Community Service & Volunteerism

Johnson & Wales University has been integrally involved in the Charlotte community since its opening in September 2004. Johnson & Wales proudly supports our nonprofit partners through various volunteer opportunities and in-kind support particularly in the focus areas of health, hunger and education.

To facilitate the process, Johnson & Wales promotes leadership and volunteerism amongst its students, faculty and staff. Our students' involvement with community activities enhances their knowledge of real-life issues and provides valuable practical experience in ethics, leadership, community and social responsibility.

Contact and Location
Academic Center, 5th Floor, Suite 500
Fax: 980-598-1010

Mailing Address
Community Relations
Johnson & Wales University
801 West Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

Volunteer Opportunities

Review the volunteer sites below to learn about service opportunities and the hours available for service. When choosing a site, pick an organization that’s doing work that is meaningful to you. Many sites fill up very quickly; pick at least 1-2 alternates.

Please contact Community Relations to receive assistance registering with the volunteer site. The Community Relations office is located in the Academic Center, 5th Floor, Suite 500.

American Red Cross of the Greater Carolinas Region seeks to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of the public. Whether it's helping communities prepare, respond, and recover from disasters, helping to supply lifesaving blood to patients in need, or supporting our military members and their families, this mission is at the core of what we do.
Service Opportunities: teach and/or coordinate preparedness education to elementary children; assist with volunteer outreach and recruitment, volunteer at a local blood drive; assist disaster-impacted clients with recovery
Volunteer Hours: Weekdays/Weekends (varies by volunteer position)

Bruns Academy is a public school serving approximately 800 students. Many of the students qualify for free and/or reduced lunch. Bruns Academy is Pre-K through 8th grades.
Service Opportunities: classroom helpers, special event assistants, office assistants and media specialists.
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:15am–3:15pm

Charlotte Rescue Mission provides free Christian residential recovery programs to men who are addicted to drugs and alcohol (90 day program for the men and a 120 day program for the women.) The rehabilitation program includes the 12 step programs of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous identifying Jesus Christ as the higher power.
Service Opportunities: meal preparation/servers, recipe/menu planners, GED tutors and office assistants.
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am–8pm

Classroom Central is a FREE store for teachers who work in low-income schools in and around the Charlotte region. Through our mission of equipping students to effectively learn by collecting and distributing free school supplies. Classroom Central serves 135,000 students and 9,000 educators in 6 school districts and over 200 schools.
Service Opportunities: store stocking, teacher shopping customer service, die cut partner and administrative assistance.
Volunteer Days: Mon-Thu

Community Culinary School of Charlotte, Encore Catering is the revenue generating arm of the non-profit Community Culinary School of Charlotte, teaching culinary arts free-of-charge to adults who have experienced barriers to employment. Encore is a full-service catering company offering fare from continental breakfasts to wedding receptions.
Service Opportunities: limited to culinary students only, kitchen prep work; community involvement with students
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Fri, 2–6pm; some occasional weekend hours may be available

Crisis Assistance Ministry provides assistance and advocacy for people in financial crisis, helping them move toward self-sufficiency. It is their vision to inspire our community to justice and generosity as they provide help, hope and understanding to people struggling with limited financial resources.
Service Opportunities: Free Store Assistant to receive, sort, inspect, and hang donations, maintain and stock store merchandise and assisting shoppers with the check-out process.
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Sat, 9am–4:30pm, Tue 9am–9pm

Florence Crittenton Services promotes health and hope for tomorrow's children by providing comprehensive health, educational and social services for single pregnant and non-pregnant adolescents, women and their families. Programs offered by the agency serve as an alternative for disadvantaged, high-risk pregnant adolescents and women throughout the Carolinas. The residential home provides access to medical care, educational/vocational services, substance abuse education and intervention, health education, parenting and adoption support services, counseling and other individualized services based upon the needs of the clients. Due to the sensitive nature of this organization's mission, ONLY FEMALES are requested to volunteer.
Service Opportunities: administrative work, database entry, donations organization, mailings, filing, etc. Computer skills are necessary: Word, Excel & Publisher.
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am–5pm

Friendship Trays is an organization which began in 1976 with the purpose of delivering meals to six shut-ins in the Elizabeth neighborhood. Over 750 hot nutritious meals are prepared at the Distribution St. location and delivered daily to recipients in the Charlotte Mecklenburg area. The mission of Friendship Trays is to deliver daily, in a caring and friendly manner, balanced meals to individuals in this community who are unable, because of age or infirmity to obtain or prepare their own meals.
Service Opportunities: chef helpers, kitchen helpers, sorting and packing assistants, garden volunteers and special event and fundraising helpers.
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Fri, 6:30am–2:30pm

Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council (GSHNC)is the premiere leadership organization that creates a variety of fun, transformational experiences for girls grades k-12, volunteers, staff members, and community stakeholders. We provide an opportunity for every girl to maximize her own potential and become a leader in her own life. Our target areas are healthy living, STEM, environmental leadership and outdoor adventure, arts and culture, and financial literacy.
Service Opportunities: troop leaders, occasional events, outreach series advisors (working with elementary and middle school girls for is 6 weeks, with a 1 hour time commitment each week or with middle school girls one Saturday a month for a few hours), administrative assistance, Spanish translators (working hands on with girls and at recruitment events).
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5:30pm, and occasional weekends

