During this season of thanks and giving back, particularly during what has been such a challenging year for so many, we at Raleigh Founded wanted to highlight Activate Good, an incredibly important local nonprofit volunteer mobilization organization. Founded fifteen years ago, Activate Good is a Triangle-based organization that focuses on inspiring others to get involved with the needs of the community. Activate Good operates on the principle that most members of a community want to help their neighbors and community members, but often are not sure how to get involved. Activate Good works primarily to mobilize local volunteers with opportunities to fill the need gaps in the community. By partnering with over 500 nonprofits and partner organizations, Activate Good is able to act as a vitally important middleman between the volunteers and the organizations. 

Amber Smith, the Executive Director and co-founder at Activate Good, was driven to start the organization after lots of volunteering in college, and realizing the vast and diverse needs that strategically placed volunteers could help fill. Smith described it as; “everyone wants to help, to get involved, but they are sometimes not sure how to get started.” Activate Good helps fill that void by placing volunteers where the need is, thereby making it easier for people to get involved in projects that they care about and can really make a difference in. 

Family Volunteer Day 2019


In particular, 2020 has been a challenging year in which to volunteer, despite the fact that members of our community need help more than ever. At the very beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, in-person volunteering fell initially by more than 90%, just as the community need was skyrocketing. In response to such a surge in need, Activate Good has established new ways to volunteer, while still making sure that all their volunteers are safe and socially distanced. “Operation Mask Up” is a perfect example of one of Activate Good’s ongoing projects that meets the needs of the community, and also allows people to volunteer safely while socially distanced. An ongoing, coordinated effort between Activate Good and Wake County, “Operation Mask Up” has the goal of creating 50,000 mask packs to be distributed across the county. It is these kinds of needs that Activate Good looks to match with willing volunteers. Other socially-distanced volunteer opportunities include their Hunger and Homelessness Week, the FAST Initiative, and much more.

However not all the volunteer opportunities require meeting in-person. On the 21st of November, Activate Good is hosting Family Volunteer Day, where families with children are encouraged to volunteer together. This year, families can sign up to receive take-home volunteer project kits, which will allow more families to participate and help those in need from their homes. Families should consider donating to reserve a project kit! This event is a wonderful opportunity to give back and help those in our community who are going through difficult times. 

Here at Raleigh Founded, we encourage our members, and those outside of our community to take a look at what the needs in our area are, and to see if you can help fill those gaps by volunteering with Activate Good. Learn more about Activate Good, and how you can get involved, volunteer, or make a donation by going to their website and following them on social media (@activategood).

By Caroline Brinkley

Volunteers at work


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