September 2016 - NYC Family Volunteer Opportunities

September 2016 New York Family Volunteer Opportunities


September 2016 - New York 

It's Our Anniversary!

This month marks three years since we sent out our first New York DGT family friendly volunteer opportunities listing and we'd like to hear from you, our subscribers. How have you and your family used this information? Please send us your photos, stories and feedback.
We'd love to hear from you! 
Intergenerational Youth Programs
Intergenerational Chess
Date/Time: Mondays, September 26 - December 19, 4 - 5:30pm
Location: DOROT, 171 West 85th Street
Students in 6th - 12th grades and older adults play chess together, share their love of the game and help build intergenerational connections across the chessboard.

Book Buds
Date/Time: Wednesdays, September 21 - December 14, 4 - 5:30pm
Location: DOROT, 171 West 85th Street
A reading adventure for 2nd & 3rd grade students and older adults that nurtures childrens' love of reading through a variety of fun and creative activities.

Shir Simcha
Date/Time: Tuesdays, September 13 - December 13, 4 - 5pm
Location: Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, 270 West 89th Street
An intergenerational chorus for 3rd - 7th graders and older adults that offers a creative experience for learning and singing a variety of Hebrew, English and Yiddish songs. No singing experience or Hebrew necessary!
Ages: Varies, depending on activity.
Time Commitment: Varies, depending on activity.
Contact: Shelley Levine at, 917.441.5051. Registration is available online.
Summer Reading and Back to School Book Drive
Room to Grow
Date/Time: Now until September 30
Location: Books should be delivered to 54 West 21st Street, Suite 401, New York

Please help Room to Grow nurture an early love of reading for nearly 800 children. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will be matching every book donated during this drive in order to provide a year's supply of age-appropriate, enriching books for all the babies in Room to Grow's program.

Ways to help:
  • Organize a book drive or make an in-kind donation of new or nearly new books appropriate for children birth to age 3.
  • Buy books for Room to Grow. Integrating literacy instruction in a child's native language increases learning. You can help by purchasing a bilingual board book from our wish lists.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Find Your Park Day of Service: 9/11 Remembrance in NYC 
Student Conservation Association
Date/Time: Saturday, September 10, 8:30am - 2:30pm
Location: Kickoff at Governors Island National Monument. Meet at the Manhattan Governors Island Ferry Terminal at 10 South Street (just north of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal). Recommended arrival time is 8:30 - 8:45am to catch the 9am free volunteer ferry. Ferry departs at 9am sharp. Volunteers arriving late will need to pay regular fare for the next public ferry at 10am.

Join SCA to commemorate the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance on Governors Island, located in New York Harbor less than a mile from the southern tip of Manhattan and One World Trade Center. SCA will work with Governors Island National Monument, the Trust for Governors Island, and the Friends of Governors Island to improve this rejuvenated waterfront park space. With the support of American Express and in support of the Find Your Park campaign, SCA is mobilizing volunteers coast to coast in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. Join us on Governors Island as we unite in service to our public lands. Volunteers will help to restore historic Fort Jay and Castle Williams and improve gardens and trails across the island. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes and bring a reusable water bottle. The event will take place rain or shine so please dress for the weather! SCA will provide light morning snacks and a free lunch for all volunteers, as well as work gloves and free Find Your Park t-shirts.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Four hours

Contact: Ann Pedtke,, 724.678.9401. Please register online. 
Rosh Hashanah Package Delivery
Date/Time: Sunday, September 25, 10am - noon

Location(s): Volunteers will meet at one of the following locations and then visit with seniors in their homes.
  • West Side: 171 West 85th Street off Amsterdam Avenue
  • East Side: Sutton Place Synagogue, 225 East 51st Street, between 2nd and 3rd Ave
Brighten the day of a senior! Deliver a holiday package and visit with a DOROT senior.

Ages: Families with children ages 4-12 years old are welcome to volunteer.
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: Shelley Levine at, 917.441.5051. Registration is  available online.
Mitzvah Squad
UJA Federation of New York
Date/Time: There are four Mitzvah Squad activities from October through April. Transportation is provided from UJA-Federation. Please note, UJA-Federation requests a donation of $120 for all four activities, or $36 per individual activity. 
  • Sunday, October 30, 11:30am - 1pm
  • Sunday, December 11, 2pm - 3:30pm
  • Sunday, January 22, 1 - 3pm
  • Sunday, April 2, 1- 3pm
  • Sunday, October 30, JCC of Manhattan, Upper West Side
  • Sunday, December 11, The New Jewish Home, Upper West Side
  • Sunday, January 22, UJA-Federation, Upper East Side
  • Sunday, April 2, Met Council, Lower East Side
Are you interested in building a better world - tikkun olam - and helping others? Mitzvah Squad is a program for seventh and eighth graders who want to be more involved in their Jewish community, take part in hands-on volunteer projects (four per year), and meet other cool teens from all over New York City. Each session will have a discussion about Jewish values and a hands-on volunteer project, plus snacks. These are the four projects scheduled for this coming year:

