Things to Do

Social Services

Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC

Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC matches youths ages 6 to 15 who are primarily from single-parent families with an adult mentor who can help develop positive personal growth by enabling the youth to develop a long-term, consistent friendship with an adult role model.

United Way’s 2-1-1 Call Center

2-1-1 is a nationally accredited information and referral service. 2-1-1 uses a comprehensive database of local, state, and national resources to link callers to community resources. Services include needs assessment, referral to health and human services, assistance in accessing services, advocacy, and follow up. Callers can be linked directly to volunteer opportunities through the Volunteer Center by calling 2-1-1. A 24-hour service, 2-1-1 provides after-hours coverage for several key agencies: Western Highlands, Buncombe County Department of Social Services – Adult and Child Protective Services, Helpmate, and Our VOICE. The 2-1-1 Call Center is a partnership among United Way, Ingles Markets and Buncombe County.

Western North Carolina AIDS Project

Western North Carolina AIDS Project is dedicated to helping people affected by HIV/AIDS to achieve the best possible quality of life.

Guardian ad Litem Program of Buncombe County

The Guardian ad Litem Program of Buncombe County seeks dedicated community volunteers to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children whose cases are going through the court system. Volunteers investigate each child’s case and make independent recommendations to the Court for services, focusing on the best interests of the child. Program staff provides the necessary training for all volunteers. Please call us today at 251-6130 if interested. You will be glad you called!


YWCA of Asheville

Eliminating racism, empowering women — it’s what the YWCA is about and what it intends to do. The YWCA of Asheville offers programs in Aquatics, including swim lessons, lap and open swims, water aerobics, lifeguard training, and more. is proud to be an Advocate of the YWCA of Asheville.

Goodwill Industries

Goodwill Industries provides vocational development and support for disadvantaged and disabled individuals. Services include vocational assessment, work skills development, job placement, job coaching and career training. Clients develop work skills while doing work for local industries and work toward non-subsidized job placements.


Helpmate provides short-term, emergency shelter for battered women and their children, counseling services for victims of domestic violence, including a 24-hour crisis line, individual counseling, and support groups. Also offers professional training and public education i recognizing, treating, and preventing domestic violence.

Literacy Council of Buncombe County

Literacy Council is a great organization to volunteer for. They offer tutoring in basic literacy skills as well as assistance for individuals for whom English is a second language. LC believes in lifelong learning.


Donate Blood

The nation’s blood banks, represented by the American Red Cross, American Association of Blood Banks, and America’s Blood Centers, are asking for immediate blood donations to boost already low blood supplies. Blood is traditionally in short supply due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather, and illness.  Individuals are asked to support their local blood centers by making and keeping an appointment to donate immediately.

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Camp

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Camp hosts sessions for summer day camp for kids 6-12. Day sessions are held from 7am-6pm, Monday – Friday , offering a variety of recreational, educational, and spiritual enrichment for youngsters.


Mountains Housing Opportunities

Mountains Housing Opportunities provides safety-related home repairs for low-income homeowners, including elderly, disabled, and families with children. MHO also works to move homeless members of our community into permanent housing and links them with the services, training, education, and employment opportunities that will help them succeed in permanent housing.

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

Asheville Area Habitat seeks qualified applicants for its affordable single family homes being built in West Asheville. Houses are sold to families at no-profit and are financed with a 0% interest loan. Mortgage payments average between $375-$550/month. Applications are always being accepted.

31 Meadow Road Asheville, NC 28803 Directions


Three Streams Family Health Center

Three Streams Family Health Centeris a faith-based family practice which serves both insured and uninsured people in Western North Carolina. For those without insurance, we work on a sliding scale based on income and household size. We believe in excellent patient care with an emphasis on whole health, body, mind, and spirit. We offer extended hours and interpretation services, 828-285-9725; Para español, deje su mensaje en la extension telefónico 509.


Buncombe County Council on Aging

Buncombe County Council on Aging is a non-profit corporation consisting of senior citizens groups, organizations, and individuals that provide services to older people. Visit this site to find a list and descriptions of local programs for older adults.

Volunteers are needed for many services:

Call A Ride (CAR/CAR+) is a volunteer transportation program that provides rides to seniors who can no longer drive or use public/community transportation (ART/Mountain Mobility). Our volunteers use their own vehicles to transport seniors to their appointments, the grocery store or to meet other needs such as haircuts or voting.

