Your Guide to Becoming an Active Volunteer in the Community
by Jenny Miller
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, giving back to the communities in which we live is more important than ever. By volunteering our time and skills to help those in need, we’ll make the world a better place for the humans and animals that inhabit it — and we’ll feel better about ourselves as well. According to The Balance, volunteering has been shown to ease feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression — and it boosts our confidence and self-esteem. Plus, there are so many different ways to get involved — even from home. For some guidance on becoming an active volunteer in the community, read on!
Support the Thermal Belt Rail Trail
Exploring the Thermal Belt Rail Trail is a beautiful way to enjoy our corner of Rutherford County. Of course, as with any natural wonder, it takes some work to preserve and beautify it, and there are things you can do to contribute to this beautiful part of our community.
Pick up trash during your hike, during your bike ride, or even in the parking lot to help keep the trail litter-free.
Keep pets (cats and dogs only!) on 6-foot or shorter leashes, which protects natural habitats and the wildlife living on the trail.
Keep motorized vehicles off trails to protect our wildlife and landscape.
Make a donation to the RHI Legacy Foundation, one of the Thermal Belt Rail Trail’s most important partners (and the reason it exists).
Serving the Homeless
In the U.S., more than 500,000 individuals experience homelessness each night. If you’re looking to help the homeless in your community, these resources will point you in the right direction.
Help to end homelessness by volunteering at local food banks, homeless shelters, and tutoring centers for kids and teens.
Assemble gift bags for the homeless and distribute them in safe, well-lit areas.
Become a food donor to feed the hungry and reduce food waste.
Get kids involved in student activism such as feeding the hungry in your community.
image via pixabay
Helping Homeless and Neglected Animals
Each year, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. shelters — and about 1.5 million are euthanized. The following resources provide information you need to help on how you can help the homeless pets in your community.
Explore different ways you can help homeless animals in your neighborhood.
Help a neighbor’s pet if you believe the animal may be neglected or mistreated.
Learn how to rescue stray or abandoned rabbits running loose outside.
Find a wildlife rehabilitator near you if you encounter injured, sick, or orphaned wildlife.
Finding North Carolina Volunteer Opportunities
If you’re looking for ways to get involved in your local community, these resources will connect you to volunteer opportunities and nonprofit organizations near you.
Research the best volunteer opportunities in North Carolina for your whole family.
Help foster a homeless animal, walk shelter dogs, or help with administrative tasks.
Creating a Non Profit From the Ground Up
The resources below will help you in getting started with your nonprofit.
Learn how to conduct a needs assessment to determine viability of nonprofit
Read an extensive guide on starting a non profit
Take into account the cost of starting a nonprofit in your state.
Some new businesses consider filing as both a nonprofit and an LLC, just check rules specific to your state before doing so.
If your state allows for not-for-profit LLCs, learn about the process for forming one.
There are so many great ways to get involved in your local community, whether you’re passionate about evangelism, feeding the homeless, or helping animals in need. If you’re looking to find the best possible volunteer opportunities for your skills, passions, and interests, these great resources can help!