Though it may feel overwhelming nowadays to help others when there’s so much going on in our own lives, here’s a list of simple acts of kindness you can do to help the Raleigh community right now.
by Brian Rosenweig
As we approach one year of the COVID era, the way we interact with one another has changed in significant ways. Though the pandemic has certainly made connection harder in some senses — begrudgingly seeing loved ones over Zoom or planning a virtual movie night — it’s also, in many ways, made us more connected and united as a community. Though it can still seem hard to take care of yourself and your loved ones right now, much less concern yourself with the state of the world, there are tons of easy, little acts of kindness that can tie us to the community around us, and lift one another’s spirits. From packing a lunch to local kids in need to donating some unneeded items from your spring cleaning, here are just a few simple acts of kindness you can do right now to connect yourself to the resilient Raleigh community and uplift others during this difficult time.
Donate new and gently used books to WAKE Up and Read
Help ensure local kids are seeing their stories in books by donating to Read and Feed’s “Diversify our Bookshelves” drive, seeking to collect 1,000 new books that focus on Black history.
Send books to incarcerated individuals across the state through the Durham-based Prison Books Collective.
Drop off a few new or used books at one of the many Free Little Libraries around town.
Run a contactless book drive using no more than a sealed bin and a yard sign for Book Harvest.
Prepare or donate food
Round up some pantry items for an in-kind donation to Catholic Parish Outreach’s Feed-A-Family Food Drive.
Host a virtual food drive (allowing them to get more food by buying in bulk!) for Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.
Pack food for the local Backpack Buddies program.
Throw together a few lunch items alongside a note of encouragement for kids across the county through Raleigh Rescue’s Lunches to Go Sack Program.
Buy a meal for a local frontline healthcare worker through North Carolina Healthcare Foundation’s partner restaurants.
Bake some cookies or brownies to drop off for local first responders.
Donate hygiene supplies
Host a “kit build” for supplies like medications, hand sanitizer, and toothpaste for Alliance Medical Ministry.
Donate, host a drive, or become a pick-up driver for Diaper Bank of North Carolina.
Assemble health and sanitation kits for families across the Triangle with The Green Chair Project’s Operation Health Homes.
Sign up to help Activate Good and Wake County Government reach their goal of assembling 50,000 mask kits for in-need neighbors in Wake County with Operation Mask Up.
Buy a few items from On the Spot’s Amazon Wishlist, which seeks to provide pads and other feminine hygiene products to those in need in the local community.
Clean out your closet
Donate those kid’s clothes that have been stuffed in bins for far too long to Note in the Pocket, a nonprofit that provides clothing to impoverished kids and families in Wake County.
Hand-knit a blanket to donate to Project Linus, a national organization with a Raleigh chapter that seeks to provide blankets to children in hospital care.
Round up some winter coats, jeans, and boots to donate to The Women’s Center.
Hand in a gently used old coat to the Salvation Army’s Coats for the Children drive.
Donate gloves, scarves, and other winter needs to Helping Hand Mission.
Care for Animals
Check a few items off Friends of Wake County Animal Shelter’s Amazon Wishlist to help with their ongoing “No Empty Bowl Project” that feeds our four-legged friends all across the area.
Temporarily foster a dog or cat that’s at higher risk of being euthanized through Neshama Animal Rescue.
Start volunteering to help care for cats and dogs in need of adoption at AnimalKind Raleigh.
Help transport animals to and from shelters and foster homes, or deliver supplies with Cause for Paws, at either their North or South Raleigh location.
Raid your pantry for any excess canned cat food, and donate to those struggling to afford it through SAFE Haven for Cats’ Pet Food Pantry.
Pull some weeds or pick up trash
Host a cleanup project with your family for your neighborhood, or a nearby stream or pond.
Contribute to local food growth and donations by volunteering for a workday at Raleigh City Farm.
Grow farm-fresh food to donate to local pantries at the Interfaith Food Shuttle Farm.
Get your hands dirty for a volunteer shift at the Well Fed Community Garden.
Help keep our local trails beautiful and healthy by volunteering with Triangle Land Conservancy.
Send a letter or make a phone call
Make a card and write a letter to a military or first responder hero through Operation Gratitude.
Reach out to a local senior during this time of isolation through Victorian Senior Care’s Pen Pal program.
Create a thank-you basket for local teachers while we continue to navigate the often difficult online learning space.Become a pen pal to an incarcerated individual through St. Francis of Raleigh’s statewide program.