October 2017 NYC Family Volunteer Opportunities

October 2017 New York City Family Volunteer Opportunities


October 2017 - New York City

Halloween Candy Buy Back
Operation Gratitude
Date/Time: At your convenience, after Halloween. Candy should be donated prior to November 15.
Location:  Check Halloween Candy Buy Back website for buy back locations.

Plan ahead for all of that "leftover" Halloween candy! On November 1st, the piles of leftover Halloween candy may be overwhelming. You can allow your children to keep a few favorites, and consider donating the rest to a very good cause. Through the Halloween Candy Buy Back program, local dentists promise to "buy back" left over Halloween candy with prizes, toothbrushes, coupons, etc. The candy is donated to Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that sends over 100,000 care packages annually to service members stationed in hostile regions, to their children at home, and to Veterans. Their mission is simple: to put a smile on soldiers' faces and to show the appreciation and support of the American people. Consider asking your children to write a letter or draw a picture to include with your donation, as Operation Gratitude likes to include these personal notes in every care package they send.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: hcbb13@gmail.com, Kelly@OperationGratitude.com
www.halloweencandybuyback.com, www.operationgratitude.com
Donate Used Halloween Costumes
Halloween Helpers
Date/Time: Collections should take place in early October. Contact Halloween Helpers for further details.
Location: Check their website for collection sites

Halloween can be one of the most important events in a young child's life. It provides lifelong memories, develops self-worth, and allows kids to play an active role in their community.  Unfortunately, many children are unable to participate in this fun, annual experience because they do not have a costume. Developed in 2008 by then 11-year-old Emma Rose Shapiro, the mission of The Halloween Helpers is to collect previously enjoyed, gently-used Halloween costumes and donate them to children in need. Visit the Halloween Helpers website for downloadable forms, handouts, and signage to begin your collection drive. 

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Info@TheHalloweenHelpers.com, 610.642.7427
7th Annual Tie-Dye Cupcake Bake-off
She's the First
Date/Time: October 23 - November 1
Location: Your location

She's the First provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries with the goal of creating first generation graduates and our next generation of global leaders. This fall, She's the First is expecting hundreds of bake sales to happen between October 23 and November 1 during their 7th Annual Tie-Dye Cupcake Bake-Off. First, sign up here to add yourself to the map of people who plan to have bake sales at their school, office, club or girl/boy scout troop; fundraising to send girls to school with She's the First. Then, share all over social media to recruit your friends and family, using the hashtag #bakeachange. Visit their website for a tie-dye cupcake recipe and more information.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Host a Birthday Party for Kids
  • Friday, October 20, 4 - 6pm
  • Thursday, October 26, 4 - 6pm
  • October 20, Homes for the Homeless, 730 Kelly Street, Bronx
  • October 26, The Jewish Board of Family and Children Services at the Ittleson Center, 505 Iselin Avenue, Bronx
Founded in 2014 in New York by two 15 year-old girls, Talia Eskenazi and Chase Kauder, The Celebrate U Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to spread happiness by throwing birthday parties for children in shelters or who can't afford to celebrate their birthday in the New York City area. 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. 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. And every child deserves a birthday party. A short training session will take place for new volunteers one week prior to each event.
Ages: Fifth grade and up
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: Alisonkauder@gmail.com
Lunch Program
Manhattan Church Community of Hope
Date/Time: Every Saturday, 9:30am - 2 pm
Location: Manhattan Church Community of Hope, 48 East 80th Street between Park and Madison

The Lunch Program provides hot meals to the homeless with dignity and compassion.  Volunteer responsibilities include setting up, preparing and serving meals, breakdown and clean-up.

