BCC Volunteers Making a Difference in Durham
Updated: Nov 9
Bull City Commons members dedicate many hours every month to the work of bringing our little community to life. But BCCers also dedicate many hours to important causes in the larger Durham community.
So we asked our members to tell us about the local organizations and activities they contribute to as volunteers.
If you want to see what values our community holds, see where we volunteer our time.
• • •
Maria: I work for the NC Guardian ad Litem Program, advocating for the best interests of children who are in foster care. When we aren’t having a pandemic, I volunteer as a Reading Partner at a local elementary school.
Susan: I will be a poll volunteer in the next couple of weeks and am a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). GALs are court-appointed advocates for children who have been found to be abused or neglected and are under the care of social services. GALs investigate and report to the court on these children’s needs and best interests.
• • •
Lise: My extra-BCC volunteer activity is focused on the League of Women Voters. That has involved observing the Durham Election Board's vote counting on Zoom, driving around Durham counting the League's vote411.org signs (a website I highly recommend for information on local candidates in all positions), writing postcards, helping organize candidate forums, etc.
I am hoping that I will be able to become a volunteer helping children and/or adults improve their reading skills after we get past the COVID pandemic.
Jackie: Poll worker for general election, NC Democrats Vote.org for general election, Durham County Master Gardener Volunteer for last 2 years.
Judie: Want to help me protect the vote? Thousands of absentee voters will be disenfranchised if we don’t notify them of how to cure their ballots. That’s why I’m volunteering with the NC Democrats to knock doors (socially distanced, of course) to help those voters. Will you join me? Sign up for a briefing on the NC Dems Voter Protection Cure Canvass Program to learn more.
• • •
Dina & Jen: Until the pandemic hit, Jen and I, along with some of our golfing friends, were volunteering monthly with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle by sorting donated food, assembling “backpacks” of bagged food, and occasionally delivering the backpacks directly to elementary schools in the area to supplement weekend food options. In preparation for the upcoming election, we have become certified to work the early voting polls and expect to be quite busy in the two weeks leading up to Election Day.
Jen has combined her passion for education and financial literacy by serving a non-profit private school as a board and finance committee member and by helping them create budgets and analyze financial information so they can make grounded decisions around tuition rates, student enrollment, and hiring.
During tax season (until the COVID lockdowns), Jen volunteered with AARP’s Tax-Aide program to prepare tax returns for local residents at the library, which also created an opportunity to provide some informal financial education to some of their clients.
• • •
Cornelia: I was happy when I found EAT NC. Making Durham Public Schooldeliveries is something easy to do, because it is a contactless activity. If there are others interested in this activity, EAT NC is looking for volunteers (and donations of course as well). The program seems to be growing as their funds allow it.
Candace: I am a postcard writer for progressive candidates across the country and also for the NC NAACP, which is working to undo voter suppression.
Jim: I am a contributing member of the ERUUF Restitution for Racism Group where I help lead discussions on the forms reparations to the US African American population could/should take. I also volunteer with the Eastern North Carolina Food Bank in East Durham. In previous election cycles I have volunteered with You Can Vote and the Democratic Party calling registered voters.
Kate N: For the past several years I’ve been doing voter education and registration for You Can Vote and canvassing to get out the vote for Flip NC Blue. Most recently I’ve been writing postcards to get out the vote in NC and other swing states. For me, a democracy requires citizen participation or it dies on the vine and slips into an authoritarian or fascist government. On that happy note, don’t forget to vote!