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Where to volunteer in Asheville

Whether you want to pack food for folks in need or foster pets, here are 40+ ways to lend a helping hand in your community.

MANNA FoodBank volunteers at a table with donated food

Spread the love locally.

Photo provided by MANNA FoodBank

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Maybe you have some extra time on your hands, or maybe you’re just in the giving spirit. All we know is there are more than enough great causes in AVL to support with your time. Whether you’re an animal lover, an artsy type, a natural mentor, or a healthcare enthusiast — there’s a nearby volunteer opportunity for you. Here are 40+ ways to get involved in Asheville.

If you’re a mental health advocate

  • NAMI Western Carolina | Help out the local chapter of this national organization by assisting with advocacy, support, and administrative or fundraising tasks.
  • Light a Path | If you’re a certified yoga or fitness instructor, support this initiative of the YWCA of Asheville offering yoga and wellness practices to under-served communities, including youth, the incarcerated, the unhoused, older adults, veterans, and those in recovery.
  • SeekHealing | Serve in one of the many volunteer opportunities available including the listening line, connection mission, or community aftercare program.

For the handy individuals

  • Asheville Tool Library | Commit at least three months to training and you can assist this community-based lending library as a dedicated maintenance staff repair person, a tool inventory librarian — plus, explore short-term opportunities like tool sales and tool sharpening days.
  • Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity | Sort donations in the ReStore, hammer nails on a construction site, or assist in the administrative office.
  • WNC Repair Cafe | Whether you’re a skilled seamstress or a general handyman, you can offer your skills to those in need with this Mills River-based organization.

If you’re an animal lover

  • Appalachian Wildlife Refuge | Help transport wildlife, operate the hotline, input animal care data, or get hands-on opportunities for animal care.
  • Wild Heart Farm Sanctuary | Work with the sanctuary animals, tend to the community garden, or help keep up the property.
  • Asheville Humane Society | Help with community outreach or the thrift store, assist with adoptions, help coordinate events, or take the shelter’s most energetic dogs on hikes.
  • Brother Wolf Animal Rescue | Help out at the thrift store or adoption center, transport pets, or take shelter dogs hiking.
  • Mountain Pet Rescue | Pitch in at the office, adoption events, The Thrift Hound, or the cat habitats at PetSmart.
  • Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue | Take pups on walks, help with transportation or marketing, or become a foster pet parent.

Supporters of veterans

  • ABCCM | Help serve the community through crisis services, veterans’ services, food preparation and serving, medical ministry, and administrative tasks.
  • Aura Home for Women Vets | Help deliver goods, lend a hand at fundraiser events, join a committee, or move veterans into new homes.
  • Equinox Ranch | Help build housing for combat veterans learning coping strategies to integrate into their everyday lives at this riverfront ranch in nearby Cullowhee.
  • Veterans Healing Farm | Help maintain the garden, harvest herbs for tinctures, or raise and care for honeybees. For something less labor intensive, assist with marketing, social media, events, fundraising, and community outreach.
  • Heart of Horse Sense | Assist with barn and farm support and horse care, as well as with education, events, fundraising, and community outreach for this Marshall-based nonprofit that offers trauma-informed equine therapy services needs.

For the outdoorsy types

  • Asheville GreenWorks | Help with stream and river cleanup, roadside cleanup, special events, and more.
  • RiverLink | Care for the French Broad River watershed with public service events like river + creek cleanup, self-directed cleanup (supplies provided), and Adopt-A-Stream initiatives.
  • MountainTrue | Support clean water and air and healthy forests by assisting with river and forest keeping, public lands restoration and maintenance, and invasive species control.
  • Dogwood Alliance | Wanna help protect forests? Volunteer for research, campaigning, outreach and media, fundraising, organization, management, and special events.
  • Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy | Manage habitats for native species, remove trash from protected lands, host outreach events, and more.
  • Carolina Mountain Club | Help keep iconic hiking trails like the A.T., MST, and Art Loeb open and safe for all to hike.

If you want to help your neighbors in need

  • Bounty & Soul | Sort vegetables, curate produce boxes, garden, help with weekly markets, and more.
  • MANNA FoodBank | Support the warehouse by repackaging fresh produce, creating emergency food boxes, and sorting donated products for distribution.
  • BeLoved Asheville | Help construct affordable housing, assist with medical outreach, and more.
  • Homeward Bound of WNC | Sort and distribute furniture and household items, offer administrative support, and organize a donation drive.
  • Meals on Wheels | Deliver meals to homebound and elderly residents during a regular weekly shift.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC | Mentor a child facing adversity, allowing them to see their full potential.
  • Asheville Poverty Initiative | Take and fill grocery orders or offer your hospitality services in the cafe.
  • Eblen Charities | Volunteer at fundraising events or special assistance programs, help with administrative tasks, or lend a hand with warehouse organization.
  • Haywood Street | Join an orientation to serve as part of the Companion Ministry.
  • Eliada | Reach out to the little ones in the community through recreation, child development + foster care programs, or even the campus farm.

If you live and breathe Asheville

  • Asheville FM | Support this independent community radio station with fundraising, events, and outreach. You can even host a radio show after you’ve logged a minimum number of volunteer hours.
  • South Asheville Cemetery Association | Help maintain the historic South Asheville Cemetery in Kenilworth.
  • Hood Huggers | Help out in the Peace Gardens, donate time and knowledge, and assist with special events, including the annual Day of Service on MLK Jr. Day.
  • Hands On Asheville-Buncombe | Explore a variety of opportunities to serve Asheville area nonprofits through United Way’s volunteer center.
  • YWCA of Asheville | Help out at the facility or through opportunities with the association’s various programs.

Self-proclaimed bibliophiles

  • Literacy Together | Serve as an ESOL tutor who helps immigrant adults learn English or as a youth literacy tutor who works with children who read, write, and/or spell below grade level.
  • Read to Succeed | Work one-on-one or in small groups with K-5th grade students to boost literacy.
  • The POP Project | Collect and sort book donations, make book deliveries, or research and write grants.

If you want to be there for abuse victims

  • Our Voice | Support victims of sexual violence through advocacy or collecting supplies for survivors.
  • My Sister’s Place | This Marshall-based advocacy organization for victims of domestic + sexual violence needs help with fundraising, seasonal chores, operating its thrift store, and sponsorship of children and clients.
  • Helpmate | Provide childcare during weekly support group meetings or answer calls on its 24-hour hotline.
  • Family Justice Center | Work as a receptionist, offer clerical support, perform intake assessments + obtain referrals, or provide information and support to hotline callers.

The artsy types

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