March 2016 - NYC Family Volunteer Opportunities

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March 2016 - New York 

Brooklyn Community Services
Green is the New Black: Street Tree Care
Date/Time: Saturday, March 26, 9am - 1pm
Location: Join Brooklyn Community Services to care for Bed-Stuy's street trees with the NYC Parks Department. Remove litter, mix-up soil and add mulch to the tree beds. Come dressed in sturdy boots or shoes, long pants, and clothing that can get dirty.
Ages: Volunteers must be 10 or older. Volunteers ages 10-13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Time Commitment: Four hours
Contact: Simone Ebanks, Click here to register, 718.310.5823
Annual Book Drive
Project Cicero
Date/Time: Sorting and distribution will take place the weekend of March 12-13. Book drive donations will be accepted up until the sorting and distribution weekend.
Location: Deliver book drive donations to: Project Cicero, 53 East 79th Street.
Sorting and distribution will take place at the Gold Ballroom at The Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 7th Avenue.
Project Cicero is a partnership of independent, public, and parochial schools, private and public organizations, and corporations whose primary goal is to create and supplement classroom and school libraries for children in under-resourced New York City public schools through an annual citywide book drive. Project Cicero also puts books into homeless shelters, juvenile detention facilities, community centers, before and after school programs, and wherever else there is a need. Since its inception in 2001, Project Cicero has distributed 2.3 million new and gently used books to more than 13,000 New York City classrooms, reaching over 550,000 students. Donated books must be in excellent condition, and only children's book (through Young Adult/high school level) will be accepted.
Ages: Everyone can participate in book drives. There are age and chaperone requirements for sorting and distribution volunteers. Check the registration page for more information.
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: or 212.288.6900 x 511. Register online for sorting and distribution shifts.

Purim Package Delivery
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 22 or Thursday, March 24, between 4 - 6pm
Location: Seniors' homes in Manhattan
Celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim by delivering gifts of food to our older friends and sharing a wonderful gift - the gift of friendship.
Ages: Families with children 4-12 years old are welcome to volunteer
Time Commitment: Your visit should last approximately 30-45 minutes.

Contact: Shelley Levine, 917.441.5051. Please register online.  
Junior Volunteer Corps
Prospect Park Alliance
Date/Time: Sunday, March 26, 1:30 - 3:30pm
Location: Prospect Park, 9th Street Entrance, Brooklyn

Join the Prospect Park Alliance for a day of giving back. Families are invited to join us to help prepare the park for spring by raking leaves and other activities. Learn the value of service and meet other families and children. Refreshments will be provided. 
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: Prospect Park Alliance, 718.287.3400, Please preregister online.
Host a Birthday Party for Children Living in Shelter
Celebrate U
Date/Time: Friday, March 18, 3:30 - 5:30pm
Location: Harlem Boys and Girls Club, 425 West 144th Street

Two 15-year-old girls, Chase Kauder and Talia Eskenazi, founded The Celebrate U Foundation. Celebrate U hosts, organizes and manages birthday parties for children in shelters or who can't afford to celebrate their birthday in the New York City area. Early education is essential, but so is building a child's self esteem, giving them hope for a bright future and knowing society cares about them. Celebrate U partners with the nationally known social service agencies for bi-monthly birthday celebrations. Corporate sponsors provide treats and party gifts. A training session will take place one week prior to each event
Ages: Children in 6th grade and older may participate alone; 5th graders and younger may participate if accompanied by a parent
Time Commitment: Two hours, plus ½ hour training session
Contact:, 917.415.0963
Keeping it Green for Families
Central Park Conservancy
Date/Time: Sunday, March 27, 10am - noon
Location: Central Park
Spring is in the air! If you are itching to get outdoors and volunteer with kids, Central Park will welcome you! At 843 acres, there's a lot that goes into maintaining New York City's "backyard" - Central Park - everyday. The Central Park Conservancy's dedicated staff keeps the Park lush and vibrant, but they need your help, too. Spend quality time with your family helping keep Central Park green by spreading mulch or raking leaves. Led by environmental educators, projects are located throughout the Park. This program is made possibly by the GM Foundation.
Ages: Families only, maximum of 3 children per parent/guardian; no groups. Children need to be age 5 or older. All children under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: For more information or to register for a session, email Please include the following information:
  • Date requested
  • Number of adults
  • Number of children
Thrift Shop Clothing Drive
Brooklyn Community Services
Date/Time: All donations must be made by Wednesday, March 30
Location: Drop of all donations at BCS Headquarters, Downtown Brooklyn, 285 Schermerhorn Street, weekdays between 9am and 5pm.

Almost time for some Spring Cleaning? Consider hosting a clothing drive for Brooklyn Community Services. They are collecting donations for their first-ever pop-up thrift shop, which will give BCS clients and community members the opportunity to purchase clothes and home goods at very low prices. Money raised by the shop will support BCS programs.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Kristina Reintamm,, 718.310.5614
Birthday Giving Project  
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Contact to ask for the name of a shelter or pantry where you can deliver the birthday boxes or call your local food pantry to ask if they accept birthday in a box donations
It's hard for many of us - adults or children - to imagine celebrating a child's birthday without a party or presents. Family-to Family's Birthday Giving Project is designed to help families by providing a small "party in a box" for a child in need, and at the same time gives children with "more" the opportunity to learn empathy in a concrete way by helping another child. You and your children can decorate and fill shoeboxes with everything needed for a small birthday party. Each box goes to a different child. If you are making a lot of boxes, please make them for different ages!

  • Pick an age (or ages), and choose either boy(s) or girl(s) to send your box to.
  • Find a large sneaker-sized shoebox or party bag and buy the things needed for a party.
  • Box of cake mix and a can of frosting
  • Birthday candles (no matches please!)
  • Wall decoration (like streamers, or a happy birthday banner)
  • New or gently used children's book
  • Small $5-$10 gift appropriate to the age and gender of child.
  • Optional: goody bag filled with small surprises
  • Wrap the book and the gift in birthday paper.
  • Wrap the top and bottom of the shoebox separately (so that even wrapped, the box can be opened), and fill the wrapped box with the birthday items.
  • If you want to give your recipient a chance to write you back, include a stamped postcard with your name, c/o Family to Family, P.O. Box 255, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, 10706. Then email, put "birthday postcards" in the subject line, say you may get a return postcard, and provide your name and address.
  • You can also make a birthday card to put inside the box. Then tie the box closed with ribbon, and label it with the age and "boy" or "girl". (For example, you might write "6-7 year old boy" or "10-11 year old girl".)
  • Ship or deliver the box(es) you've assembled
Visit the Doing Good Together Birthday Giving Project page for more ideas and reflection questions.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies

Contact: or 

We've got a great way for you to help your organization help others!
Doing Good Together Family Service Fairs allow groups of all ages to serve others in a two-hour fair-style event. Attendees come together to do simple and fun hands-on projects that benefit non-profit organizations. Want to host a fun fair of your own? Our DGT Family Service Fair Manual with Online Toolkit has all you need to get started.



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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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