Helping Out

Volunteer opportunities around the holidays

Photo c/o Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina

While volunteering should be a year-round endeavor, if the year has gotten away from you, the holidays are a good time to be inspired to give back.

Groups throughout the Cape Fear region field additional needs toward the end of the year and are happy to take on additional volunteers. Here are just a few of the places working hard this season to make sure others are taken care of.

Good Shepherd Center

The Good Shepherd Center, whose mission is to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and foster transition to housing, has volunteer needs that vary, but one program can be incorporated into holiday shopping.

“Each year, Good Shepherd Center looks for individuals or groups to participate in their Adopt a Family program,” says Liz Carbone, community coordinator. “The adopters receive a wish list from a family either currently living in Good Shepherd’s shelter or that has been recently rehoused. The wish list will include gift ideas for the children in the family, as well as practical items like clothing and household needs.”

For more info, contact Carbone at or 763-4424, ext. 101.

Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina

The food bank’s Wilmington branch has several upcoming volunteer events:

  • Giving Tuesday will be 5-7 p.m. December 3,
  • Kids Day will be 10 a.m.-noon December 7 and is for kid volunteers ages five to eleven,
  • Holiday Open House will be 6-8 p.m. December 19, and
  • Community Day will be 10 a.m.- noon December 21, 2019 and is also open for kid ages five to eleven.

Go to to sign up. For more info, contact volunteer coordinator Kathleen Hoolihan at or 251- 1425, ext. 2202.

Cape Fear Volunteer Center

The Cape Fear Volunteer Center has a list of opportunities for those looking to volunteer.

On December 24, volunteers will start at 10 a.m., distributing Christmas Eve to low-income, elderly, and infirmed residents in New Hanover County. Meals are prepared by a partner church, and volunteers, who can choose what part of town they go, will deliver meals of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, beans, gravy, and dessert.

A festive outing that benefits the nonprofit NourishNC also will take on volunteers to help the 12 Tastes of Christmas event go smoothly. The event is on the evening of December 12 at the Brooklyn Arts Center.

For more about these and others, go to or email General volunteers also can register at

Marines for Thanksgiving

A quick note to end on: Every year, Port City Java lines up area families that can host Marines from Camp Lejeune for Thanksgiving dinner. Port City Java CEO Steve Schnitzler, who fields hosting requests from families, says that this year is taken care of as far as volunteering families.

But, it’s something to keep an eye out for next year’s calendar.


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Categories: Culture