Ages: Children ages five and older are welcome with parents/guardians
Time Commitment: The full lunch program is five hours but volunteers are welcome any time during the day.
Contact: carl@manhattanchurch.org
Urban Farm Upkeep
Concrete Safaris
Date/Time: Saturday, October 7 and October 14, 10am - 1pm
  • October 7: Meet at Mad Fun Farm (98th Street and Third Avenue) just south of the flag pole in the gated gardens.
  • October 15: Meet at Jefferson Gardens (300 East 115th Street Just east of Second Avenue) Gardens span from 113-115 between 2nd and 1st avenues.
Join Concrete Safaris for our Garden Volunteer Session to spruce up our gardens! We will be doing a variety of garden maintenance activities that consist of repairing raised beds, shoveling topsoil, planting herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers, spreading mulch, picking up trash, weeding, and more. Dress in layers and bring a water bottle. Activities vary. Rain or Shine. Wear outdoor clothes that you are willing to get dirty.
Ages: Families are welcome to volunteer. An adult must accompany children under 18.
Time Commitment: Three hours
Contact: nia@concretesafaris.org, 646.869.1503. Registration is available online: click here for October 7 event, and click here for October 14 event.
Soup Kitchen and Pantry
Date/Time: Sunday - Thursday, times dependent on availability
Location(s): Three locations:
  • Masbia of Flatbush, 1372 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, 718.972.4446 x208
  • Masbia of Queens, 105-49 64th Road, Forest Hills, 718.972.4446 ext. 207
  • Masbia of Boro Park, 5402 New Utrecht Avenue, Brooklyn, 866.962.7242 ext. 205
Masbia is a nonprofit soup kitchen network and food pantry, providing hot, nutritious meals for hundreds of New Yorkers in desperate need of food. Along with the hot-meal program, Masbia also gives out bags of much needed groceries every week through the weekend take-home package program. Masbia works to not only feed the hungry, but to provide free, wholesome, and delicious meals for people in a restaurant-style environment, with volunteer waiters serving each person with respect and dignity. Volunteer activities may include:
  • Peeling, chopping, dicing and storage of vegetables
  • Greeting customers warmly
  • Assisting them with signing in and choosing a table 
  • Serving hot kosher dinner plates 
  • Assisting with busing tables and trays, wiping tables if needed 
  • Serving our community with dignity and respect 
  • Assisting crew with pantry bag assembly and distribution
Ages: Volunteers 10 or older can volunteer with an adult. Teen volunteers must have a waiver signed by a parent.
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Registration is available online.
Serve Meals at The Sirovich Center for Balanced Living
UJA-Federation of New York/Time for Good
Date/Time: Monday - Friday, 4:30 - 6:15 pm
Location: The Sirovich Center for Balanced Living, 331 E 12th St, East Village

Sirovich Center provides seniors ages 60 and up with nutritious meals 5 days a week and offers a wide variety of programs, classes, and activities that engage both the mind and the body. The Center also provides social services and activities to monitor and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and supports personal and community building. The Sirovich Center is looking for volunteers to serve dinner in our main dining room for approximately 50 members. Come once or sign up for regular visits! Volunteer tasks include:
  • Greet seniors and help create a welcoming environment
  • Cooperate with evening kitchen staff
  • Make sure lines are orderly for buffet style service
  • Ensure cleanliness of tables and room both before, during and after meals
  • Opportunity to assist evening kitchen staff with meal preparation or clean up
Qualifications Needed:
  • Willingness to take direction from supervisors in the kitchen and senior center
  • Speak and listen to older adults with respect and mindfulness
  • Strong verbal communication skills
  • Patience for older adults
Ages: Families are welcome to participate
Time Commitment: About two hours
Contact: For more information or to speak to the project supervisors, contact ShaoMei Zhang, Health & Wellness Specialist, Sirovich Center for Balanced Living, szhang@edalliance.org or Rahsheeda McRae, Volunteer Coordinator, Manny Cantor Center, rmcrae@mannycantor.org/ All volunteers must complete a volunteer application online. Register for volunteer shifts online.
Making Strides of Central Park
American Cancer Society
Date/Time: Sunday, October 15. Registration starts at 7:30am and the walk begins at 8am.
Location: Central Park, 72nd Street Bandshell, East 72nd Street and 5th Avenue

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Every family has been touched by cancer in some way, and many have been touched by breast cancer. Teach your kids about the importance of fundraising for cures and support programs, and enjoy a fun, celebratory day of walking in the park.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: CentralParkNYStrides@cancer.org, 212. 237.3884. Registration is available online.
Make Sandwiches for the Hungry
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: A homeless shelter your community.

Many homeless shelters really appreciate having a supply of sandwiches on hand to give to their residents for lunch. You and your family can help by making sandwiches to bring to a local homeless shelter in your community. First, find a local shelter interested in your donation, check on any specific instructions, and arrange a delivery date and time. Then gather your supplies, make your sandwiches, and deliver them as a family. Find more information and ideas on the Doing Good Together Make Sandwiches Project page.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: mail@doinggoodtogether.org
As you know, Doing Good Together promotes lessons in kindness and empathy through big-hearted conversations which often take place during storytime. Reading DGT's recommended books on topics such as kindness, gratitude, and mindfulness leads to great discussions. Likewise, DGT offers book lists on challenging issues, like bullying, hunger, and global poverty. Our newest book list focuses on the important subject of Death & Grief. We hope these books help you and your young ones start age appropriate conversations on a tough topic that deserves discussion.


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This list was compiled by Doing Good Together™ (www.doinggoodtogether.org)
 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. 

                                                                                                     © 2017 Doing Good Together™


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