CAR is highly flexible. It is coordinated, in part, through an online scheduling tool which allows volunteers to sign up for rides that meet their needs and interests. Many times a client can be dropped off at an appointment while the volunteer runs errands, visits friends or relaxes with a tea until the appointment is over. Most ride requests are for office hours appointments but there are grocery runs, salon appointments and additional trips that can be made on the weekends as well. We also reimburse our volunteer drivers for their mileage- currently at a rate of $0.55 per mile.

It is a tremendous relief to our clients to have somewhere to turn when they can no longer use their vehicles. We are a society dependent on our cars, and we take them for granted, not thinking twice when we need to go to the store to get a gallon of milk, but when we lose the ability to safely drive ourselves, we lose our independence and can become isolated and home bound. The Council on Aging does not charge clients for this service but will accept donations.

Contact Heather at [email protected] or 828-277-8288 ext. 317

Our senior clients prefer to stay in their own homes but mowing grass and other minor yard work can become overwhelming. This can lead to an unsafe living environment. Volunteers are not required to have their own equipment; however if not, they will be limited to what the client has. We ask that volunteers keep lawns manageable and safe so the frequency of mowing will be determined by the lawn itself.

Contact Zoe at [email protected] or 828-277-8288 ext. 308

Buncombe County Friends for Animals

Buncombe County Friends for Animals operates an animal shelter which is run as an adoption center for animals; their focus is humane care and population control. Check out their photos of “animals seeking humans” and consider adoption.

Eliada Home

Eliada Home is a non-profit agency dedicated to helping children succeed. Located on a historic 200-acre campus in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Eliada serves children and families through a diverse spectrum of programs and services, including residential care, child development services, foster care, community support services, therapeutic recreation, and many others.

Girls on the Run of WNC

Girls on the Run is a life-changing, experiential learning programs for girls age eight to thirteen years old. The programs combine training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development.

Asheville GreenWorks

Asheville GreenWorks is a volunteer-based organization working to achieve a clean and green Asheville and Buncombe County through community organizing, educating and environmental stewardship.

Hands On Asheville-Buncombe

Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, the volunteer center of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, makes it easy to lend a hand and help others in our community by volunteering with local nonprofits, schools and government entities. Our service area is Buncombe County. If you have questions regarding volunteer opportunities, please contact Charlie Lee at 828-255-0696 or visit our website for over 200 opportunities to serve.

Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods

If you’re interested in starting a neighborhood organization or improving the one you’re involved in, contact these folks for info and resources.

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County allocates Community Fund dollars to 85 local health and human service programs, impacting the lives of more than 60,000 people in our community.

American Red Cross

The Asheville Mountain Area Red Cross is part of the Western Carolinas Region of the Red Cross and serves Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Swain, Macon, Jackson, Haywood, Madison, Buncombe, Yancey, Mitchell, McDowell and Rutherford Counties, North Carolina.

100 Edgewood Rd, Asheville, NC 28804 Directions

828) 258-3888

Family Self-Sufficiency

This is a wonderful program administered by the Asheville Housing Authority; it assists families in creating and acting upon a plan that leads them to economic independence.

MANNA FoodBank

MANNA FoodBank provides food to more than 347 member agencies throughout Western North Carolina who serve 9,000 meals each day, 365 days per year. Please volunteer or donate today!

Asheville Humane Society

For over 30 years Asheville Humane Society has been saving homeless Buncombe County animals. Today we operate both our own state-of-the-art Adoption and Education Center and the County’s only open door shelter where no local animal is ever turned away. We rescue, reunite, rehabilitate and re-home abandoned, abused, injured and lost animals. We provide education, training and support to keep pets in their homes. Our nationally recognized innovative programs and partnerships are steadily moving Buncombe County toward a no-kill community.

14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville, NC 28806 Directions


Our Voice 24 Hour Crisis Line

Our Voice works with hundreds of victims of rape and sexual assault each year.

44 Merrimon Ave, Suite 1 Asheville, NC 28801 Directions


The Arc of Buncombe County

The Arc of Buncombe County provides support and advocacy for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Buncombe County Partnership for Children (SmartStart)

Buncombe County Partnership for Children (SmartStart) encourages local partnerships which set goals that benefit our community’s families and children.