Find Volunteer Opportunities Near You!

I’m really excited to announce a major update to our search engine that will now allow you to filter volunteer opportunities by distance. Implementing this functionality required translating all of our stored addresses into latitude and longitude coordinates, and utilizing Google’s Maps API to geocode on the fly all of the addresses for opportunities entered by our nonprofits. Now, when you search for a volunteer opportunity, you can type an address into a location search box. Google provides autocomplete functionality to make this even easier. Then, you can specify a radius of 5, 10, or 25 miles of that location to search within. We hope this new functionality will make it even easier for you to find opportunities to get involved. As always, we welcome your feedback on our website and look forward to future...

Ten Years Ago, Today

Growth and progress feel so slow when you’re impatient to achieve a goal. That’s why it’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since I first set out on this path. Ten years that now feel, in retrospect, like they flew by. A third of my life. A third. In many ways I still feel like a child, wandering around, guessing at right answers, trying until I get it right, and often flopping. And in many other ways I feel like a wise old soul, looking back fondly (and with some amusement) at my fumbling 21 year old self. The one who put off going back to school to take off on a life-changing journey to change the world. On September 2, 2004 — exactly ten years ago — my best friend Heather and I stepped into my 2003 Chevy Cavalier, packed to the brim with clothing and foodstuffs, and drove west. The Volunteer Road Trip Before Facebook and Twitter were things, before either of us had any sense of nonprofit marketing or budgeting or fundraising, we left with about a thousand dollars in our collective pocket on a road trip around the country to do good. Glowing with idealism, we defined our mission: To change the world by spreading the message that people should help each other and causes in need. We’d do this by volunteering in every state we visited, learning from nonprofit and community leaders as we went, while proclaiming to strangers and friends we encountered along the way that if everyone rose up to get involved, we could truly alter humanity’s course. We drove west...

Join us for the 2014 9/11 Day of Service

The third annual 9/11 Day of Service returns on Thursday, September 11, bringing a multitude of ways you and your friends can make an impact for over 30 charitable causes in the Triangle area. About the 9/11 Day of Service This year’s 9/11 Day of Service, coordinated by Activate Good in partnership with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and the City of Raleigh, aims to engage 2,000 citizens in acts of volunteerism and kindness. Citizens will honor those lost on 9/11 by helping out with projects like beautifying schools and community centers, packaging food for those in need, and more. More than 30 causes will benefit from volunteers’ work, including but not limited to Raleigh Rescue Mission, Note in the Pocket, Urban Ministries of Wake County, Carolina Tiger Rescue, Ronald McDonald House, and Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation. Companies and groups are invited to adopt daytime service projects, and individuals are invited to register to volunteer alongside them during the day as well. Those who can’t participate in the daytime project are invited to participate in the 9/11 Day of Service Evening Commemoration and Service Projects that will conclude the day at Red Hat Amphitheater. The Evening Commemoration will kick off at 6:00 PM on Thursday, September 11. Register for projects here. How You Can Help You can help by participating in one (or more!) of the nearly 60 service project shifts taking place during this year’s 9/11 Day of Service. View the list of service projects and register for the project(s) of your choice. Can’t help out during the day? Join us at the 9/11 Day of Service Evening Commemoration at...

