Give Local 2023: Area Organizations to Support this Year

It’s the season for gratitude — let’s give thanks for these 25 nonprofits that are making an impact on Raleigh and the Triangle.
by Susanna Klingenberg  

November brings with it a host of predictable delights: gathering, feasting and, at last, savoring the crisp air of autumn. It’s also a time set aside from the hustle — a moment to slow down, notice what we’ve been given and offer up thanks. If the spirit of the season nudges your gratitude into action, consider supporting one of these 25 high-impact local nonprofits. They represent just a few of the many worthy organizations in our area whose important work deserves our recognition. From caretaking to conservation, advocacy to athletics, your financial contributions are critical to their continued work helping our neighbors who need it most.

Brown Bag Ministry

Brown Bag Ministry provides people with food, water, clothing and friendship. Their volunteers gather at one of five sites in the Triangle on Saturday mornings to prepare over 3,500 brown-bag lunches for anyone who is homeless or hungry during the holidays.

Carolina for the Kids Foundation

Since 1997, Carolina for the Kids has raised over $7 million for the patients and families of the UNC Children’s hospital through its epic (and beloved) UNC dance marathon, Kilometers for the Kids, and more. For families facing a scary diagnosis, the emotional, medical and financial support is priceless.

The Carying Place

Every year, 6,500 Wake County children face homelessness, often despite having a fully employed parent. For these families, The Carying Place offers life skills, financial literacy training, 16 weeks of transitional housing and support services to fit each family’s individual needs, extending to 12 months after program graduation.

Conservation Corps North Carolina

Conservation Corps NC engages youth and young adults in diverse conservation projects on public land, like trail construction and habitat improvement. You’ve likely benefited from their work at Dix Park, which includes building two permanent structures at the sunflower field, repairing trails, removing invasive plants and prepping for the large-scale Dix events we all love.

Diamante Arts & Cultural Center

The oldest Latino/Hispanic arts and culture center in the state, Diamante preserves, develops and promotes Latino and Hispanic culture. “Diamante is a gem in the Triangle,” says Patrizia Ferreira, a fiber artist and educator who participated in its artist-in-residence program. “DACC provides an unparalleled opportunity for Latino artists like me to gain visibility and grow.” They also have year-round galleries featuring North Carolina Latino artists, summer camps and leadership development programs that unite local communities and engage the greater Triangle.

Dementia Alliance of North Carolina

Dementia Alliance of NC provides individualized support to thousands of individuals and families across the state living with the effects of dementia. Among its wealth of services are the Music & Memory at Home kits: a personalized digital playlist, plus headphones, a Bluetooth speaker and written guides for connecting with a loved one through music.

Emmaus House of Raleigh

Emmaus House helps men bridge the gap between addiction and independent living. With safe, affordable housing and a robust support system, residents grow their sober networks and address big-picture issues to move toward long-term stability. In March, they responded to the national increase in overdose-related deaths by opening Wake County’s only medical-assisted recovery housing. “There is a bias around Medical Assisted Treatment, but for some, it’s the only way out of addiction,” says executive director Joe Demuro. “What really matters is that it is keeping people alive.”


For people with autism or IDD (intellectual or developmental disabilities), finding secure employment can be discouraging. EngageNC works to increase the number of Triangle jobs for this deserving population. One way they do this is through their HandMeUps thrift store, which employs 18 adults with a variety of developmental disabilities. Says Engage NC president Bruce Kirschenbaum: “Employees learn job and social skills that they can use to increase their responsibilities in the store or move on to other jobs in the community.”

Girls Rock NC

With music as the medium, Girls Rock NC empowers girls, transgender youth and gender-expansive youth to become confident and engaged members of our community. Through summer camps and year-round programs like Rock Roulette, they create safe spaces for young people (and adults!) to learn instruments, collaborate with bandmates and perform original music. “We learned how to rock with our band, but we also learned about being ourselves,” says camp participant Lilly Lykes. “I can’t wait to go back next summer!”

Give Play

Nature is for everyone, but not everyone has the means to explore it. Give Play, a program organized through the City of Oaks Foundation, provides financial assistance to families for outdoor-based summer camps and nature programs run by the city. These memorable experiences then instill a love of outdoor spaces in the next generation of Triangle dwellers.

MATCH (Mothers And Their Children)

MATCH seeks to nurture the relationship between incarcerated mothers and their children. Women at the NC Correctional Institution for Women who participate in an eight-week parenting class get extended visits with their children in an on-site apartment. Says one participant, “It feels good that my son knows me and looks forward to our visits.” These memories encourage strong parent-child bonds, fostering long-term stability and confidence.

Miracle League of the Triangle

The Miracle League of the Triangle extends the fun and camaraderie of playing baseball to individuals with special needs, ages 5 to 85. Players, families and volunteers work together to create a positive, inclusive, joy-filled environment. “Seeing tangible progress in the players over the season, connecting with the families and witnessing the support of the community — it puts a smile on my face every time,” says parent and coach Landy Townsend.

