Tambourines under a Durham NC church’s stained glass window



27 Horne St, Raleigh, 919-828-6501, website: 

The NC Council of Churches’ Partners in Health and Wholeness (PHW) initiative is looking for faith communities to apply for grants to help educate their communities/congregations.


  • Mini-Grants for up to $1,000 are available for houses of worship that can come up with projects that fit into the focus areas of the PHW program, including tobacco cessation and prevention, healthy eating, increasing physical activity, mental health, HIV/AIDS, healthy aging, and the drug-overdose crisis. Your congregation must have submitted a PHW Collaborative Pledge within the past 12 months, and if I read the description correctly, you can apply when submitting your mini-grant application.


  • Community Grants can be sought by a group of congregations (at least three) that want to work together while identifying a clear need for the project idea they come up with. Each congregation must not have received a mini-grant over the past year, and together the group can receive up to $5,000 for their project. Each must submit a PHW Collaborative Pledge.


  • BIPOC (Black/Brown, Indigenous, People of Color) Mental Health Grants are also available. Houses of faith serving these communities can apply for funding between $5,000 and 10,000 to use for COVID-19 mental-health efforts.


Click here for more info and for instructions on how to apply.


Bahama Baptist Church (7917 Willardville Station Rd, in Bahama) will host a Plastic Bag Ministry session every Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:30pm. Volunteers crochet mats out of “plarn” (strips made from plastic bags and woven into balls) to give away to homeless people. Call 919-471-3181 or visit the website for more info.


Bahama Baptist Church (7917 Willardville Station Rd, in Bahama) will host a Let’s Get Moving women’s exercise class every Tuesday from 7 to 8pm. Take your yoga mat or towel and be prepared to move (all fitness levels welcome) during this free class. Visit the Facebook event page for more info.


​Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman (3034 Fayetteville St) offers Qur’an and Islamic Studies Classes for Revert Muslims* on Fridays from 8:30–9:30pm. Men and women, including young people age 14+, are invited to attend classes led by Imam Dr Ehteshanal Haque Alig and to learn the Arabic alphabet, basic Arabic words, phrases, and punctuation; to start reciting the Qur’an; to learn Islamic guidelines and prayers, and more. Click here to fill out the form and to indicate whether you already know some Arabic and also whether you’re already familiar with the Qur’an.

*  People converting to Islam are called “revert Muslims” because it’s generally believed that everyone is born a Muslim even if they don’t practice the faith. Current Muslims who want to improve their reading and pronunciation skills are also encouraged to attend.

A free Arabic Course for English-Speakers will be held on Saturdays, 6:15–7:15pm, and will be led by Imam Ehteshamul Haque Alig from Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman. (The course was originally offered by Madinah Islamic University.) Click here to register for this free online course, and write to jiarimam1@gmail.com if you have any questions.


Here’s the October lineup for the Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse’s free music concert series. This Christian-music venue is located at 2700 N Roxboro Rd, at St Paul United Methodist Church, and donations are always graciously accepted. Call 919-220-2458 or visit the website to view the full schedule:

  • Saturday, November 5, 7:30pm—multi/unconventional instrumentalist MG Bailey

  • Saturday, November 12, 7:30pm—bluegrass and gospel group the Hodnett Family Band

  • Saturday, November 19, 7:30pm—singer Mike Poole will perform old country favorites and Southern gospel

  • Saturday, November 26, 7:30pm—bluegrass band Flatbed

  • Saturday, December 3, 7:30pm—Little Windows (Mark Weems and Julie Glaub Weems) will play some Appalachian and Irish music 

  • Saturday, December 10, 7:30pm—bluegrass gospel band New Direction.


Beth El Synagogue (1004 Watts St) will host its First Friday Shabbat Service and Potluck with DurhamISH on November 4, 6:30–9pm. Every month, a different group of volunteers will lead the Shabbat services in whatever style they choose. Attendees are invited to bring a vegetarian dish to share. Everyone will be expected to wear face masks when not actively eating or drinking. The service will be held in the multipurpose room and the potluck dinner will be enjoyed in the heating tent in the parking lot. Click here to let Alexina Haefner know if you’d like to lead a few tunes or offer any additional help.

The next First Friday Shabbat Service and Potluck will be held on December 2.


Jamaat Ibad Ar Rahman’s Youth Committee will host Jummah Jolt on Friday, December 2 and 16 from Maghrib (sunset prayers) to Isha (night prayers) at the Parkwood masjid (5122 Revere Rd). Young people are invited to join in halaqas (Islamic studies), fun activities, and sports.


The Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham’s next Community Luncheon Roundtable will be held at the Elizabeth Street United Methodist Church (1209 N Elizabeth St, in the education building’s fellowship hall) on Thursday, December 1, noon–1pm. Discuss community issues and forge partnerships with others who want to work toward positive change. Lunch is free, and masks will be provided (but not required). Visit the website to learn about the Coalition’s programs and services.


The New Visions of Africa Restaurant (1306 Fayetteville St) announces their participation in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program. Locally, this program is run under the Durham Health and Human Services through their Child and Adult Care Food Program. Free Snacks and Meals will be distributed on weekday afternoons to people in need from 3 to 6pm. Grocery Giveaways are held on Tuesdays at 12:30pm; be sure to sign in by noon. Write to community@nvoac.org for more info. Don’t forget your face mask.

King’s Park International Church (1305 Odyssey Dr) will host its Food Pantry & Clothing Closet on Wednesdays from 5 to 6pm. The House of Mercy Food Pantry and Clothing Closet will give away fresh, frozen, and canned foods and gently used clothing to individuals and families in need. Click here for more info.

The Salvation Army of Durham (909 Liberty St) has Free Food Fridays, where people in need can receive help from 10am to noon every Friday. You can get some canned goods, meats, drinks, snacks, hygiene items, and even pet food. Be sure to take a copy of your apartment/home lease agreement and a current photo ID; they advise that you take a strong bag as well. Call 919-688-7306 for more info. Volunteers are needed to help sort, package, and dispense items on Free Food Fridays. If you’re available, click here for more info.

If you’re able to help the Jewish Family Services Food Pantry distribute food and household items for people in need, please drop off your donations at Jewish for Good at the Levin JCC (1937 W Cornwallis Rd, at the curb) on Fridays from 2:30 to 4:30pm. Here’s what’s needed most: Nonperishable, unexpired shelf stable food, such as canned tuna, dried pasta, tomato sauce, peanut butter, canned beans, canned vegetables, canned soup, canned fruit, paper grocery bags; also unused, packaged hygiene products, such as bar soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, and travel-size shampoos, conditioners, and body soap.

Jewels Outreach will host Jewels Feeding Friends, a food giveaway, on Saturday, October 8, 10am–noon, at the KIPP Charter School (1107 Holloway St). Please wear a mask and then pop open the trunk of your vehicle for the volunteers who will place a box of groceries inside.

One Love Christian Church (1315 Horton Rd) will host a Drive-Thru Food Distribution on Saturday, October 8, 11am–1pm. Call 919-688-2163 for more info.

White Rock Baptist Church (3400 Fayetteville St) will have their monthly Community Food Distribution on Saturday, October 8, 11am–1pm. Drive up on the Fisher Development side of the church. Click here for more info.

Various houses of worship provide groceries at no charge for people in need, and Durham Congregations in Action has a calendar showing where you can go to get help. Just click on the buttons below:

​Here’s where you can get some assistance:

Here’s where you can get a hot meal:

Here’s where you can go if you need emergency shelter:

And here are all kinds of services offered to people in need: