Ever wonder what people who have purchased property on the Outer Banks do in the winter once all the tourists leave and the pace slows way down? We volunteer! The sense of community that ties the people of the Outer Banks together is most apparent in the off-season (or after a hurricane). So, if you find yourself in your Outer Banks vacation home wondering what to do with your time and how you can help the community, we have some ideas here:
Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce
The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce website includes an updated list of volunteer opportunities under the job listings button; here you can find something from Rodanthe all the way up to Corolla. The skills sought span from the lifesaving station to working with the wild horses. You can even work as a museum volunteer at the Graveyard of the Atlantic museum. No matter what your interest or your skill set, you can find a way to give back to the community here.
The Outer Banks Hospital
Volunteers are always needed in both clinical and non-clinical capacities at The Outer Banks Hospital. Use your piano playing skills or previous experience in fundraising, for example, to support the hospital, patients and the community. The list includes something for everyone and the hospital only requires a 4-hour commitment per week per volunteer. There are even positions for student volunteers to foster a sense of community for our children that will last a lifetime.
Perhaps you find yourself in the quaint town of Manteo looking to get involved and express your interest in the local history. Look no further than the Roanoke Island Festival Park for opportunities in several venues from the Elizabeth II, Settlement Site, American Indian Town and the Adventure Museum.
North Carolina Aquarium
Another unique volunteer activity to the Outer Banks is also in Manteo at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island. How would you like to be a volunteer diver and feed the sharks at the aquarium? Of course there are also other volunteer opportunities at the aquarium for those of us who are not so brave but are looking to help out at an excellent educational facility.
Involvement with the Arts
Is your interest to promote the Arts? The Outer Banks may seem far removed from the big city but has an active artistic community. Look no further than the Dare County Arts Council to get involved. There are committees and events looking for volunteers listed on their website.
You can find a way to satisfy your love of the beach and the forest even after purchasing property on the Outer Banks. Where else will you find a maritime forest and get the best of both worlds – sand dunes and wooded forest! Nags Head Woods uses volunteers to help build oyster reefs as well as opportunities with other projects. For more information, click: here!
It may be surprising to those recently buying a home on the Outer Banks, but approximately 15% of the county population is food insecure. The Beach Food Pantry has been providing assistance through volunteer support for over a decade. You can volunteer for a one-time event or on a continual basis by picking up donated items from local markets. Find a list of events and contact information here!
Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse Programs
If you feel a deep need to make a difference and reach out to those in need, consider volunteer opportunities at Hotline. Volunteers are needed to staff the 24 hour crisis intervention helping callers with problems ranging from substance abuse, domestic violence and isolation. Hotline also runs several thrift stores and volunteers are needed to work in the various shops, performing duties from sorting donations to pricing and ringing up sales. A unique activity for your creative skills is weaving – a spin off to Hotline through Endless Possibilities. Endless Possibilities uses the worn out donated items and re-purposes them through weaving, to create unique one of a kind items. There are many ways to help Hotline from babysitting, driving and court volunteers, as well.
It’s plain to see that Outer Banks residents enjoy lending a helping hand to one another, and the opportunities to volunteer in the community abound! So during the off-season, if you find yourself spending more time in your Outer Banks vacation home, check out one of these great organizations and give back to the community that brings us all so much joy in return!