Paying it Forward

2020 was by no means a stress-free year for many of us. With the arrival of the New Year, as calendars reset, take the opportunity to reset your intentions as well. The art of crafting and upholding resolutions at the beginning of a new year can be complex. For 2021, make your resolution one that gives back to your community. There are still ways to volunteer safely, ensuring your well-being and the well-being of those you will be helping along the way. We have compiled a list of a few local organizations still seeking volunteer assistance. That said, please feel free to share other unlisted opportunities you may be privy to!

Chatham Habitat for Humanity:

A household name, Habitat for Humanity empowers families to help themselves by assisting homeowners to build and renovate the homes that they have purchased on their own. These homes are affordable for low-income families and are part of the movement to improve global housing conditions for millions of people. As an organization, their platform is grounded in several initiatives, including health, child development, financial freedom and community strength. Today, Habitat for Humanity operates in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries worldwide.

Want to be a part of the movement? The Chatham Habitat for Humanity ReStore is looking for individuals, much like yourself, to join their volunteer team. With two stores located in Chatham County, one location offers home furnishings and furniture and the other, appliances, building supplies and hardware. Items in the store are donated and the proceeds go directly towards supporting the mission for Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers are tasked with responsibilities including pricing items, working the store floor and operating the registers. 

After an initial orientation, Habitat for Humanity will work with your schedule to assign shifts. COVID-19 policies will be strictly enforced and are in compliance with government regulations throughout the screening process, orientation and volunteer shifts. Learn more about how to get involved!

Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge:

Located in Pittsboro, the Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge is all about, like the name says, the animals! A non-profit organization, the Refuge rescues farm animals in need while educating the public about the inhumane nature of factory farms and the benefits of veganism. On the grounds, you’ll meet rescued chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, pigs, goats, pigs and cows. After living through the cruelties of neglect and abuse, these animals now live and roam peacefully on 16 acres of pasture and woods. 

If you’re interested in working to help these animals, the Piedmont Farm Animal Rescue invites you to get involved. A variety of volunteer opportunities available, the Refuge will work with your schedule, all you have to do is reach out!

SonShine & Blessings:

A Christian, non-profit organization, SonShine & Blessings’ mission is to share their religious ideals through the services of adult transportation, adult care and music education for all ages. From their location in Pittsboro, volunteers assist the elderly and disabled with care, transportation and additional services as well as assisting underprivileged and homeschooled children and adults with music education. As a non-denominational organization, SonShine & Blessings serves all those in need, regardless of ethnic, cultural or religious backgrounds.

How can you help? They’re glad you asked! SonShine & Blessings has current needs for volunteers in four areas: fundraising, marketing, transport and care. Fundraising and marketing volunteers assist in implementing and managing fundraising ideas. Transport volunteers assist in transporting clients to appointments and on general errands. Respite care volunteers sit with the elderly and disabled to allow their full-time caretakers a break. Learn more about available volunteer opportunities!

Chatham Literacy:

Many individuals in Chatham County struggle to progress in their professional and personal development due to an inability to read, write or speak English. Chatham Literacy is making strides to change that. Based on your individual interests and skills, apply to serve as a tutor or as a general volunteer. As a tutor, you do not need experience in a foreign language to volunteer, training will be provided. Tutors assist in helping adult learners to learn the necessary skills for earning a high school credential, apply for a job, read a book or fill out a form. Apply to become a tutor! 

Special events volunteers are also needed to work on fundraising events or promoting the mission of Chatham Literacy at various information fairs and networking opportunities. Apply to become a general volunteer!

Virtual Volunteering:

Within Chatham County and across the nation, there are many ways to give back, even virtually! VolunteerMatch consistently updates their platform with virtual volunteer opportunities to serve from anywhere, if that’s on your couch or in a coffee shop. Become a volunteer radio host, a human resource specialist or a volunteer journalist. It’s all at your fingertips and on your keyboard! Whatever you do, make the next year one to remember by using your abilities to help others.