The Center for Volunteer Caregiving helps Wake County seniors and adults with disabilities maintain their independence and quality of life by providing services such as transportation and home visits. Through its Caregiver Support Program, the center also provides a temporary respite for full-time caregivers who are supporting a loved one with dementia or other disabling conditions. Caregivers can take much-needed time for themselves as trained volunteers offer quality companionship to the family member in need.
A small group founded 2PawsUp in 2007 to help transport animals from the local shelter to potential adopters. After a few months of this service, 2PawsUp expanded into an adoption agency. Today, it rescues animals from high-kill shelters, provides medical care, and helps find them loving, permanent homes. It also spays or neuters animals to limit the growth of the stray-animal population.
Toxic Free North Carolina provides education about pesticide hazards and aims to change the way communities view and use toxic chemicals, with the goal of reducing pesticide pollution. In addition to combating pesticide exposure among the general population, the organization focuses specifically on farm workers and their families, who are at a particularly high risk for pesticide exposure, with programming that aims to reduce their risk and address hunger in that population.
After being diagnosed with diabetes as a teenager, Brandy Barnes faced several obstacles, including feelings of isolation and a high-risk pregnancy. She was astounded by the lack of available resources for women like her. These experiences led her to form DiabetesSisters, with the hope of helping women of all ages with all types of diabetes.
DiabetesSisters aims to improve the quality of life and health of women through peer-support systems that provide encouragement, empowerment, and education. Along with support-group meetings held nationwide, the organization hosts SisterTalk blogs and forums where women can openly discuss and ask questions about diabetes without fear of judgment.
Stop Hunger Now distributes food and other life-saving aid to provide hunger relief to developing countries around the world. Through its meal-packaging program, volunteers package high protein, dehydrated meals for use in crisis situations, school feeding programs, and orphanages around the world. Its partner organizations note increased enrollment in schools that receive these meals, ensuring that more children receive a quality education in addition to a healthful meal. Stop Hunger Now hosts meal-packaging events to prep food for recipients, during which 40–50 volunteers can typically package 10,000 meals in two hours.
As a child, Ruth Warren learned to value creativity over consumption. Her parents—who grew up during the Great Depression—taught their children to make ornaments from magazines, matchbooks, and bottle caps, paper dolls from catalogs, and even their house from salvaged wood and nails. As an adult, Ruth still celebrates these values as an artist and the marketing coordinator for The Scrap Exchange. The nonprofit company collects materials from more than 250 industries within a 100-mile radius, looking to repurpose everything from foam, paper, zippers, test tubes, fabric, and vintage goods into art and craft supplies.
Staffers have aims beyond just reducing waste and promoting environmental awareness: they hope to create a vibrant community. Alongside merchandise, their shop makes room for craft classes, an art gallery, and an artists’ marketplace of items created with discarded materials. Everyone is welcome to work inside a 400-square-foot design center, outfitted with sewing machines, a serger, a die-cut machine, a button-making machine, T-shirt hot press, and more than 300 reference books. The inspirational space earned a feature on Apartment Therapy, as well as Santa's nice list.