Celebrating By Doing Good: Veronica’s Volunteer Birthday Party

As the Volunteer Coordinator here at Activate Good, I have been fortunate to receive many positive messages via email about: Eye-opening volunteer experiences Gratitude from nonprofit partners when volunteers tackled much needed projects Messages from parents seeking ways to show their children what volunteering means Educators planning ways for their students to take on service learning Businesses wishing to donate to a number of causes and plan meaningful days of service for their staff Churches wishing to engage their congregations in hands-on efforts, And more! These messages are one of the top reasons I do what I do.  At the end of the day, it is uplifting to be surrounded by Do-Gooders, and I am so proud of the volume of dedicated volunteers in the Triangle and the many ways that they choose to give back in an effort to better our community. Celebrating a Milestone With A Volunteer Birthday Party One message that came through my Inbox a few months ago truly struck a chord with me, and I hope that by sharing this it will resonate around the Triangle and perhaps beyond. Veronica Ingram, an avid volunteer, emailed me seeking assistance in  planning something I hadn’t received a project request for to date. Her email simply said, I have a milestone birthday at the end of May, and I’d like to have a service project as part of that celebration. I was so excited that she had contacted me for assistance in planning her birthday-party-volunteer-effort, and it immediately made me feel inspired to copy her volunteer birthday party myself later this year. I asked Veronica:  “What inspired...

Lisa Jeffries: Using Skills to Help Transitions LifeCare

Many young professionals embrace volunteerism. However, many are often frustrated because they don’t have the opportunity to help nonprofits as they did in high school or college. Some may feel unable to make monetary donations or lack the flexibility in their schedule to donate time for general activities. But utilizing their unique skills to help out might be a great way for young professionals to find their path on their journey to serve. Applying Unique Skills to Boost Technology for a Good Cause Lisa Jeffries is a young professional who is the founder and principal consultant of Raleighwood Media Group. Lisa has a number of web-based skills, particularly in content management systems. While visiting the Activate Good website, she saw a volunteer project right in her wheelhouse: Providing WordPress training for Transitions LifeCare (formerly Hospice of Wake County). According to Jeffries: “The experience was wonderfully timed and fulfilling. My family has benefited from the humbling work that [Transitions LifeCare] provides to the community many times, as recently as the 2011 passing of my grandfather, who suffered from the debilitating effects of dementia in his final years. I had been interested in being able to give back to Transitions LifeCare, and then I stumbled upon the listing on Activate Good’s website for someone to help them with WordPress. I’m a big believer in fate; and that day, it certainly came knocking.” Helping Transitions LifeCare (formerly Hospice of Wake County) Transitions LifeCare (formerly Hospice of Wake County) provides physical, emotional and spiritual care to those living with an advanced illness, their caregivers and those who have lost a loved one. Recently the nonprofit moved...

PPG Team Gives Brentwood Boys & Girls Club a Facelift

On July 9, 2014, PPG Industries (PPG) led 43 employees, some visiting from other states, in volunteer service to refurbish and beautify the Brentwood Boys & Girls Club in Raleigh. PPG Gives Back: Triangle corporate volunteerism at its best PPG completed a variety of tasks benefiting the Brentwood Boys & Girls Club. The project, coordinated by Activate Good, included hands-on efforts to build tables, paint the club’s multipurpose room and library, build a garden storage unit, conduct activities with youth at the club, and more. PPG’s work for the Boys & Girls Clubs improved the environment and programming for at-risk youth served by the organization, according to Amber Moore, Director of Community & Corporate Partnerships for the Boys & Girls Clubs serving Wake County. “I was super impressed by PPG’s enthusiasm and knowledge. Whether face painting or helping to construct a storage shed, each volunteer played an important role in making it a great day for Boys & Girls Clubs members!” said Moore. Volunteering is great for company morale and team-building as well. Jeffrey Odham, Senior Stores Group Manager at PPG, was glad his team could have an impact: “This project was a wonderful opportunity for our employees to interact with the youth and hopefully make a difference within the community. We trust that our efforts will help advance the great work that the Boys & Girls Club does each and every day.” About PPG Industries Founded in 1883, PPG Industries is a leading global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass in nearly 70 countries around the world. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and...

Join L&E Research in getting kids back-to-school ready

Each year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County aims to get 850 kids in need ready to go back to school by providing vital school supplies. This summer, L&E Research is stepping up to rally the community to fulfill this great need, and you can help! Help get kids back-to-school ready! You can drop off school supplies (new) at L&E Research’s Raleigh office through the end of July, Mondays through Thursdays between 10 AM and 5 PM. Wondering what to drop off? Here’s the list of...

