This story is presented by Bank of America. Bank of America is all about celebrating and helping out the organizations that lift up our city. Take a look at how their team is doing their part to fuel the local economy, address critical needs, and revitalize neighborhoods in CLT. ‘Tis the season for giving back.

Giving back during the holiday season feels especially important this year, with so many in our community going through significant challenges.

If you’re in a position to give time or money, here’s a list of more than 20 Charlotte-area charities that could use your help right now.

Kenya Joseph, a volunteer with Hearts and Hands Food Pantry, gives out ice to individuals experiencing homelessness in Charlotte. (Photo by Travis Dove for our special report on Tent City.)

Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina

Second Harvest Food Bank provides over 70 million pounds of food and household items annually for people in need in 24 counties.

How you can help: Second Harvest is in need of funds to purchase healthy, shelf-stable items for food boxes. A $25 donation buys a seven-day food box for people in need. Click here to donate.

Supportive Housing Communities

Supportive Housing Communities works to alleviate homelessness by providing affordable housing to those who need it.

How you can help: SHC maintains an Amazon wish list where you can purchase necessary items. You can also donate money. A hundred dollars provides housing to a family in need for a month.

The Humane Society of Charlotte

The Humane Society provides care for homeless animals in the community, while also subsidizing low-cost adoptions and spay and neuter services.

How you can help: The Humane Society is currently raising money to build a new shelter and animal resource center. You can help the organization reach its goal and leave a lasting legacy at the new shelter when you purchase a brick. You can also donate money to provide care for the animals staying at the shelter. A $25 donation buys a week’s worth of milk for a litter of kittens.

zuri adopt a dog cat

Children’s Home Society of North Carolina

Since its creation in 1902, Children’s Home Society serves more than 20,000 clients annually, helping to place kids into safe and loving adoptive homes.

How you can help: You can apply to be a foster parent here. You can also donate money to help support CHS’s programs. For instance, $60 provides a parenting class to a parent who’s struggling.

Our Bridge For Kids

Our Bridge helps newly-arrived and first-generation kids learn English and get adjusted to their new home.

How you can help: You can donate money here. They’re also hiring tutors if you want to share your skills.

Beds Equal Dreams

Beds Equal Dreams provides beds for children experiencing homelessness or who are in transitional housing.

How you can help: You can donate funds here, and in normal, non-Covid times they have Build-A-Bed events where you can help construct bedframes.

Safe Alliance

Safe Alliance provides resources for those impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault. The organization offers a number of crucial services, including a domestic violence shelter, a sexual trauma resource center, and a court advocacy program.

How you can help: You can donate money here. A $25 donation supports an hour of advocacy for a survivor. You can also apply to be a volunteer — you could help with the victim assistance court program, serve meals at a domestic violence shelter, or provide emergency hospital accompaniment to sexual assault survivors.

Carolinas CARE Partnership

Carolinas CARE Partnership aims to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS while providing support to those living with the disease. They offer free HIV testing, counseling, and medical referrals.

How you can help: You can make a monetary donation, or volunteer to help take care of administrative work, like assembling safe sex kits. In non-Covid times, you can volunteer at HIV testing events and other outreach programs.

Block Love Charlotte

Block Love Charlotte offers education and life essentials to community members in need. Founder Deborah Woolard has visited Charlotte’s homeless encampment known as Tent City on a daily basis delivering food and water and spreading love.

How you can help: You can purchase an item off Block Love’s Amazon Smiles wishlist or you can make a monetary donation. They’re always looking for canned goods, fresh fruit, cookies, soups, beverages, and other staples. Click here to find out exactly what they’re most in need of.

Tent City Covid 2020 long exposure

The residents of the homeless encampment didn’t want their faces shown, so photographer Travis Dove did a series of long-exposure shots of them. They became popular among the people who live here.

Dress for Success Charlotte

Dress for Success Charlotte sets women up to achieve economic independence by providing professional attire, a support network, and necessary development tools.

How you can help: If you’ve got gently-used business attire you’re no longer wearing, donate it and know it’ll go to great use. You can also make a monetary donation or sign up to become a volunteer. You can sort through clothing donations, provide office help, or even serve as a style consultant for clients.

The Relatives

The Relatives offers a number of programs and resources to help kids become healthy, productive adults. The organization works with young people experiencing homelessness, or who have aged out of public systems and don’t have the support network to thrive.

