Operating under the Fayetteville Urban Ministry, the not-for-profit mentors of Find-A-Friend strive to positively impact the lives of adolescents between the ages of 6 and 19 years old who are in or at risk of becoming part of the juvenile-court system. Through the FAF's primary goals—helping youth to channel energy in constructive ways, developing social skills, bolstering self-esteem, and fostering a positive attitude toward education and flossing—caretakers deter the court system from placing youth into training schools.
The FAF program comprises four parts: The Governor's One-on-One program, which pairs youth with a volunteer adult who provides four hours of mentorship per week for a year; the JCPC Interpersonal Skills program, which coordinates group-guidance sessions focused on identifying life challenges and setting goals; the Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents program, which locates a mentor for youth who have at least one parent in prison; and the Support Our Students program, which furnishes academically at-risk youth with educational resources through after-school activities.
With a mission to enable deaf-blind individuals to achieve their full potential, North Carolina Deaf-Blind Associates advocates for the rights and needs of its constituents through consumer advocacy and community-building events. John Washington and Sue Etheridge started the group as a consumer organization in 1983, but it expanded to offer annual conventions and retreats to help reduce the isolation that can result from living with communication obstacles. Conferences promote new technologies and advocate for individual rights, and the Camp Dogwood Deaf-Blind Weekend Retreat provides a much-needed space for deaf-blind adults to socialize, share stories, and participate in life-skills classes, sporting events and dances, and outings to local shopping centers or the lake.
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Geneticist Dr. Michael Bleyman founded Carolina Tiger Rescue in the 1970s as a breeding sanctuary for large carnivores whose habitats had become unsafe. Its original intent was to protect wild species that were crucial to the survival of particular ecosystems, sustaining the populations until their home habitats were protected enough to support them without risk. Today, the organization protects wild cats in captivity and in nature by providing homes for abandoned or neglected cats, raising awareness about the threats to these animals, and assisting with conservation efforts in rainforests and wild habitats. Carolina Tiger Rescue currently houses more than 70 carnivores, including tigers, black leopards, ocelots, caracals, servals, and kinkajous. Many of the facility's residents have been rescued from dangerous situations in urban spaces and private breeding facilities. Now they have a lifelong home in re-created natural habitats.
The Abundance Foundation was born from the collaboration of two co-ops—Chatham Marketplace and Piedmont Biofuels. They started the organization to carry out specific sustainability projects, all while teaching residents about local food, renewable energy, and community. The foundation's first project brought warm water to students in an elementary school through the use of solar power. Aiming to make all of its activities fun and engaging, it now conducts children's sustainability and energy tours that teach youth where their food and energy come from. Its do-it-yourself sustainability workshops teach adults about eco-projects, including how to make cheese, soap, and bread from scratch, and how to practice organic gardening or beekeeping.
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.