Lake Norman & Mooresville

Ways you can make a difference this season

The Observer's Giving Guide provides a list of what more than 300 nonprofits have told us they need, from volunteers to donated goods. It also is searchable online; go to

Here are some of the agencies in the greater Lake Norman area.

Animal Services

Carolina Raptor Center

6000 Sample Road

Huntersville, NC 28078

Program: Carolina Raptor Center is dedicated to environmental stewardship and the conservation of birds of prey through education, research and the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors.

Material wishes: Donations accepted to assist with the daily feeding and maintenance of injured and resident birds. Donations are also used to develop and maintain education programs for students in Mecklenburg County.

Volunteer needs: Volunteers needed to assist with the transport and rehabilitation of injured raptors as well as for the maintenance of aviaries and campus facilities.

Minimum volunteer time: Five hours a month.

To help: 704-875-6521

Zoo Charlotte

4111-G Rose Lake Drive

Charlotte, NC 28217

Program: Our group has been organized to build a zoo in Charlotte.

Material wishes: We are looking for short-term donations (listed on our website). We also have a fundraising effort under way on the We are also looking to get a small financial commitment from a large amount of people via

Volunteer needs: Volunteers needed for various fundraising programs. Please contact us through our website.

Minimum volunteer time: Two to four hours per week.

To help: 704-257-1901

Children & Families


17748 Kings Point Drive

Cornelius, NC 28031

Program: We are a volunteer organization that works with children in hospitals, hospice or shelters and provides toys, games, DVDs computers, VIP outings, celebrity meet-and-greets, concerts, sporting event tickets, junk food runs and much more for children. We are hands-on with nurses, child-life specialists, social workers and outreach coordinators to determine the immediate needs for each child. We work hard to ensure 90 percent of our proceeds go directly to the children.

Material wishes: Monetary donations as well as toys, school supplies, candy and any little thing that will put a smile on a child's face.

Volunteer needs: We needs friends of Little Smiles, corporate sponsors, general donations and volunteers.

Minimum volunteer time: A few hours per month.

To help: Margi Kyle, 704-896-5693

Lydia's Loft

203 North Old Statesville Road

Huntersville, NC 28078

Program: Lydia's Loft provides free clothing for those who are in need. Apply for tickets at The Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson.

Material wishes: All types and sizes of clothing and shoes, small household items, linens. At the current time, we need new underwear, socks and towels.

Volunteer needs: Volunteers to work during any of the following shifts: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 12:30-4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday; 4-6 p.m. or 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday; 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Minimum volunteer time: Two to three hours.

To help: 704-948-7797

Our Towns Habitat for Humanity

20310 N. Main St.

Cornelius, NC 28031

Program: Our homeowners partner with us to build and purchase their homes through no-profit, no-interest mortgages while contributing hundreds of hours of sweat equity labor working on their house and the houses of others.

Material wishes: Building materials, landscaping supplies, construction truck and trailer, food for jobsites.

Volunteer needs: Construction workers, office support, event workers, volunteer meal preparation.

Minimum volunteer time: No minimum.

To help: 704-896-8957

Raising Academic Performance (RAP)

1729 Griers Grove Road

Charlotte, NC 28216

Program: Raising Academic Performance (RAP), is an after-school program serving at-risk youth in grades four-10. Our mission is to provide academic enrichment to enhance academic achievement, and encourage development of life skills that will lead to becoming productive citizens of the community.

Material wishes: Financial contributions needed to provide scholarships for participants and updated computers.

Volunteer needs: Volunteer tutors in math, reading and science.

Minimum volunteer time: One-two hours per week.

To help: Patricia Graham, 704-394-2540, ext. 12

Community Service

Cookies for a Cause

18524 Peninsula Club Drive

Cornelius, NC 28031

http://www.cookies4acause .com

Program: Cookies for a Cause was created to help support organizations that focus on the well-being of women and children in the Charlotte, N.C. area and across the country. Each year, Cookies for a Cause hosts its annual Cookie Bash, a fun-filled gala event complete with a silent auction and cookie-exchange. In 2010, monies raised from the Cookie Bash will go to support Cookies for a Cause and the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte which will open its doors in early 2011.

Material wishes: Silent auction items for the annual Cookie Bash, monetary donations to help support organizations that focus on the well-being of women and children in the Charlotte area and across the country.

