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.

Two men work with wood for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.

How rewarding must it be to help build someone’s house?

Photo via @ashevillehabitat

1. If you’re a mental health advocate 2. For the handy individuals 3. If you’re an animal lover 4. Supporters of veterans 5.For the outdoorsy types 6. If you want to help your neighbors in need 7. If you live and breathe Asheville 8.Self-proclaimed bibliophiles 9. If you want to be there for abuse victims 10. For the artsy types

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 | This initiative of the YWCA of Asheville offers 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.
  • Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness | Help support people struggling with substance use and mental wellness challenges through fundraising and collecting outreach supplies.

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, or with events 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 or tend to the community garden.
  • Full Moon Farm Wolfdog Sanctuary | Support this Black Mountain-based nonprofit by transporting wolfdogs/wolves, fundraising, compound building, kennel cleaning, training, and helping withrehab activities.
  • Asheville Humane Society | Wash dishes, help with community outreach, 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.

Supporters of veterans

  • ABCCM | Help serve the community through crisis services, veterans’ services, food preparation and serving, medical ministry, and administrative tasks.
  • 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 | This Marshall-based nonprofit that offers trauma-informed equine therapy services needs volunteer assistance with barn and farm support and horse care, as well as with education, events, fundraising, and community outreach.

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 weekly 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? This organization utilizes volunteers for research, campaigning, outreach and media, fundraising, organization, management, and special events.

If you want to help your neighbors in need

  • Bounty & Soul | Sort vegetables, curate produce boxes, garden, help with weekly drive-thru markets, and more.
  • MANNA FoodBank | Support the warehouse, table events, sort produce and bread, and help distribute food.
  • BeLoved Asheville | Help construct affordable housing 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.

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.
  • Buncombe County Special Collections | Help transcribe, format, and correct audio records of oral history interviews.

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-to-one or in small groups with K-4th 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 and obtain referrals, or provide information and support to hotline callers.

The artsy types

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