August 2015 - NYC Family Volunteer Opportunities



August 2015 - New York City


Back to School Drive  

Baby Buggy


Date/Time: August 1-September 1


Location: 306 West 37th Street, 8th Floor, New York   


Baby Buggy takes an innovative child-focused approach to curbing generational poverty by linking access to critical child gear items to parental participation in programs designed to lift the family out of poverty. Together, the services and the items add up to far greater impact. Donations, which are distributed to a network of over 100 community-based organizations across the country, help to offset the high cost of providing for infants and young children at a critical stage in a family's life. Help Baby Buggy provide school supplies to children in New York City! Donate new school supplies at their warehouse or send them in the mail by September 1st. A pair of scissors, markers, or a spiral notebook - each item helps families to prepare their children for the upcoming school year!  


Ages: Everyone can participate


Time Commitment: One-half hour or more 


Contact: Melissa Stein,, 212.239.1687 



Volunteer Opportunities with Seniors  



Date/Time: Ongoing, all year round 


Location: Meal delivery and friendly visiting occurs in seniors' homes throughout New York City; other volunteer opportunities can be done from your home.  


Citymeals-on-Wheels funds 31 community-based agencies that bring weekend, holiday and emergency meals to homebound elderly New Yorkers who can no longer shop or cook for themselves. In addition, their Mobile Food Pantry program delivers weekly bags of grocery staples to the most at-risk elderly and their Fresh Produce program enables them to supplement regular meal deliveries with fresh fruit and vegetables from local farmers. Citymeals-on-Wheels has the following family-friendly volunteer opportunities:  

  • Friendly Visiting: The friendly visiting program brings together meal recipients with kind-hearted people who want to help homebound seniors stay connected with the outside world. This social visit becomes so important in the lives of our lonely elderly. The time commitment for this program is one hour per week for at least six months. The visiting schedule is arranged between you and the senior.
  • Meal Delivery: The heart of the program is the hand-delivery of nutritious meals to homebound elderly. Meal recipients look forward to these essential meals; the personal visits that come with them help brighten their days. Each weekend, teams and individual volunteers help deliver meals from meal centers across the city. Volunteer opportunities are available throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens on weekends and select locations on weekdays.
  • Senior Chat: This program lets caring volunteers make contact with isolated, elderly individuals by phone once a week. A weekly phone call can go a long way to help homebound seniors feel safe and connected to the world. Calls typically last about a half hour and can be made from the volunteer's home or office. The time commitment for this program is six months.
  • Senior Script: Every week, Citymeals receives letters of appreciation from elderly meal recipients. These letters often include touching, heartfelt stories about their lives. Through this program, volunteers write back with a warm, personalized response.
  • Kitchen Aide: During the weekday, volunteers help package food to be delivered to homebound elderly as well as serve meals to seniors at the meal center.

Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies, depending on activity.  


Contact: Vivienne O'Neill,, 212.687.1234



Operation Backpack  

Volunteers of America


Date/Time: Now through the end of August


Location: Click here for a listing of official drop off locations in NY   


More than 22,000 children live in NYC's homeless and domestic violence shelters. One of the most devastating consequences of homelessness is the impact it has on a child's education. Each year since 2001, Volunteers of America-Greater New York has been distributing new backpacks filled with grade-specific school supplies to homeless children throughout New York City. A filled backpack relieves parents of a financial burden and provides a sense of normalcy to the otherwise chaotic lives of these children, helping them to look and feel more like their classmates. Most importantly, a filled backpack allows these children to start the school year feeling prepared and confident, with the knowledge that their education is important and that someone believes in them. Every backpack given to a child through Operation Backpack is filled with supplies according to the child's grade. All backpack and supplies should be new. You may also organize an Operation Backpack drive at your company, club, camp, school or place of worship. Click here for more information and grade specific shopping lists.  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact:, 212.496.4307  


Adopt a Night Night Package  

Project Night Night


Date/Time: At your convenience


Location: Select a shelter from Project Night Night's list  


Project Night Night provides Night Night Packages, free of charge, to homeless children from birth to pre-teen who need childhood essentials to feel secure, cozy, ready to learn, and significant. Each Night Night Package contains a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children's book, and a stuffed animal -- all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag. Project Night Night establishes a foundation for lasting change through the hands-on volunteer opportunities they provide to tens of thousands of individuals each year, creating and distributing Night Night Packages to homeless children in their own communities. Every year they donate over 25,000 Night Night Packages, free of charge, to homeless children across the country.

Visit the Project Night Night website for detailed information, support and a "how to" video.  

