Hundreds of volunteers offer their time and talent every year to enrich the academic experience of UNCW students.

(910) 962-2041  

Contact: Barbie Cowan

Vintage Values Resale Shops

Help out at any of the three Vintage Values resale shops around Wilmington by processing donations, merchandising, creating design displays, cashiering, maintaining the stores or by just bringing a smile. On-call volunteers are also greatly appreciated as are those willing to help pick up large items such as furniture. Church groups and other organizations may help with a large project that requires a group effort. Just a few hours can make a difference.

(910) 762-7720  

Contact: Billie Blackwell

The Warrior Ride

The Warrior Ride conducts adaptive bicycling events in order to provide a cycling experience to combat wounded service members. These events offer rehabilitation and recreation, provide awareness to communitiesallowing them to see the actual physical cost of military service to individual servicemen and womenand allow our citizens to say "Thank You." There is no cost to wounded troops for the rides. Volunteers provide airfare, lodging, meals, cycling attire and adaptive bicycles, planning and execution of the rides. Opportunities include fundraising, registration, airport pick-ups, and possibly help with out-of-state rides.

(910) 278-4612

Contact: Tom or Debra Racine


WHQR is looking for people to work at the front desk answering phones and greeting guests. There are also data entry, filing and other general office volunteer opportunities available. WHQR also uses volunteers at events, manning information booths or serving guests. Twice per year, in March and October, WHQR seeks more than 100 volunteers to answer phones for the membership drives.

(910) 343-1640  

Contact: Mary Bradley

Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry

WARM mobilizes volunteers and raises funds to complete vital repairs for elderly, disabled and other low-income homeowners. In its 14-year history, WARM has completed repairs for 500 households, improving safety, health and, in many cases, helping residents remain in their homes. In addition to skilled home repair volunteers, WARM seeks those with marketing, graphic design, event planning, clerical, data entry, grant-writing and fundraising skills.

(910) 399-7563  

Contact: Jeannie Cariker Skane

Wilmington Family YMCA

The Wilmington Family YMCA embraces volunteers of all kinds and is committed to providing community volunteer opportunities for front desk greeters, coaches, swim assistants for special needs children, camp and after school assistants, for the annual community support campaign and at special events.

(910) 251-9622 x 246  

Contact: Dalia Nir

Wilmington Health Access for Teens

WHAT provides comprehensive physical, mental and nutrition health services, along with health education and prevention programs to adolescents aged 11-24 with a particular emphasis on the underserved. WHATs services are delivered at its main facility on Oleander Drive and at three local high schools. Current volunteer opportunities are available on a case-by-case and project basis.

(910) 790-9949  

Contact: Emily Henley

Wilmington Interfaith Hospitality Network (WIHN)

WIHN is a network of 40 congregations in the Wilmington area that are united by their commitment to alleviating the effects of homelessness, one family at a time. WIHN is a nonprofit organization that depends greatly upon the help of its volunteers, who collectively contribute more than 12,000 hours of service each year. Meal preparation, moving and transportation are just a few of the ways that volunteers with WIHN help assist the Cape Fears homeless population.

(910) 762-0339  

Contact: Liz Sutcliffe

Wilmington Prostate Cancer Support Group

Volunteers are prostate cancer survivors offering education and advocacy for men and physicians and support to men researching treatment or previously treated. Meeting programs and public outreach to men and professionals keep both updated on the latest science.

(910) 792-9953

Contact: George Gardner

Wilmington SCORE

Wilmington SCORE has been serving southeastern North Carolina for more than 25 years, providing free and confidential business counseling to entrepreneurs about how to write a business plan, understanding the value of cash management and sales/marketing promotion, starting a business and determining the best structure, and buying or selling a business. Volunteers are retired executives, business owners and others with a variety of experiences including engineers, bankers, accountants, manufacturers and franchisees.

(910) 452-5395  

Contact: Sara Raleigh, David Cheek

Wrightsville Beach Museum of History

If you like people, history and the beach, this may be the volunteer job for you. This cozy cottage of a museum, open six days a week, houses exhibits including a model of the beach as it was circa 1910. It has a full calendar of events geared to all ages and interests. Volunteer shifts are three hours per week.

(910) 256-2569  

Contact: Madeline Flagler

Yahweh Center Childrens Village

If youre 21 or older, you can bring hope and comfort to the lives of neglected, abused and at-risk children by sharing a musical talent, mentoring, teaching, assisting the professional staff as needed or by putting your gardening or maintenance skills to use. Special training for mentors and a volunteer orientation process as well as a thorough background check are required.

(910) 675-3533  

Contact: June Bell Wynne

YWCA of the Lower Cape Fear

Looking to put your clerical skills to use for a few hours during the week? The YW is always in need of friendly office help. Or get involved with the after school and summer camp programs, if you enjoy working with kids. Volunteers are also needed to facilitate "Whats Wrong with Different?" a racial justice program designed to help first through fifth graders discuss race relations. The Outback Adventure Project involves outdoor activities, like clearing paths in wooded areas. Assist with organizing special events and fundraising, like the Cape Fear Women of Achievement awards (planning begins in January and continues monthly until the event on May12). If you enjoy maintenance and landscaping, the YW is looking for individuals with a passion for indoor and outdoor upkeep.

(910) 799-6820 x 104  

Contact: Katie Nelson

Women in the Center

Women in the Center is a nonprofit organization committed to serving women in their childbearing years by linking area resources and creating opportunities for support and education. The groups first initiative is the Port City Breastfeeding Project. It is currently seeking collaboration with passionate individuals and professionals who want to see more opportunities for the women of the Cape Fear region.

(910) 364-9482

Contact: Ryanna Battiste



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