Most people are aware of the bigger, more well-known charities in our area. They play a key role in our community, stepping up for the folks that have fallen upon troubling times. Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House, The Salvation Army, Make – A – Wish, and many more rely on donations, advocates, and volunteers to continue making their impact. From ringing the bell outside the mall during the holidays to granting a terminally ill child’s wish, volunteers make a difference every day.
Pay It Forward: Volunteering in the Upstate
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention” – Oscar Wilde
We wanted to highlight a few local charities that help those less fortunate in our area. We are aware that this is nowhere near an exhaustive list. This is just a sample to motivate and remind that your help is always needed. Have a cause you think deserves more attention? Let us know!
Greer Community Ministries, Greer
Our neighbors at Greer Relief provide year-round support to those in our community who are struggling. From help with utility bills, a food pantry, RENEW classes that teach self-sufficiency, and so much more, Greer relief is continuing their mission to prevent homelessness and hunger in the Greer/Taylors area. Volunteers are needed to stock the pantry shelves, answer phones, teach classes, or help with events. That being said, needs change throughout the year. Any and all talents are welcome and appreciated to help at Greer Community Ministries.
Mobile Meals, Spartanburg
Spartanburg Mobile Meals in Spartanburg provides nutritious meals, services, and fellowship to homebound citizens in Spartanburg County. Volunteers deliver prepared dishes to the elderly and frail, while also providing a much needed social visitor to the lonely. Meal preparation and substitute drivers are always needed, as well as set-up and break-down for special events. Mobile Meals offers flexible schedules and small time slots, creating the perfect opportunity for those who pack their days full of activities. Don’t live in Spartanburg? That’s okay, other counties have mobile meal programs as well!
United Housing Connections, Anderson
Anderson United Housing Connections offers aid to families, veterans, victims of domestic violence, homeless youth, and those with disabilities to find stable, affordable housing and empower themselves for a better future. With transitional housing, affordable communities, and an emergency shelter, volunteers are always needed to organize a supply drive or provide a Holiday meal for residents. Are you handy with a paintbrush or have a green thumb? Painting and landscaping can be done at a community or resident’s home. Help provide a sense of stability and pride while having a little fun!
Pendleton Place, Greenville
Pendleton Place offers programs that heal, equip, and protect vulnerable children, young adults, and families. Smith House is a residential facility at Pendleton Place that houses teen girls ages 12-21, providing educational support, life skills training, counseling, and financial classes. Volunteers 18 and older are needed to host a cookout, pizza party, or to chaperone outings for the residents. Break out your favorite movie from your teen years and have a mani/pedi party!
Your Local Animal Shelter
Animal shelters are located in most counties in the upstate and they are a great place to enjoy the animals that are looking for a forever home. Animals need the social interaction of a loving human who is genuinely caring for them. Some animals have come from a situation where their trust has been broken and needs to be rebuilt. Who knows – you may just find the perfect companion for your family while you are there! If you live somewhere that does not allow a pet, why not go down and play with a few at your leisure while helping out? Walking dogs, comforting cats, bathing animals, helping with clinics and fundraising are desperately needed all throughout the year.
Meals can be hard to come by if you are homeless or underemployed. Local soup kitchens help to bridge the gap between meals for many in our community. Volunteers are always needed to prepare and serve meals. If you are not able to give the time, you can help in other ways. Donations, cash or food supplies, are desperately needed to continue the work that happens here. Not only will you help provide a hot meal, but you will also help a lonely person to get a smile or maybe a laugh as they have social interactions with others. Are you a hunter? Did you know that some soup kitchens accept donations of venison? Thanksgiving turkeys on sale? Pick up an extra and drop it off. Your donations will be appreciated! Looking for a Soup Kitchen near you? Check out this directory.
Other Ways to Volunteer
*Organize a supply drive for your favorite charity
*Start a canned food drive at work – make it a fun competition with a small reward for the winner
*Volunteer to work the front desk at a library or museum
*Tutor at an adult education class
*Attend fundraising events – we can make a bigger difference together
*Form a team and participate in walks/runs for organizations
*Clean up a local stream or lake
*Visit a nursing home and brighten someone’s day
Special thanks to our sponsors Christ Church Episcopal School, for more information be sure to check out their website!
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