  1. Determine the number of Night Night Packages you want to complete.
  2. Order tote bags from Project Night Night at $3.50 each (this covers the cost of the tote and shipping to you).
  3. Fill each tote bag with a new blanket, a new/like-new stuffed animal, and new/like-new children's book.
  4. Select a shelter from the Project Night Night list.  
  5. Deliver your assembled Night Night Packages to the shelter.


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Kendra Robins in San Francisco or Jessica Bryan in Cleveland 



Summer Reading & Back to School Book Drive   

Room To Grow


Date/Time: Now until September 30


Location: 54 West 21st Street, Suite 401. Click here for drop-off hours and additional information  

Please join Room to Grow in promoting early literacy and participate in the annual Summer Reading and Back to School Book Drive. The need is great - studies show that the ratio of books to children in low-income communities is one book for every 300 children. In middle-income households, the ratio is 13 books to one child. With your help, Room to Grow works to close that gap! In our early literacy program, children take home 40 books every year, while parents receive support and instruction on how to nurture language development. Here's how you can help nurture an early love of reading:   

  • Organize a book drive or make an in-kind donation. Contact
  • Make a financial donation. A gift of $50 will buy 10 baby books to give to a child on their first visit; a gift of $1,000 will help build a full home library for one child age 0-3 years.
  • Purchase bilingual baby books from our wish list. Integrating literacy instruction in a child's native language increases learning.

Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: Elaine Chow at, 212.620.7800 



Garden Crew   

Friends of Van Cortland Park


Date/Time: Tuesdays, August 4, 11, 18 and 25 from 10 am - 1 pm


Location: Van Cortland Park, enter at Van Cortland Park South and Gouverneur Avenue. Meet at the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park's Compost Garden Site.  


Volunteers help care for the Van Cortland Park vegetable beds and compost bins All of the produce will be donated to local food pantries and sold at the Youth Run Farm Stand. Bring water and sunscreen.  

Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Two hours 


Contact: All volunteers must register at 718.601.1553 for further instructions. 



Supplies for Success - Help Pack Backpacks   

UJA Federation-NY


Date/Time:  Tuesday, August 18, 4 - 7:30pm     


Location: UJA Federation,130 East 59th Street  


Join Supplies for Success, UJA-Federation of New York's initiative to provide new school supplies for children in need. Each year, UJA provides brand new filled backpacks to thousands of disadvantaged children through UJA-Federation beneficiary agencies, schools, shelters, and other local organizations. Volunteers help pack backpacks with school supplies. The goal of Supplies for Success is to ensure that all children in need return to school with the tools they need to succeed.  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Drop-in, stay for an hour or the whole time


Contact:  Leslie Black, email, 212.836.1598. Registration is available online 



Intergenerational Chess  



Date/Time:  Register NOW for Fall Session: 

  • Mondays, 4:00 - 5:30pm, beginning September 21
  • October 12, 19 & 26
  • November 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
  • December 7, 14, 21

Location: Dorot, 171 West 85th Street  


Students and Dorot Seniors will get to know each other and play chess together. Chess Masters will demonstrate different strategies at each session. Share your love of the game and bring a smile to a senior! Refreshments will be served. Students must be 5th-12th grade and understand the game of chess, the different chess pieces, and how to move them.  


Ages: Volunteers must be in 5th-12th grade.


Time Commitment: One hour per week. Students must commit to a minimum of nine sessions.  


Contact: Complete the online registration form 



Sign a Petition


Date/Time: Anytime


Location: Your own location 


This is a great summer activity that will challenge your kids to think critically and take action about causes that matter to them. Take time as a family to learn about and support a cause that you and your children care about through online petitions. You can start a petition or sign a existing petition at This way you can participate in initiatives that are up and running, or start a petition for a cause that's meaningful to you. Check out Doing Good Together's Sign a Petition page for ideas on how to get started!


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies





Share Kindness Campaign  

Doing Good Together


Date/Time: Now through July 31 only 


It's a kindness campaign! It's a fundraiser! It's a fashion statement! Doing Good Together™ is holding a limited-time fundraising sale of these fun 2-sided "Share kindness" T-shirts. When you wear our colorful shirt, you'll be spreading a positive message, building awareness of DGT™ and helping our nonprofit raise funds to continue our big-hearted programming efforts. T-shirts must be ordered no later than July 31.  


Order your t-shirts at Youth and adult size shirts are available.  



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This list was compiled by Doing Good Together™ (
 When calling to volunteer for any of the opportunities listed above, please let the coordinator know you found it through this listing. You are encouraged to ask any questions you may have of the sponsoring organization before committing to a project.
Disclaimer: This list is provided as a service to families. Inclusion of organizations in this listing does not imply affiliation, endorsement or quality assurance on the part of Doing Good Together.™ Doing Good Together™ bears no responsibility whatsoever for the activities and actions of the listed organizations. 

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