Volunteer needs: Fundraising support for the annual Cookie Bash and other charitable activities.

Minimum volunteer time:

To help: Elise Redmond, 704-779-2693

Cornelius/Lake Norman Lions Club

P.O. Box 1427

Cornelius, NC 28031

Program: Money raised by the Cornelius/LKN Lions Club allows us to meet pressing needs in our community including eye exams/glasses for those who cannot afford them. We also provide White Canes and/or Guide Dogs for the Visually impaired.

Material wishes: We collect used prescription eyeglasses and prescription and non-prescription sunglasses (including reading glasses) as part of a unique recycling program. Monetary donations are always needed.

Volunteer needs: Computer/Internet communications/publishing, website design, publishing and maintenance, planning community-based informational events and planning fundraisers and service projects.

Minimum volunteer time: Four to eight hours per month.

To help: Angelo Lorusso, 704- 962-7576

Davidson Community Players

P.O. Box 76

Davidson, NC 28036

Program: Established in 1965, Davidson Community Players is a nonprofit organization established to produce quality theater that entertains, enriches, and encourages enthusiastic participation in the dramatic arts.

Material wishes: For 45 years, contributions have enabled Davidson Community Players to bring, live, quality theater to area audiences. While ticket prices cover a portion of our costs, we rely on contributed gifts to bridge that gap.

Volunteer needs: It takes talented actors to put on a show. But we also invite volunteers to work on costumes, sewing, props, set construction, set painting, stage management, stage running crew, ticket sales, publicity, fundraising, concessions, answering phones, stuffing envelopes and even landscaping,

Minimum volunteer time: We will take any time you can offer.

To help: Any member of the staff at 704-892-7953 or visit

Facing Forward

16022 Stonemont Road

Huntersville, NC 28078

Program: We help individuals with congenital or acquired facial and physical differences cope with staring and communicate with confidence. We offer educational seminars, a support group that meets the first Saturday of each month, referrals, resources and advocacy. As well, we offer programs to elementary and middle school students that encourage them to look inside to discover the essence of one another, instead of making false assumptions based solely on outward appearance.

Material wishes: We depend on financial donations from individuals, corporations, and grants from foundations to fund our programs and services. Gifts in any amount are welcome and deeply appreciated. We are seeking a major gift to expand our services.

Volunteer needs: We need an experienced and successful grant writer to assist us in obtaining grants. We welcome volunteers with computer skills, marketing and fundraising experience. For special projects, we need a variety of volunteers to help with silent auctions and other fundraising activities.

Minimum volunteer time: Three hours a week.

To help: Charlene Pell, 704-895-7634

Our Towns Habitat for Humanity ReStore

20414 N. Main Street

Cornelius, NC 28031

Program: Our Towns Habitat for Humanity builds homes in partnership with deserving families in Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville and Mooresville. We've built 185 homes in the Lake Norman area and over 850 in Guatemala. The ReStore sells new and gently used items and all sales help build more Habitat homes.

Material wishes: The ReStore accepts appliances, furniture, home accessories and building materials, doors, washers and dryers.

Volunteer needs: We are opening a second ReStore in Mooresville, which has created a need for more volunteers to help price items, manage our cash registers and help with donation pickups. Children aged 14 and 15 must volunteer with a guardian.

Minimum volunteer time: Three to four hour shifts.

To help: Volunteer inquiries, call 704-896-8957, ext. 1000; donation inquiries, call 704- 896-8957, ext. 1110

Rural Hill

4431 Neck Road

Huntersville, NC 28078

Program: We are a nonprofit historical site open to the public and for field trips, and a working farm that hosts special events throughout the year including the Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games, The Rural Hill Amazing Maize Maze and The Rural Hill Sheepdog Trials.

Material wishes: We accept farm equipment and supplies as well as monetary donations.

Volunteer needs: Volunteers used for a wide variety of projects.

Minimum volunteer time: No minimum.

To help: 704-875-3113

Second Ward High School National Alumni Foundation

1905 Beatties Ford Road

Charlotte, NC 28216

Material wishes: Financial assistance for college scholarships, historical photographs, documents of African American communities, people and affairs.