National Alliance on Mental Health, Wake County

NAMI Wake offers free mental health support, online groups, resources and education to Wake County residents. Led by the philosophy of recovery — rather than symptom relief only — NAMI focuses on restoring meaning and identity to individuals while also advocating for research and policy change.

North Raleigh Ministries 

“Our belief is that God wants all people to thrive,” says North Raleigh Ministries executive director Donna Pygott. “That fuels our mission, as does a deep understanding of how poverty impacts families and communities.” Through food assistance, transformative programs, thrift stores and supportive community partnerships, they help neighbors navigate the temporary path of financial crisis and emerge ready to thrive.

The No Woman, No Girl Initiative

Women in crisis often lack supplies for body, teeth, hair and menstrual health; No Woman, No Girl provides these essentials, as well as education and hope. “Everyone in our local community deserves to have access to basic hygiene items to feel good each day, regardless of the crises they are facing,” says the organization’s founder and executive director, Shirnetta Harrell.

Refugee Hope Partners 

North Carolina is a top-10 state for refugee resettlement, and ongoing conflicts worldwide have increased the number of refugees arriving in the Triangle over the past few years. Refugee Hope Partners welcomes these families and helps them find stable footing by addressing cultural, practical and emotional hurdles. “RHP’s holistic and relational approach allows us to listen to family members and evaluate strengths and connections already in place,” says executive director Michele Suffridge. “Through listening, learning and respecting the dignity of those we serve, we focus on equipping families toward an independent life.”

Seasons Village

Seasons Village empowers single mothers and their children by connecting mothers with secondary education opportunities. This schooling opens pathways for higher-paying jobs, economic security and family stability. Seasons Village further supports thriving families with a 2-Gen program focused on resiliency, family wellness, life skills, social capital and leadership.

Second Chance Pet Adoptions

Second Chance Pet Adoptions is the oldest no-kill rescue organization in Wake County. “We take a three-pronged approach to ending animal homelessness,” says senior director of operations Lisa Imhof. “That’s finding forever homes for adoptable animals, spaying/neutering community pets and feral cats and providing support for low-income pet owners to care for their pets instead of surrendering them.” Second Chance has saved and changed the lives of over 18,000 cats and dogs since its inception in 1987.

Stonewall Sports Raleigh

The Raleigh chapter of the national LGBTQIA+ community-based sports league has three goals: have fun, support each player for who they are and give back to local nonprofits. “Stonewall Sports has built a strong community on and off the field,” says chapter founder and Raleigh City councilman Jonathan Melton. Members gather for activities from distance running to tennis to billiards, all in the spirit of good-natured competition and big-hearted philanthropy.

Sound Rivers

Sound Rivers monitors and protects the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico watersheds to preserve the health and beauty of the river basins — and our drinking water. Their full-time Riverkeepers act as scientific experts, political advocates and engaging teachers to safeguard the future of these critical and beloved waterways. In Raleigh they’ve focused specifically on trash and plastic pollution, installing a trash trap in Little Rock Creek at Walnut Creek Wetland Center and keeping it clean with the help of local partnerships. “Our rivers should be fishable, swimmable and drinkable, and we can’t achieve that without addressing our litter pollution problem,” says executive director Heather Deck.

TheraFriends Community Partnership

Many families who need pediatric speech and occupational therapy cannot pay for health care and don’t quite meet Medicaid requirements. TheraFriends removes financial and logistical barriers to these critical therapy services and collaborates with community partners to provide education and fun, including outdoor therapeutic playgroups and low-sensory holiday events.

WAKE Up and Read

Literacy is a human right; research shows it’s also key to interrupting cycles of poverty. WAKE Up and Read aims to meet two goals for Wake County kids: on-track development by the end of kindergarten and grade-level reading by the end of third grade. To join its mission, shop directly from wish lists, volunteer to sort or distribute books in schools or follow on social media and spread the word about the importance of childhood literacy.

Women Veteran Support Services

When female veterans face homelessness or domestic violence, Women Veteran Support Services offers discrete, secure, compassionate help. They meet immediate needs such as food, shelter and clothing, then connect female veterans with long-term help: access to the benefits they and their children are entitled to and crisis counseling for all involved.


You Can Vote (YCV) is a nonpartisan effort to increase voter registration and voter turnout. “Voting rules change every year in North Carolina, which feeds persistent confusion about who can vote,” says founder and executive director Kate Fellman. “We aim for every eligible citizen to be registered to vote and have all the information they need to feel confident when they go to the polls.”

Youth Volunteer Corp of the Greater Triangle

Organized through Activate Good, the local chapter of YVC engages a diverse crew of tweens and teens to do meaningful work helping their communities while developing practical, transferable life skills. “Coming together with people who want to help others just like me is awesome,” says participant Taniya Jones. “It’s educated me on things going on in the world.” Service projects range from outdoor cleanup efforts to volunteering at food banks to helping in schools.  

This article originally appeared in the November 2023 issue of WALTER magazine.