Home Away from Home: Ronald McDonald House of Durham

For 34 years, the Ronald McDonald House of Durham has been providing a home away from home for families with seriously ill children. Their vision is to offer love, share comfort, inspire community and sustain hope by giving families a place to stay when their child is being treated in a nearby hospital. Accommodating Families in Need When a family travels more than 50 miles from home to obtain treatment for their child, they are eligible to stay at the House. For a suggested $10-15 per night, a family can stay in a bedroom with amenities similar to a hotel room, but families are never turned away for their inability to pay. All families have access to a fully equipped communal kitchen, dining area, living room and laundry facility. There is also a chapel, learning center, computer room and library on site. Having these resources is important in meeting the needs of a family who has to spend several weeks or months away from home. The Ronald McDonald House also sponsors family rooms at Duke University Hospital and WakeMed Children’s Hospital so families can get away to relax, have a meal or check email without having to leave the hospital grounds. The Ronald McDonald House of Durham anticipates hosting more than 1,300 families in the house and 40,000 visits to the family rooms in the coming year. They rely on the support of the community and volunteers to help meet the needs of these families. Holly Hutchinson, community outreach manager for the Ronald McDonald House of Durham, explains: Volunteers provide a clean place to relax, activity nights, and home cooked meals....

So No One Goes Hungry: Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina

For over 30 years, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina has provided food for those at risk of hunger in 34 counties in the state. The nonprofit organization serves as a link between food donors and a network of partner agencies that provide the donations to those in need. Feeding Those in Need for 30 Years Over half a million people struggle with hunger in the North Carolina counties served by the Food Bank. About 30% of those people are children. The elderly make up 8%. An additional 30% are people who have jobs but are unable to buy food because their income only covers necessities such as housing and medicine. The mission of the Food Bank is to ensure No One Goes Hungry in Central & Eastern North Carolina. Last year the organization worked toward that goal by distributing a record 52 million pounds of food, or the equivalent of 43.5 million meals, to residents of the counties it serves. How the Food Bank Works Items are donated to the Food Bank through retailers, farmers, manufacturers and community food drives where it is stored in one of the six distribution centers in North Carolina. Donations have to be sorted and repackaged so that they can be picked up or delivered to over 800 of the partner agencies they serve in each county. There are several types of partner agencies that use the donations in different ways. For example, food pantries provide groceries for people to take home. Soup kitchens and emergency shelters use the food to cook hot meals for people in need. The Food Bank...

Welcoming L&E Research to the Triangle Corporate Volunteer Council

Activate Good is excited to welcome L&E Research as the seventh member of the Triangle Corporate Volunteer Council (CVC). Amber Smith, Executive Director of Activate Good, comments: L&E Research, with its 30 years of market research expertise, will bring a new perspective to the Corporate Volunteer Council table. We’re excited to welcome them to the effort to bolster volunteerism in the Triangle alongside other industry and community leaders. L&E Research joins Red Hat, Wells Fargo, Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q, CW22, Deloitte, and Fidelity Investments on the Triangle CVC. Making An Impact in Triangle Volunteerism Locally, L&E Research will partner with Activate Good to help fulfill their mission of making connections in the community, and making their panel of over 100,000 residents in North Carolina aware of Activate Good and the impact of volunteerism on our community. President of L&E, Brett Watkins, stated: We are very excited to be working with Activate Good. We have been looking for a charitable partner that would not only excite all of our employees, but also help us engage our database members to work with us to make Raleigh a better place. Over the years we have raised tens of thousands of dollars through our database community for a variety of different charities, and we believe our connection with Activate Good will be something all of our members can heartily support and help us give back to the Triangle area even more. Over the next few years, L&E Research aspires to make a significant impact on our community through a combination of funds raised, in-kind donations, and volunteerism of their workforce and their database...