City Wide Volunteer Opportunities

by Guest Writer

Volunteering and giving back is a worthwhile and rewarding experience for many reasons. Most importantly, volunteering helps those in need. Furthermore, it provides the volunteer with a fulfilling experience that can change his/her outlook and help him/her grow as a person.

In lieu of the holiday season and the theme of giving back, here is a list of just a few of the numerous opportunities in New York City that includes various organizations and causes.


1. Ice Skate at Riverbank State Park with the Education Clinic
Saturday, December 6, 2014, 11:00am – 3:00pm 

“Get ready for the impeding cold weather by spending time skating with 3rd graders. Encourage and support those who are finding their way across the ice. Bring $11 to cover the cost of skating plus money for lunch for you and a child.”

2. St. Peter’s Church Breakfast
Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 6:30am – 8:15am

“Serve breakfast to over 125 homeless and hungry individuals.”

3. Game Night at Village Care Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
Tuesday, December 9, 2013, 6:30pm – 8:00pm

“Play fun games and socialize with the seniors during this weekly game night.”

4. Deliver with Citymeals-on-Whells at Encore Senior Center
Saturday, December 13, 2014, 9:30am – 12:30pm

“Deliver nutritious meals on foot to homebound seniors living in west midtown Manhattan. Citymeals-on-Wheels seeks to provide nutritious food and human company to elderly homebound New Yorkers in need. Your attendance and participation on this project is key to the successful delivery of all meals.”


1. Paint a School with PubliColor
Saturday, December 6, 2014, 9:45am – 5:00pm

“Buddy with a student member of the Publicolor Paint Club, which uses student and adult volunteers to paint schools and brighten up community sites in inner-city neighborhoods. Please bring $10 donation for pizza lunch.”

2. Assist Customers and Pack Bags at the Bed-Stuy CAH Food Pantry
Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 10:00am – 12:30pm

“The Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger operates the largest food pantry in Brooklyn, providing food to an average 12,000 community members every month and the equivalent of 1.4 million meals annually. The food pantry is set up like a supermarket, because we believe that our customers should be able to select items based on their own needs and preferences rather than receiving a pre-packed bag. Since Hurricane Sandy, we have also been distributing food from mobile pantry sites in Coney Island and Far Rockaway.

Volunteers will facilitate pantry operations by providing customer service, restocking shelves, unloading deliveries, and maintaining clean and organized shopping and storage areas. Volunteers will also assist with packing bags of food staples for storm victims in Coney Island and Far Rockaway.”

3. Bingo at New York Methodist Hospital
Thursday, December 11, 2014, 10:45am – 12:15pm

“Brighten the day of seniors living with depression or Alzheimer’s disease by playing Bingo and socializing!”


1. Bedtime Stories at Bronx Works Jackson Avenue
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 6:30pm – 8:00pm

“Drift off into a world of awe and wonder with the children from the Jackson Family Residence, a transitional shelter in the Bronx. Volunteers will foster a love of learning by reading with Kindergarten to 6th grade children in small groups or in one on one pairs in order to make books and reading a fun and enriching part of their lives. Each session will conclude with a themed craft activity.”

2. Homework Help at PS 107 X
Saturday, December 6, 2014, 10:00am – 12:00pm

“This volunteer project includes two different activities serving Bronx public school students in grades 1-5. One room of volunteers will provide additional academic support by reviewing assignments and assisting students in math and reading. The other room will play Math games with the students. Volunteers are encouraged to attend this project weekly.”

3. Friendly Visiting and Music with Seniors at Beth Abraham
Sunday, December 7, 2014, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

“Enjoy a fun afternoon providing companionship to seniors, playing board games, and listening to music.”

4. Meal Service at Momentum AIDS Project
Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 10:00am – 1:00pm

“Provide men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS with hot meals, pantry bags, and support services in a communal, neighborhood setting. Volunteers will serve meals and pass out pantry bags to clients in the Bronx.”


1. Coat Drive Event – Mets Warm-Up Drive
Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 9:30am – 1:00pm

“Help collect coats for the New York Cares Coat Drive at the Annual Mets Warm-Up Drive, located at the Mets Team Store at Citi Field. These donations will keep the New Yorkers in need warm during the cold winter months. All donors will receive a voucher redeemable for two tickets to a Mets home game in April 2015 (excluding Opening Day), as well as a discount to the Mets Team Store on the day of the drive. (Please notes this event does NOT include tickets).”

2. Computer Skills for Seniors at Sunnyside Community Services
Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 1:30pm – 3:00 pm

“Assist, socialize and have fun with seniors in advancing their computer skills as they surf the web, create and check e-mails, get savy with social media and more. Spanish speaking skills helpful but not required.”

3. Creative Cooking at the Academy of Finance and Enterprise
Monday, December 8, 2014, 2:30 – 4:00pm

“Support high school freshmen as they learn about nutrition and meal preparation. The group will assemble and enjoy snacks and meals together as part of the project.”


1. Teaching, Empowerment, Literacy and Learning at Markham Gardens
Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 4:00pm – 5:30 pm

“Help the students at Markham Gardens become faster, stronger, more powerful readers on this community project! You will be giving these scholars the keys to unlock the world.”

2. Art Explorers at P.S. 20 SI
Saturday, December 13, 2014, 10:00am – 11:30am 

“Help elementary students create, design, and produce pieces of art during this Saturday enrichment program.” 

3. Sports Explorers at PS 20 SI
Saturday, December 13, 2014, 10:00am – 11:30am 

“Jumpstart your weekend by teaching children how to live a healthy lifestyle as you spend Saturday morning playing games, sports and fun activities with the children of P. S. 20 SI in Port Richmond.”

Opportunities are truly endless! For more opportunities throughout NYC search New York Cares. Just keep in mind that there are people in need everywhere you go, not jut NYC. Check out Volunteer Match to find an opportunity near year so you can give back this holiday season!

In addition to volunteering, there are also many charity events that you can attend. Enjoy a night out while benefiting a good cause at the same time. New York Charities and Eventbrite supply a calendar of all the upcoming events in NYC ranging from the Artists for Charity Benefit to the Building Blocks 4 Leukemia event. Be sure to look at the full calendar and if you are not from New York City do some research and find an event near you!

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