The Art of Retirement … Volunteer Opportunities in Our Area

We began our three-part series about volunteering in the June issue of the Breeze by considering the personal benefits of volunteering. In August, we explored ways to discover what types of volunteer activities might be the best fit for you. This article contains information about some (but not all) of the specific volunteer opportunities in area.

Would you like to work with children as a tutor, mentor or coach? Consider the Lake Lure Classical Academy. From Volunteer opportunities at your community school (The Breeze, July 2023)“Volunteers are major contributors to our educational programs. They help with our athletic programs and clubs – such as book clubs, hiking clubs, school gardens plus music and the arts. The support of our local volunteers is needed now more than ever”. Contact them at (828) 625-9292 or visit their website at

A related choice is the Friends of the Mountains Branch Library. The Chamber’s website states “The Friends help the library provide the people of our community with access to a balanced collection of books and other materials which serve their educational, cultural and recreational needs.” Contact branch manager, Maria Davis at 828.287.6417 for more information.

Want to be outside? Check out the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge at under Support/Volunteer. “The Bridge wouldn’t exist without the efforts and talents of a devoted group of volunteers. We’d love to have you join us, even if you don’t consider yourself a gardener. We need people to weed, mulch, sell plants and merchandise, or simply serve as an ambassador by welcoming visitors to the Bridge. Print and fill out our volunteer form, send it in, and our Volunteer Coordinator will get in touch with you. If you have a talent we might use, let us know. We need all the help we can get!”  

Or consider volunteering for Conserving Carolina. lists a wide range of volunteering options, including outdoor volunteer workdays for those who prefer projects to weekly commitments. Volunteers assist with trail building and maintenance, invasive plant removal and litter cleanups, etc.

Want to help neighbors in need? Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach serves families in four counties. Their mission is to help eliminate hunger and provide emergency services with love and compassion to those in need that live in our community. states that “Volunteers are the mainstay of Outreach. We are always looking for new volunteers who come with fresh ideas and perspectives. Tasks are generally easy and always rewarding. Opportunities include staffing in the Food Pantry on a regular basis, assisting clients as they shop and stocking shelves or staffing in the Food for Kids Program preparing weekend backpack and school lunches. Both are generally one day a week for a 3-hour shift.” Contact them at 828-625-4683, or submit the volunteer form on the website.

Love animals? Opportunities abound at the Heart of the Foothills Animal Rescue, at the Rutherford County Animal Control Services and at the Community Pet Center in Forest City.

Interested in serving the Town of Lake Lure by becoming an advisory board member or maybe by becoming a volunteer firefighter? The city’s website contains information about various boards (ABC Board, Lake Advisory Board, Board of Adjustment, Parks and Recreation, and Zoning and Planning Board) plus an application form. Lake Lure Fire Chief Dustin Waycaster states, “We depend on our Volunteer Firefighters and we welcome community members to join any of our local Fire Departments. There are many opportunities to serve as Volunteer Firefighters or even in an administrative role.”

It is important to mention that many area church and civic groups offer their members chances to be involved in the local community. For example, judging by their website, the Lake Lure Lions Club is a very active service organization. Be sure to check the bulletin of your own place of worship for opportunities to serve.

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