To help: Vermelle Ely, 704-398-8333

The Art Collabration

5021 Casino Drive

Charlotte, NC 28216

Program: The Art Collabration is a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching, performance and production in a collection of art forms to the community.

Material wishes: Financial donations and sponsorships appreciated.

Volunteer needs: Volunteers with experience in the arts.

Minimum volunteer time: Eight hours per month.

To help: 704-596-1759

Health concerns

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

205 Regency Executive Park Drive, Suite 102

Charlotte, NC 28217

Program: JDRF is the worldwide leader for research to cure Type 1 diabetes. It sets the global agenda for diabetes research and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.

Material wishes: Participate in our events and help us raise money to find a cure.

Volunteer needs: Need volunteers for events. Please see website for upcoming events.

To help: 704-561-0828

Lake Norman Free Clinic

14230 Hunters Road

Huntersville, NC 28078

Program: Lake Norman Free Clinic is a nonprofit medical clinic that provides primary and specialty care to those unable to obtain health insurance.

Material wishes: Paper, printer ink, toner, hand sanitizer, tissue paper, bottled water, office supplies.

Volunteer needs: Doctors, nurses and lab techs.

Minimum volunteer time: Three to five hours per week.

To help: 704-947-6858

Hungry & Homeless

Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen

14231 Market Square Drive C2, #200

Huntersville, NC 28078

Program: We feed those affected by hunger in their daily lives in Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and the northern Meck area. We serve lunch 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday, year-round.

Material wishes: Grocery gift cards, chicken broth, canned veggies and fruit, sugar, saltines, soups, tea, rice, dried potatoes.

Volunteer needs: We currently have sufficient volunteers scheduled each month but always need on-call volunteers to fill in.

Minimum volunteer time: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

To help:

Hope House Foundation

P.O. Box 61

Huntersville, NC 28070

Program: Hope House provides a comfortable home environment and support services for up to a six-month stay for single women or women with children (boys up to 8 years old only) in the Lake Norman area who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Hope House has 12 beds and encourages transformative life choices and helps women from various backgrounds who have no other network of support for success.

Material wishes: Hope House continually seeks monetary funds to maintain and operate the house and its mission; however, we have numerous needs at different times to furnish and maintain the house to help support the residents. Retail gift cards to grocery, drug or department stores help us purchase immediate needs in food or supplies for the house.

Volunteer needs: Currently we have more than 200 volunteers in our database including specially trained female resident advisor volunteers from the RAYS of Hope Program. Volunteer applications may be downloaded at our website for both our regular volunteers and our RAYS volunteers. Background checks are conducted on all volunteers who plans to work within the house.

Minimum volunteer time: Varies. Please see our website for volunteer opportunities.

To help: Val Daye, Program Director, 704-992-1902

Mooresville/Lake Norman Christian Mission

266 North Broad Street

Mooresville, NC 28115

Program: A Christian human service organization serving more than 4,000 families in crisis in the Lake Norman area. It is our commitment to not only assist families out of crisis but to help provide the resources for them to become self-sufficient. Mission services include: crisis assistance, transitional housing, temporary housing, prescription drug assistance, case management, food pantry, Free Store, Life Skills and Job Skills Training, Angel Food Ministries and Community Resources.

Material wishes: Non-perishable food items, winter blankets and winter coats for men, women, and children. Monetary donations are needed to help families in crisis remain in their homes and feed their families.

Volunteer needs: Pantry and warehouse volunteers, mentors, business professionals to speak at Work Skills classes, phone and administrative volunteers.

Minimum volunteer time: Two hours.

To help: Caroline, 704-664-2357

Seed Programs International

400 Avinger Lane #611

Davidson, NC 28036

Program: Our mission is to alleviate hunger and poverty by providing good, quality seed and expertise and training material to humanitarian organizations around the world.

Material wishes: Funding to cover operating costs to package, ship seed, and/or provide documentation

To help: John Batcha, 704-655-1611

People with disabilities

HBOT (The Hope Treatment Center)

20721 Torrence Chapel Road, Suite 104

Cornelius, NC 28031

Program: We offer hyperbaric oxygen therapies to families with autistic, CP, neurological, immune and brain-injured children. Each unit purchased will be used for up to one year and then placed in another home.