How you can help: You can shop their Amazon wishlist and purchase items for the Youth Crisis Center or the On Ramp Resource Center, a drop-in center that helps kids successfully make the transition into adulthood. You can also volunteer to bring a meal to young people staying at the Crisis Center, host a life skills workshop, or serve as a tutor. Get more information about volunteering here.


Digi-Bridge aims to bridge the digital divide, ensuring that all kids have the opportunity to succeed in the digital age.

How you can help: Right now, Digi-Bridge needs volunteers to take their LEGO robotics kits home and restock and organize the pieces in preparation for upcoming courses. Playing with LEGOs and helping the community? If this sounds perfect for you, email [email protected] to sign up.

(Photo courtesy Digi-Bridge)

Carolina Youth Coalition

Carolina Youth Coalition provides resources to get high-achieving, under-resourced young people ready to excel in college.

How you can help: Volunteer to serve as a mentor, help coach students as they work on personal statements or scholarship applications, or work as an ACT tutor.

Promising Pages

Promising Pages collects new and gently-used books and shares them with children who don’t have access to books at home.

How you can help: Right now, the biggest need is for books for kindergarten through fifth grade. Check out their Amazon wishlist here.

Hospitality House of Charlotte

Hospitality House is a 20-bedroom house that offers a comfortable place to stay for patients and patients’ families getting medical care at facilities in our community.

How you can help: In non-Covid times you can become a house volunteer and help out with the upkeep of the facility, including meal preparation. There are still volunteer opportunities now, though. Click here to find out more.

Charlotte Rescue Mission

The Charlotte Rescue Mission provides residential recovery programs to assist those struggling with addiction, helping them to build a healthy, stable life.

How you can help: Right now, they’re in need of donations for their Christmas meal. To donate, click here and select the “holiday meal” option. You’ll also find an Amazon wish list filled with items the organization needs. You can purchase off of Amazon and have the items delivered right to the Mission. Or you can dine at Community Matters Cafe, which supports Charlotte Rescue Mission.

Community Matters Cafe Tony Barnett

Tony Barnett first sought treatment for addiction in February. Nearly 10 months later, he was clean and graduated from the Charlotte Rescue Mission program. (Photo by Logan Cyrus)

Common Wealth Charlotte

Common Wealth Charlotte empowers low-income individuals through financial literacy workshops, low-interest loans, and increased access to banking services.

How you can help: Volunteer your time and host seminars on topics like understanding credit. You can also help people open a checking or savings accounts. In many cases, this is their first time having their own account, which is a significant milestone. Click here to get in touch.

Young Black Leadership Alliance

YBLA identifies and develops young Black leaders according to the organization’s three core pillars: leadership, service, and education.

How you can help: You can give a monetary donation, or donate your time. Apply to be a volunteer here.

Roof Above

Roof Above (a merger between Urban Ministry and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte) is an interfaith organization committed to ending homelessness in our community. They offer a number of programs that provide opportunities and services for people experiencing homelessness.

How you can help: You can make a monetary donation or buy right from their Amazon wishlist. 

Time Out Youth Center

Time Out Youth Center offers a safe environment and opportunities for personal development for LGBTQ youth and their allies.

How you can help: Volunteer to provide lunch or dinner for the young people who benefit from the Time Out Youth Center. You can either use their kitchen facilities to prepare a meal, prepare the meal at your home and drop it off, or pay for a catered meal. Click here for more information.

Loaves & Fishes

Loaves & Fishes provides nutritionally-balanced groceries to people experiencing a short-term crisis.

How you can help: Due to Covid, the organization has switched to a drive-thru food service. You can drop off non-perishable food items, or shop directly from their Amazon wish list. Find more information on how you can help here.

Freedom School Partners

Freedom School Partners works to prevent summer literacy loss through a summer program available to disadvantaged children in grades K-8.

How you can help: You can purchase an item off of their Amazon Smile wishlist, or give a monetary donation.

Fashion & Compassion

Fashion & Compassion helps women overcome addiction, homelessness, abuse, and other high-risk situations. Women learn how to make jewelry and other crafts, allowing them to earn income, experience a self-confidence boost, and build a stable life for themselves and their families.

How you can help: Right now they’re seeking donations for their Angel Ask program, which supports at-risk women entering the program. A $60 donation supports a woman during her critical first two weeks.  You can also shop their store to help support the cause.