Habitat for Humanity Charlotte (ReStore) is a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte; everything in the store has been donated, and all proceeds from sales of donated items go toward building homes in partnership with needy families in Charlotte.
Service Opportunities: donations dock coordinator, sales floor assistant
Volunteer Hours: Tue-Fri, 10am–6pm, Sat, 9am–5pm

Heart Math Tutoring is a Charlotte-based nonprofit that recruits and supports volunteers to serve as tutors for elementary school students who are performing below grade level in math.
Service Opportunities: Volunteers are needed to tutor an elementary student 30 minutes or 1 hour per week from October to April. Virtual and in-person tutoring opportunities are available with 26 school partners in the 2023-24 school year. Heart Math provides a fun, effective curriculum, and an on-site program coordinator to ensure success. Tutors work with the same student(s) each session to build strong relationships and math skills. With just 1 hour per week, you can make an impact.
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Thu, 8am-4pm

Hospitality House of Charlotte provides shelter to families while their loved ones receive treatment at nearby hospitals.
Service Opportunities: cleaning, landscaping, providing meals, making goodie bags
Volunteer Hours: Various

Highland Renaissance Academy is a preK-5 elementary school in North Charlotte serving approximately 587 students. English as a second language students make up 37% of the student population and 88% of students are receiving free and/or reduced lunch.
Service Opportunities: tutors, media coordinator, before or after school program assistance
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Fri, 7am–6pm

Hope Haven, Inc. is a foundation of recovery, providing life skills for homeless chemically dependent men, women and children within a supportive residential environment, leading to independence.
Service Opportunities: chef/instructor, culinary demonstrations, garden assistance, and work hands on with residents on daily activities.
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am–6pm, Sat-Sun, 7am-6pm

InnerVision, Inc. operates as a day program for adults with trauma, mental health and/or substance abuse challenges. All clients are psychiatrically stable and live in the community. Focus of the program is to teach skills in the areas of education, employment readiness and social skills development.
Service Opportunities: chef, snack bar attendant, tutor, job search assistant, administrative assistant, recreation helper
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Fri, 7am–5pm

Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas, Inc. uses hands-on experiences to help young people understand the economics of life. JA BizTown is an experiential learning opportunity for 4th and 5th grade students to run their own mini-city for a day.
Service Opportunities: student helper, mentor
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am–2:30pm

The Relatives is a system of resources that helps children and youth find shelter and support. The Relatives Crisis Center, the On Ramp Resource Center and Journey Place Transitional Residence keep kids safe and families together. The Relatives serves as the Safe Place agency for Mecklenburg County and the surrounding area, partnering with local businesses to ensure young people in need have access to immediate help and supportive resources.
Service Opportunities: Organizing an evening or weekend activity with the youth, including games, craft projects, presentations/demonstrations, cooking lessons, and more. Sponsoring or donating dinner or lunch – groups bring dinner on a regular schedule and stay for food and fellowship. Done-in-a-Day projects like spring and fall yard maintenance, window cleaning, organizing, and other chores. Tutoring and mentoring. Helping organize agency activities
Volunteer Hours: Various

Right Moves For Youth was established in 1989 to provide resources and guidance to youth in Mecklenburg County. RMFY works with CMS schools to combat drop out rates, providing emotional and social support to students in 26 middle and high schools that struggle with issues related to peer support, behavior and/or chronic absenteeism.
Service Opportunities: Special event volunteers, ambassador team leader, donate school supplies
Volunteer Hours: Various

Roof Above is the only full-time emergency homeless shelter for men in the Charlotte area. They provide resources to over 350 homeless men at two shelter locations. Their goal is to offer safe shelter and meet basic needs. They address barriers related to homelessness and self-sufficiency. Roof Above staff works diligently with each man individually to obtain appropriate needs. The focus of their mission is to obtain and maintain appropriate housing for the men we serve.
Service Opportunities: computer lab assistant, clothing closet organizer, desk assistant, lunch server
Volunteer Hours: Every day, 9am–10pm

Safe Alliance (Kitchen) provides hope and healing for people in crisis. Their location serves as a shelter for survivors of domestic violence but they provide many services in multiple locations. They provide 24 hour sexual assault/rape/domestic violence crisis lines in addition to a number of other services related to those same issues.
Service Opportunities: Culinary Students preferred. Volunteers will do a variety of kitchen tasks for meals.
Volunteer Hours: Mon-Sat, 11am–7pm

Supportive Housing Communities has owned and operated McCreesh Place, Charlotte’s first permanent supportive housing apartment community for disabled men overcoming homelessness. Our MISSION: to provide affordable housing to alleviate homelessness and human suffering.
Service Opportunities: community garden helper, computer lab assistant, culinary instruction, assistance with holiday events, assistance with Tuned In Choir, donation drive helper.
Volunteer Hours: Every day, 8am-8pm