Carolyn Fagan is a writer. After spending a life in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York, she is eager to explore everything inside of and around Asheville.
Stockings stuffed? Tree surrounded by gifts? Menorahs ready?
It’s a great feeling, the end of the year. Even through the stress of figuring out presents, struggling against random cold blasts, and the general foreboding about what will happen in January--December has some weird ever-lingering charm that you might try to shake off upon hearing “Jingle Bell Rock” for the fourth time in one morning, but, ultimately, still feel deep down in your bones. Why not put that cheer to work by lending a hand to a local organization?
Here are your end-of-the-year volunteer opportunities:
What: Winter Lights at the Arboretum
Where: The NC Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28805
When: Now through January 1st
Notes: The event needs everything from crafts assistants to hot cocoa assistants. And you get a discount at the Gift Shop and cafe.
Sign Up: http://ncarboretum.volunteerhub.com/events/index
What: Christmas Angel Event
Where: Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry, 20 20th Street, Asheville, NC 28806
When: Now through December 24th
Notes: If you want to help out but you don’t have the time, you can drop off gifts or even sign up to purchase gifts for an entire family.
Sign Up: http://specialevents.abccm.volunteerhub.com/events/index
What: Christmas Banquet
Where: Western Carolina Rescue Ministries, 225 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
When: Tuesday, December 20th and Friday, December 23rd
Notes: Many future food donation opportunities, and multiple holiday opportunities
Sign Up: http://www.westerncarolinarescue.org/volunteer
What: Multiple events through Mountain True
When: Live-staking the French Broad River: Tuesday, December 20th, 10 am. Future dates for same event also need volunteers: http://action.mountaintrue.org/page/s/live-staking
Notes: Mountain True needs volunteers for various environmental protection actions, like staking eroding riverbanks to reduce sediment pollution and surveying for ash trees.
Sign Up: http://mountaintrue.org/eventscalendar/category/volunteer-opportunity/
What: Manna Food Bank Individual and Group volunteer hours
Where: Manna Food Bank, 627 Swannanoa River Road, Asheville, NC 28805-2445
When: Monday through Friday 9AM-12PM and 1PM-3PM
Notes: Manna has tons of opportunities, and you can volunteer as a group. Volunteer slot times are as small as two hours long, so why not get a group of friends and family together around the holidays and lend a few hours.
Sign Up: https://www.mannafoodbank.org/how-you-can-help/volunteer/
If you can’t squeeze in any of these opportunities, but you’re interested in volunteering in 2017, make sure to check out Hands On Asheville. They always have information on upcoming local volunteer opportunities, including cooking demo volunteers, English tutors, and book and produce sorting.