August 2016 - NYC Family Volunteer Opportunities

August 2016 New York Family Volunteer Opportunities


August 2016 - New York 

Garden Maintenance
Concrete Safaris
Date/Time: Monday, August 1, 4 - 7pm at Mad Fun Farm; Monday, August 8, 4 - 7pm at Jefferson Gardens.
  • August 1, Mad Fun Farm within Washington Houses, 1775 Third Avenue
  • August 8, Jefferson Gardens within Jefferson Houses, 300 East 115th Street
Enjoy a fun day outside assisting with general garden maintenance. Volunteer activities may include raking, planting, spreading topsoil and wood chips, collecting garbage, and more. Please dress accordingly to the weather.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Three hours
Contact: Tracy Ronnermann 914.510.2287 or Mac Levine 347.267.2903

Summer Streets 2016
City of New York, Department of Transportation
Date/Time: Saturday, August 6, 13 and 20, 7am - 1pm
Location: From the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, 7 miles of streets will be closed to cars for six hours to allow walkers, runners, cyclists and people of all ages to take back the streets and enjoy many free activities along the route. 

It will take a lot of people to ensure these great events run smoothly. Enjoy Summer Streets from a different perspective as a part of the Summer Streets team and help inspire participants to climb rock walls, fly down zip lines and water slides, enjoy music, games and many other activities, and help direct and inform people to ensure they have a great day.
Ages: Must be 16 years old to participate on your own; children are welcome with a parent or guardian.
Time Commitment: Three hours
Contact:, Registration is available online
Supplies for Success - Help Pack Backpacks
UJA Federation-NY
Date/Time: Tuesday, August 9, 4 pm - 7:30 (Drop-in, stay for an hour, or the whole time)
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. The goal of Supplies for Success is to ensure that all children in need return to school with the tools they need to succeed. 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 will help by packing these backpacks with new school supplies.

 Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Up to three and one-half hours
Contact: Dara Fersel,, 212.836.1598. Registration is available online
Veteran Appreciation Card Project
Date/Time: This is an ongoing opportunity. To participate in the Postcard Competition, please mail cards to DOROT by Wednesday, August 17. We will continue to accept cards until Monday, October 31.
Location: Mail finished cards to:
Attn: Veteran Card Project
171 West 85th Street
New York, NY 10024
To mark Veterans Day, DOROT invites volunteers to create cards to express gratitude and appreciation to our veterans for their service to this country. These cards should offer reflection, thanks, and heartfelt wishes for a better tomorrow. Click here for more information.

Please include the following information in the package:
  • Your name, the group's name (if applicable), address, and email
  • How many adults participated? How many children?
  • What were the ages and grade levels of the children?
  • How much time did you spend creating the cards?
  • How many cards did you make?
Tips for creating your cards:
  • Cards should have a positive, uplifting theme
  • Cards may reflect patriotic values
  • Please "sign" the back of the card with your first name, the group's name (if applicable), age (optional) and where you are from (optional). DOROT receives cards from all over the country
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Kelsey Donovan,, 212.769.2850
Volunteer with Seniors
City Meals of Wheels
Date/Time: Ongoing, opportunities are available 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.

City Meals 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, the Mobile Food Pantry program delivers weekly bags of grocery staples to the most at-risk elderly and the Fresh Produce program enables us to supplement regular meal deliveries with fresh fruit and vegetables from local farmers.

Volunteer opportunities include:
  • Friendly Visiting: The friendly visiting program brings together our 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 our 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, City Meals receives letters of appreciation from our elderly meal recipients. These letters often include touching, heartfelt stories about their lives. Through this program, volunteers write back to our elderly 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 project
Contact: Vivienne O'Neill at, 212.687.1234
Operation Backpack - NYC
Volunteers of America

Date/Time: Now through the end of August

Location: Click here for official drop-off locations around New York.

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. Operation Backpack provides backpacks filled with grade-specific supplies to children living in New York City's homeless and domestic violence shelters. You can start a donation drive in your building, workplace, house of worship or club, or simply fill a few backpacks with your family. The Volunteers of America website provides a list of needed supplies, posters you can download for a donation drive, and other information.

Ages: Everyone can participate

Time Commitment: Varies

Contact:, 212.873.2600

Intergenerational Chess
Date/Time: Mondays, 4 - 5:30pm, September 26 through December 19. We will not meet on October 3, 17 and 24. Register NOW for the fall session.
Location: DOROT, 171 West 85th Street  

Student volunteers 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 in 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 and one-half hours per week. Volunteers must commit to all ten sessions.
Contact: Shelly Levine, Register for the fall session online now.

Feed Hungry Minds One Book at a Time
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Your home
As your family gets ready to go back to school, signing up for this unique, monthly, bookish service opportunity will set the stage for a year of learning and kindness. Family-to-Family is a  national nonprofit hunger and poverty relief organization dedicated to connecting, one-to-one, families with enough to share to impoverished American families with profoundly less. You and your family can sponsor a child with one book a month through Family-to-Family's One Book at a Time program. Part pen pal, part book club, the One Book at a Time program will inspire both the young readers who give the books and the ones who receive them. Family-to-Family will match you to a child living in poverty in one of the communities they serve, give you the child's name, age and reading level, and ask you to send him or her one new book, along with a letter, each month. Your family will commit to the program for one year, sending a total of 12 books and 12 letters. The child who receives the books will be encouraged to write back to you. Visit the DGT™ Feed Hungry Minds project page for reflection ideas, book suggestions, and ways to take this project further.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: One year
Contact: Email with your name, address and phone number and you will be matched with a child.
Add good news and good ideas to your family-focused newsletter or website!

If your organization has a newsletter or website that targets families, DGT™ can help you share kindness and service ideas with them. Once again, we've compiled a school year's worth of Service and Smiles Kindness Tips that you can dole out once a week from September 2016 through May 2017. You'll find service projects, kindness practices, and other simple ideas that teach children about giving, caring, and compassion. They're free to use with attribution to Doing Good Together, of course. Visit our Service and Smiles web page to sign up! Already signed up? Please share your stories or examples with DGT!


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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. 

                                                                                                     © 2016 Doing Good Together™


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