Sunday, October 30, 11:30am - 1pm, JCC of Manhattan, Upper West Side
Participants will gather at the JCC of Manhattan to celebrate a fall themed party with the children in their special needs program. Participants will prepare the room with holiday decorations and decorate cookies and enjoy them with the children.
Sunday, December 11, 2pm - 3:30pm The New Jewish Home, Upper West Side
Participants will prepare the room for seniors to arrive and play bingo. Participants will also lead the games and interact with the seniors.
Sunday, January 22, 1 - 3pm, UJA-Federation, Upper East Side
Participants will prepare food packages with teens of the same age from Catholic Charities to help UJA-Federation of NY's Joint Feeding our Neighbors initiative for an Interfaith program.
Sunday, April 2, 1- 3pm, Met Council, Lower East Side
Participants will participate in Met Council's Passover Distribution project. Participants will prepare, package and distribute food to Met Council's clients.
Ages: 7th and 8th graders
Time Commitment: Each session is up to two hours
Contact: Nicole Fleischman,, 212.836.1460.
Go Orange to End Hunger
Food Bank for New York City
Date/Time: Throughout September. Go Orange Awareness Day is Wednesday, September 28
Location: Your local community

Now in its 11th year, Go Orange is a citywide call to action for all New Yorkers to get involved in support of the 1.5 million individuals who rely on Food Bank For New York City and our network of member charities. Here are some ways you and your family can help:

Ways to Go Orange
  • Check out our Go Orange Events throughout September!
  • Snap a photo of yourself or a friend wearing orange and tag it #GoOrangeNYC to raise awareness - we'll feature the best pictures on our website & social media!
  • Start a Virtual Food Drive - Virtual Food Drives allow the Food Bank to provide more food than a traditional canned food drive thanks to our wholesale purchasing power.
  • Volunteer - Roll up your sleeves and sign up for a volunteer project at our Bronx warehouse or Harlem Kitchen & Food Pantry.
  • Give - Did you know that $1 can help to provide 5 meals?  Double your gift by asking your employer to match your donation!
  • Sign your organization up for a "Food Bank 2 Go" custom repack project, where Food Bank comes to you!
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies, depending on activity
Contact: 212.566.7855
Volunteer to Help Host and Organize a Birthday Party
Celebrate U
Date/Time: Friday, September 30, 4 - 6pm
Location: Prospect Family Inn, 730 Kelly Street, Bronx

Founded in 2014 in New York by two teens, Talia Eskenazi and Chase Kauder, Celebrate U is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to spread happiness by throwing birthday parties for disadvantaged children, living in underserved communities. The effect of these celebrations goes way beyond cake and party favors. Celebrate U believes that by showing children that their community truly cares about them, it can raise self-esteem, provide hope for a brighter future and empower children.

Ages: Children in sixth grade and older may participate alone; fifth graders and younger may participate if accompanied by a parent
Time Commitment: Two hours, plus ½ hour training session
Contact: Heidi Packer,, 917.415.0963

Make a Difference during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!
Alex's Lemonade Stand
Date/Time: During September
Location: Your community
Every day, parents of children battling cancer travel thousands of miles for treatments. That's why this September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Alex's Lemonade Stand is going a million miles to raise awareness and fundraise for cures. Last year, more than 12,000 people logged miles and raised money for childhood cancer research. This year they are doing it again! To find a cure for childhood cancer, we're going the distance - running, walking or biking to exceed one million miles. The goal is to collectively run, walk and/or ride one million miles during a single month: September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and fundraise to find cures. Anyone can join and there are no minimum mileage or fundraising requirements. Every mile and dollar helps!

How to Get Started:
  • Register - you can choose to start a team, join one or participate on your own.
  • Spread the word - tell your family and friends! Get them to join you, support you or donate!
  • Fundraise for the cause - you can accept online donations or hold a fundraising event. We have lots of ideas to help you.
  • Each day in September (Childhood Cancer Awareness Month), walk, run or bike at your own pace, on your own schedule, logging your miles manually or using MapMyFitness or Fitbit.
  • Your miles get added to the grand total, bringing us toward one million miles. The money you raise funds research toward finding cures.
Why One Million Miles? One million miles is 40 times around the equator or two round-trips to the moon. But it's less than five miles for each kid or adolescent who will be affected by childhood cancer this year, worldwide. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the United States. That's why it is vital that we raise money to cure it, now.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact:, 866.333.1213
September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance

Sunday, September 11th marks the 15th Anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Americans everywhere are encouraged to engage in service with their families.

Visit for more information and to search a database of volunteer opportunities in your community.

Magic Mail Center
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Anytime
Location: Set up in your own home

Creating a Magic Mail Center in your home can make it easy to keep kindness part of your family's fall routine! As your fall family schedule gets busy, keep this simple worksheet on hand. When you have unexpected free time, send a letter and make a difference. Visit the Doing Good Together project page to for more ideas and reflection questions.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
As we start Back-To-School Season, let's remind our kids about the importance of kindness. We're making it easy to deliver this message with our new Doing Good Together™ Infographic that offers insight and ideas for making kindness a priority! 

Presented in a problem/solution format, with relevant stats, fun graphics, and easy-to-find links, we encourage you to post, pin, tweet, and share this graphic with your circle of friends, family, and educators. You can find this graphic on our website, along with other compelling articles on why kindness matters and why DGT matters too. Thanks for sharing DGT™ with others!


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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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