Material wishes: 55 people (or a group) that will give $2,500 each as a donation to supply in-home units to give treatments for one year to five families with injured children. This is the first phase and the goal is to place these units in the homes by Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Volunteer needs: Anyone that will spread the word that we are a local organization dedicated to making life less stressful for families of children with disabilities. We will use these funds to help families here in the local area.

To help: Wayne Rhodes, vice president, 704-237-3580

Kids Rein

9122 Crofton Springs Drive

Charlotte, NC 28078

Program: Kids Rein provides therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with disabilities. We believe in early intervention, especially with cognitive and/or emotional disabilities. Therefore, our riders can be as young as two years old. Our most seasoned rider is 65 years old. We use a variety of teaching methodologies all on the back of a horse.

Material wishes: Office supplies: copier paper, printer cartridges (Canon MP560, HP Officejet 4500), name badges, dry erase markers, cases of water for our volunteers, Leather New or Lexol leather cleaning, conditioning products, gift certificates to Jeffers Equine or (horse de-wormer, fly spray, tack etc.).

Volunteer needs: At least 12 volunteers (15 years old and older) each lesson day. We currently ride on Saturdays only.

Minimum volunteer time: One hour.

To help: Phyllis Smeaton, 704-740-6720; or Teressa Tucker, 704-701-4711

Lake Norman YMCA - Adaptive Water Sports

21300 Davidson Street

Cornelius, NC 28031

Program: The Lake Norman YMCA and Carolinas Rehabilitation have had an ongoing partnership for almost 15 years that provides a special water skiing program for adults and children with disabilities. Through water skiing, participants have fun and gain the self-esteem and confidence that comes from being independent and away from the wheelchair. Participants also improve strength and balance and are able to find support and resources from others dealing with similar challenges. This is the only program of its kind in North Carolina and is provided in large part thanks to the generous support of our community.

Material wishes: Monetary.

Volunteer needs: Contact the Lake Norman YMCA for volunteer information. 704-716-4400.

To help: 704.716.4474 Judy Krenzer

Manpower to Horsepower, Inc.

610 Performance Road

Mooresville, NC 28115

Program: Rehabilitation for injured and disabled veterans.

Material wishes: Monetary donations and racecar parts.

Volunteer needs: Disabled veterans to help build cars for racing and maintain them.

Minimum volunteer time: No minimum.

To help: Sue Roberson, 704-664-1674


9800 Kincey Ave. Suite 190

Huntersville, NC 28078

Program: Throughout western North Carolina, UMAR promotes community inclusion, independence and growth for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through residential, employment and cultural enrichment opportunities.

Material wishes: Financial donations needed most; large pots and pans (new), bake ware, glasses, silverware for eight, kitchen utensils, food storage containers; office chairs; large storage containers with lids; storage sheds for each home.

Volunteer needs: Mentors for residents; assistance with home maintenance and repairs; marketing and communication internships; a volunteer coordinator; office help.

Minimum volunteer time: Task-specific (varies from one hour to several).

To help: Marilyn Garner, development director, 704-875-1328

Special needs

A Place to Grow Developmental Day Center

410 N. Poplar Street

Lincolnton, NC 28021

Program: We serve children ages 0-5 years with and without special needs, in a preschool setting. We also have a "More at Four" classroom.

Material wishes: Paper towels, paper plates, plastic spoons, baby wipes, latex gloves (medium and large), batteries (all sizes), construction paper, copier paper, dish washing liquid, laundry detergent and bleach.

Volunteer needs: Help supervise children on field trips, help in cleaning playground area and reading to the children. Must be 18 years old or older to volunteer.

Minimum volunteer time: No minimum.

To help: 704-732-1745

Bill Parker Sertoma Club

1340 Niagara Circle

Charlotte, NC 28214

Program: Support speech and hearing challenged children and to assist in worthy causes in the Charlotte area. We donate time and money to Camp Sertoma, Carolina Ear Research, Teen Health Connection, The Alexander Children's Center Speech and Hearing Clinic, Charlotte Rescue Mission, the local Boy Scouts, Haiti Building Program and others.

Material wishes: Cash or check donations and your time and willingness to help others.

Volunteer needs: Volunteers needed for highway trash pickup and for assisting with fundraising.

Minimum volunteer time: Two hours.

To help: Lee Hickerson, 704-573-9480 (president) or Jim Smeltzer, 704-393-2467 (secretary)