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As the holiday season arrives and new memories with family and friends await, there are lots of ways to volunteer and get involved with the community. You can give back locally throughout the season by signing up as a volunteer or donating to a nonprofit.

Get involved

North Charleston nonprofit Lowcountry Orphan Relief is looking for volunteers to purchase clothing and fill stockings for its annual Stocking Drive which lasts through December 9. You can also virtually sponsor stockings by emailing Donations can be dropped off at 1850 Truxtun Ave. In addition to clothing, accepted donations include stuffed animals, school supplies, books, toiletries and blankets. 

Closet of Hope gives foster families access to donated items to brighten the holidays for children. Volunteers are needed to wrap gifts and assist foster parents during the Annual Toy Shop held December 9-10 at Church at Cane Bay, located at 438 Marketplace Drive in Summerville. You can also sign up to sponsor a child’s Christmas. 

The Lowcountry Blessing Box Project helps families battling food insecurity in the Charleston area. The Blessing Box Project has over 150 drop-off locations that offer a convenient way to donate nonperishable food items and hygiene supplies throughout downtown, North Charleston, James/Johns/Wadmalaw Islands, West Ashley, Mount Pleasant and Summerville. Find details on how to get involved and a map of all blessing boxes in the area here

Help North Charleston’s Trident United Way with holiday meal preparation. Email to learn more. 

Support organizations that help the homeless and underserved communities by donating food items to Uplift Charleston. Email with the word “Donation” in the subject line to get involved.You can also volunteer to serve meals at downtown shelter and community kitchen One80 Place, or sort and pack food at the Lowcountry Food Bank’s North Charleston center. 

North Charleston nonprofit Water Mission, which advocates for global access to safe water, is also always looking for volunteers and donations. 

Ways to donate

You can donate money, gently-used or new items and food supplies to local social services nonprofits, including:

You can also donate money online to various regional and international nonprofits, including

Supporting animal welfare and environmental causes

North Charleston’s Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network protects the area’s whales, dolphins and seals and is always in need of donations and volunteers, along with The South Carolina Aquarium zoological nonprofit downtown. 

Other area environmental conservation nonprofits you can support are: Coastal Conservation League, Charleston Surfrider and Lowcountry Land Trust downtown; The Sustainability Institute in North Charleston; and The Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw. 

The Charleston Animal Society in North Charleston and Pet Helpers Adoption Center on James Island offer onsite and offsite volunteer opportunities. You can also help out by signing up for foster programs.

To get involved in hands-on volunteer opportunities, connect with clean water advocacy nonprofit Charleston Waterkeeper for beach clean ups or oyster sustainability nonprofit Toadfish Conservation Coalition for oyster shell sorting.  

Did we miss something? Send additional volunteer opportunities to

Is your local nonprofit hosting a volunteer event or accepting donations? Add your event information to the City Paper Calendar today. 

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