Friends and neighbors sift through what is left of a damaged trailer in Emerald Isle, N.C., after a tornado in 2019. (AP Photo /Jeffrey Collins) Help Wanted
Friends and neighbors sift through what is left of a damaged trailer in Emerald Isle, N.C., after a tornado in 2019. (AP Photo /Jeffrey Collins)

For those interested in giving back to their communities, there is no shortage of need across the state.

If you’ve ever thought about giving back to your community, this week’s for you: National Volunteer Week spotlights how to help in North Carolina all year long.

The pandemic disrupted the education for nearly all of our state’s 1.4 million public students, and many school districts are in need of mentors and tutors.

A quarter of children in North Carolina regularly do not have enough to eat, and food banks including the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina need volunteers to deliver food across the state.

And when severe weather destroys businesses or floods homes, the group North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters needs people to help homeowners rebuild.

These are just a few examples of how North Carolinians can donate their time or money to help their communities. 

“When we work together, we build a stronger state for all,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a press release about the focus in the state this week. “I am grateful for all the volunteers across our state and encourage North Carolinians to spend time volunteering.”

According to the Governor’s office, nearly 3 million people in the state in 2021 donated more than 265 million hours of their time to help their fellow North Carolinians. You can find information on where to help in your county on the state’s volunteer opportunities website here.

President Biden declared this week as National Volunteer Week last Friday, applauding the ways people invest in others and their communities. 

As the pandemic continues, and climate change increases its threat in North Carolina and the world, the need for volunteers will only grow. 

“Over the past year, we have seen that the American spirit of service is alive and well,” Biden wrote. “This commitment to service represents the best of who we are as Americans.”