Where To Volunteer

Below is a list of just a few organizations in NYC that can connect you to the volunteer opportunities you’re looking for. It is not meant to be exhaustive, and it will get longer as I continue my volunteer work and learn of other outlets

OPPORTUNITIES OF ALL KINDS, FOR ALL CAUSES

Idealist : Here you can connect with thousands of volunteer opportunities and find practical tools to help you take action to build a better world. They list both national and international opportunities, with varying levels of commitment. You can also search for nonprofit jobs, internships, events, and more.

I Can Volunteer : For a more comprehensive list of organizations, definitely check out this site. It’s an easy-to-read, straightforward listing of places in NYC you can volunteer with, including contact information for most, as well as the type of commitment you’ll be expected to make.

New York Cares : “Program staff work with each organization to identify their most pressing needs, create projects where volunteers can make a meaningful difference, and then recruit and deploy teams of volunteers to help meet those needs.” New York Cares is the organization that I volunteer through most often. They have TONS of different opportunities, but they fill up fast, so make sure you check the site on or around the 20th of each month, when they post new projects for the month. You’ll also have to attend a 1-hour orientation before volunteering; orientations take place often and in various locations throughout the 5 Boroughs.

NYC Service : “NYC Service is a new effort to promote service and volunteerism in New York City. It includes an innovative set of initiatives that aim to achieve two overarching goals: making our city the easiest place in the world to volunteer, and setting a new standard for how cities can tap the power of their people to tackle our most pressing challenges” You can search for different activities by borough, area of interest, and level of priority; there are a lot of opportunities for people with special skills, such as accountants, artists, grant writers, etc. This new site is very user-friendly.

Street Project : “Street Project is a volunteer organization that provides its members – busy young professionals in New York – with a variety of regular and flexible opportunities to give back to their community and connect to a network of other dedicated people.” They also hold social events for members. This organization has a limited group of opportunities, making it less overwhelming if you are have a hard time deciding what type of activity you want to do, and besides setting up your account, there isn’t much you have to do before signing up for your first project.

United Way of New York City : In addition to it’s partnership with NYC Service, The United Way of New York City offers other opportunities for both individuals and groups or corporate partners, in addition to offering projects you can do without leaving home or the office.

OUTDOORS/ENVIRONMENTAL

New York Restoration Project: “New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming open space in underserved communities to create a greener, more sustainable New York City. In partnership with the City of New York, NYRP is also leading MillionTreesNYC – an initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout New York City’s five boroughs by 2017.” Visit the website for more information, or email Volunteer Coordinator Danica Doroski, at ddoroski@nyrp.org to get started volunteering.

ioby (in our backyards): ” ioby connects change with resources. It enables all of us to invest in change—then see (and live with) the return on our investment. These pages aren’t glamorous. There are no celebrities, no large-scale protests. There are everyday neighbors taking small steps—bringing sunlight, open space, fresh food and greenery into our backyards.” Search through the variety of projects to find open volunteer positions near you!

Back on My Feet! : “Back on My Feet is national non-profit that uses running as a means to help individuals experiencing homelessness develop tools of self-sufficiency. Through various partnerships and programs, we ultimately help our members find employment and housing. While the end goal is to help our members achieve independence, running is at the core of what we do. Dedicated teams of volunteers run two to fours miles with our members experiencing homelessness or from other under-served populations. Each team has varying physical abilities, so we encourage runners of all paces to become part of our growing community. Our Teams, located in Harlem, Midtown, Lower Manhattan, ad Crown Heights area of Brooklyn, meet from 5:30-6:30AM. To find out more and sign up for an orientation, visit: nyc.backonmyfeet.org; or email: chiara@backonmyfeet.org”

EDUCATIONAL/YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES

Inner-City Scholarship Fund (ICSF) : Inner-City Scholarship Fund (ICSF), the city’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to providing tuition assistance for underprivileged students is looking for volunteers. There are many ways to get involved, each with a varying time commitment.  ICSF supports more than 38,000 students (93% minority and 35% non-Catholic) in 105 inner-city Catholic schools in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island.  98% percent of ICSF high school seniors graduate and 96% go on to college. Requirements include a background check and video screening to participate.  For more information, please contact via phone at 646-794-3357.

Harlem RBI: Harlem RBI seeks to provide inner-city youth with opportunities to Play, Learn and Grow. They use the power of teams to coach, teach and inspire youth to recognize their potential and realize their dreams. Volunteers are an essential part of Harlem RBI, serving as tutors, homework helpers, and baseball/softball coaches; committment can range from 1-3x per week, for 3 months up to a year depending on your role. If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Jackson Thomas at volunteer@harlemrbi.org.

FOOD/HUNGER/HOMELESSNESS

Bread & Life : Bread and Life daily addresses the issues of hunger and poverty in Brooklyn and Queens. Every day, Bread and Life serves over one thousand meals to hungry New Yorkers. They provide these services at both a Lexington Avenue facility and through their unique Mobile Soup Kitchen.

Foodbank for New York City : Volunteers are essential at all levels of the Food Bank For New York City’s operations — from serving hot meals to New Yorkers in need at the Community Kitchen in Harlem to staffing at public awareness and fundraising events!

If you have any suggestions for organizations not listed here please contact me at giveandgetnyc@gmail.com


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