Volunteer Opportunities for families

Teaching the spirit and importance of volunteering to children at a young age is a gift with compounding benefits to the community, family unit, and to the child. In an increasingly busy society, with commitments to work, school, home, athletics, social events and technology, connections within family and community can get murky.

Volunteering is a way to rebuild these connections and bring clarity and perspective to the myopic day to day grind. The value of volunteering for children is immeasurable, but can include learning to make and honor commitments, establishing teamwork skills, learning selflessness, gaining exposure and appreciation, and developing an understanding of the importance of community.

There are many and different ways for children to volunteer here in Charlotte. The spectrum of opportunities is deep and wide enough to accommodate a variety of ages, abilities, and time constraints.

In addition, not all volunteering efforts require on site presence; home based volunteering efforts can be just as effective and beneficial, some ideas include knitting hats for cancer patients, making food for Mel’s Diner, and holding a lemonade stand for donations to the animal shelter. Whether volunteering at home or on site, parents can help children by modeling a positive volunteer spirit and leading a charge to volunteer at a level that is significant to their own individual family.

Here is a list of organizations in the area that offer volunteer opportunities for children. Please contact the organizations directly for more information on how to help.


Bright Blessings | 704-846-2329 |

Bright Blessings is a non-profit that provides services for homeless children through its Bless-A-Baby and Bless-A-Birthday programs. Volunteers of all ages can participate in projects at the organization's Matthews facility.

Charlotte Area Gleaning Network | 704-553-1730 |

Harvests produce that is good but not marketable and gets it to people in need. Children of all ages are great helpers in the fields, as long as they have a responsible adult with them.

Friendship Trays | 704-333-9229 |

Children can join their parents to deliver meals and visit with recipients of the program. Daily, weekly or monthly commitments, whatever suits your schedule.

Room At The Inn | 704-347-0278 |

Children of all ages are welcome to help provide shelter to the homeless at local churches and other agencies. Children can help set up beds, set the table, serve meals, clean up and more. Sign up through the church, temple or other agency hosting Room At The Inn that night.


Mel’s Diner | 704-904-8968 |

Mel's Diner organizes fresh food and home cooked meals for truly needy people. They also pick up food that would otherwise go un-eaten or thrown away and give it out selflessly to people who are truly hungry. Children are invited to volunteer by making meals at their own home for delivery or by serving on designated delivery days.

Hands On Charlotte | 704-333-7471 |

Children of all ages can participate in various projects, including activities at local nursing homes such as Bingo, bowling with children who have disabilities, visiting group homes and more. Programs are organized for children ages 6 and up, 8 and up, 10 and up and 12 and up.

HopeMatch | 704-271-4636 |

HopeMatch partners with Christmas Tree Santas to provide Christmas trees to the families we serve. They are looking for volunteers that can make Christmas ornaments for the trees. They also provide services and support year-round.

Humane Society of Charlotte | 704-494-7706 |

Only individuals 18 and older are eligible to volunteer directly at the shelter. However, the HSC does offer a “Junior Volunteer” Program, where children ages 10-17 are encouraged to support the shelter through collection of donations (items for the shelter or monetary), and then deliver the donations to the shelter for recognition.

Safe Alliance |

Safe Alliance provides shelter, court advocacy, referrals and counseling programs for victims of domestic violence. Children of all ages – including preschoolers – can help with yard maintenance and playground upkeep at the shelter. With a parent or chaperone, teenagers can help provide childcare at the shelter.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina | 704-375-9639, ext. 24 |

Children can help organize a food drive in their neighborhood, church, organization or school.

Crisis Assistance | 704-371-3000, ext. 114 |

Children age 6 and up can sort clothing and help out in the production area of the agency’s store. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Tuesday evenings until 9 p.m., and the first the three Saturdays of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library |

Adopt an Aisle Program. Volunteers are invited to adopt an aisle of books in the children’s department and are responsible for periodically ensuring materials are in order. Children ages 12 and under require an adult while ages 12 and up are allowed to work independently. Not all branches participate, check with your local branch to see if this program is available.

Loaves & Fishes | 704-523-4333 |

Collects food for the hungry. Children age 6 and older can help sort food in pantries across the region. (Children younger than 12 need to have an adult with them.)

Charlotte Family Housing | 704-335-5488 |

Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 can volunteer at our monthly Youth Serve Day which takes place from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. on the second Sunday of every month. Youth help lead craft-making activities and games for the children staying at the Plaza Place shelter.

The Harvest Center of Charlotte | 704-333-4280, ext. 107 |

With a chaperone, children ages 10 and older can help serve meals, wrap silverware in napkins, open coffee packages, fold clothing, put canned food on shelves and more.

Adult Care and Share Center | 704-567-2700 |

Children ages 8 and up and their parents can interact with older and disabled adults at the center. Activities include playing card games, doing arts and crafts, playing games such as ring toss or bowling and more. Volunteers also visit one-on-one with adults, reading books to them, helping them put puzzles together, play cards and more.

Charlotte Rescue Mission Rebound/Dove’s Nest | 704-334-4635, ext. 214 |

With a parent, children age 10 and up can help serve a meal. One adult from the family would be required to attend an orientation first.

Habitat For Humanity |

Young people ages 5 to 15 help families in need of a decent, affordable place to live. The Building on Youth program is designed to offer a way for youngsters to make a difference even though construction activities are limited to those 16 years and older.


Shining Hope Farms | 704-827-3788 |

Shining Hope Farm’s mission is to enable children and adults with disabilities to achieve functional goals through the use of equine assisted activities and Hippotherapy. Volunteers usually do one or a combination of two things, barn work or participation in the arena for a therapy session or riding lesson. Volunteers are required to be 13 years of age and must be able to volunteer during the week. They must also be able to commit to a regular schedule each week for 8 weeks.

Hands On Charlotte | 704-333-7471 |

Hands On Charlotte is an exciting and fun student oriented volunteer program offered to high school students. VolunTeens not only participate in service projects; they also develop an understanding of community issues and have the opportunity to grow as leaders in the community.

Greater Charlotte SPCA |

Volunteers are needed to help at events by holding leashes of foster dogs, reminding people to use hand sanitizer before handling puppies, updating adoption books, and more. Outside of events, there are opportunities to hold food, supplies, and monetary donation drives.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina | 704-375-9639, ext. 29 |

Children age 14 and up can help sort food, pack meals into boxes and backpacks for the hungry and do other work in the warehouse.

Trusted Parents | 980-229-7253 |

Trusted Parents focuses on the wellbeing of parents and caregivers of special need children. They welcome all those (16 years and older) interested in volunteering with their organization.

Nevins Inc. | 704-596-1392 |

Children age 17 and up can help disabled adults participate in activities such as bowling, sports activities, sorting jobs and more.

Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region | 704-335-3577 |

Teenagers age 15 to 18 can sign up for the charity’s TLC program, or Teens Learning and Caring. After 12 hours of training, the teens visit hospice patients at local nursing homes

Habitat For Humanity |

Children age 16 and older can help build a home for a low-income family.