July 2018 - NYC Family Volunteer Opportunities

July 2018 New York City Family Volunteer Opportunities


July 2018 - New York City

Jungle Gym Summer Series
Concrete Safaris
Date/Time(s): Saturdays, July 7, 14, 21, 28. Races run from 11am - 2:30pm and the Active Living Fair runs from 11am - 3pm
  • Saturday, July 7, East 116th Street between Lexington and Second
  • Saturday, July 14, 21, 28 on East 115th Street between Park and Third Avenues
Concrete Safaris will host JungleGym 2018, celebrating its 10th birthday anniversary and 6th annual obstacle race and Active Living Fair. The race has a 20-obstacle course and is designed by the 7-12-year-olds in Concrete Safaris' City Surfers after-school program and led by our 14-24-year-old Outdoor Leadership Academy interns. Proceeds will provide hundreds of 7-24-year-olds from East Harlem with 5-day/week, year-round, after-school and summer programming in the next five years. With your support, we can ensure that children living in East Harlem have access to high-quality, outdoor play and education in their neighborhoods and parks.

Ages: Children ages five and older and families are welcome to test the race course; everyone can participate in the Active Living Fair.
Time Commitment: Up to four hours
Contact: 646.869.1503. Register online at: http://junglegymrace.com
Soup Kitchen - Food Preparation and Service
Manhattan Church of Christ
Date/Time: Saturdays, July 14, 21 and 28, 10am - 2pm
Location: Manhattan Church of Christ, 48 East 80th Street between Park and Madison

The Saturday Lunch Program provides hot meals with dignity and compassion to the homeless or those who live marginally. All shifts are family-friendly and involve a set-up team to set tables and decorate, a service team to run trays of food back and forth to the guests, and a break down & clean up team. Volunteers are needed to help set up, prepare and serve meals to members of the community who are homeless and/or live marginally.

Ages: All ages, families welcome
Time Commitment: Four hours
Contact: Carl Garrison, carl@manhattanchurch.org. Please contact Carl to register and for additional questions.
Intergenerational Chess - Fall Registration Now Open
Date/Time: Ten Mondays, October 1 - December 17, from 4 - 5:30 pm. Volunteers must be able to commit to all sessions:

October 1- orientation for youth, no seniors attend
October 8, 15, 29
November 5, 12, 19, 26
December 3, 10, 17
Location: Dorot, 171 West 85th Street, NYC

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 6th-12th grade and understand the game of chess, the different chess pieces and how to move them.
Ages: Volunteers must be in 6th-12th grade
Time Commitment: Ten Mondays, one and one-half hour sessions.
Contact: Registration is dependent on a successful phone interview. For more information, please contact Shai Rosenfeld at SRosenfeld@dorotusa.org. Applications are available online.
Serve Dinner to Seniors
UJA Federation - New York: Time For Good
Date/Time: Monday through Friday, 4:30 - 6:15pm
Location: The Sirovich Center, East Village
Help create a welcoming environment and serve dinner to seniors at our Sirovich Center for Balanced Living, an innovative senior center in the East Village. The Sirovich Center is looking for volunteers to serve dinner in our main dining room for approximately 50 members. Volunteers will:
  • 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
  • Have the opportunity to assist evening kitchen staff with meal preparation or clean up
Ages: Families with children of all ages are welcome to volunteer
Time Commitment: Come one time or make it an ongoing activity!
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. Registration is available online.
Pitch In, Pick Up
Central Park Conservancy
  • Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, daily, 10am - 5pm
  • Chess & Checkers House, Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm
  • North Meadow Recreation Center, daily, 10am - 5pm
  • Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Inside Central Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues.
  • Chess & Checkers House, Mid-Park at 64th Street.
  • North Meadow Recreation Center, Mid-Park at 97th Street
Want to get outside and get dirty with your kids? Volunteering with Pitch In, Pick Up is a great way to help keep Central Park clean and beautiful. After a brief orientation at a visitor center, you will be given a trash grabber, gloves, and garbage bag for litter. Click here for more information about the Pitch In, Pick Up volunteer program
Ages: Everyone can participate but children under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Volunteers must show a valid form of ID when they arrive and fill out a waiver form.
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: volunteer@centralparknyc.org, or call the Volunteer Hotline at 212.360.2751
Make "Cool Ties"
Operation Gratitude
Date/Time: At your convenience, from home
Location: Ship cool ties to:
Operation Gratitude
21100 Lassen Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Review the shipping page for more information.
Honor our Service Men and Women this July 4th! Make "Cool Ties" to keep our troops cool. Operation Gratitude annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. Their mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities and provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to express their appreciation to members of our Military. Operation Gratitude encourages people to knit scarves and hats for donation in winter, but in summer, their focus is on helping troops stay cool. Their website provides step by step instructions on how to make a "cool tie" which is a type of bandana filled with water-absorbent polymers that troops tie around their neck to help keep body temperature down in hot climates. The website also provides details on shipping cool ties and other donations you may want to send for care packages. It's always a nice idea to include some hand-written notes of support and encouragement to show our troops how much their sacrifice means to us.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: info@operationgratitude.com
Operation Backpack - NYC
Volunteers of America
Date/Time: Donate before August 4
Location: The official drop-off locations list will be published on the VOA website www.OperationBackpackNYC.org on July 9, the first day of the backpack drive. Drop-off locations are typically retails stores like Duane Reade all over NYC.

Operation Backpack provides backpacks filled with grade-specific supplies to children living in New York City's homeless and domestic violence shelters. Start a donation drive in your building, workplace, house of worship or club, or simply fill a few backpacks with your family. Click here for grade specific supply lists.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: azibell@voa-gny.org
Take Kindness on the Road!
Will you and your kids be going on any long car or plane rides this summer? Consider bringing paper and crayons/colored pencils and creating cards for local nonprofits!
  • DOROT's greeting card project helps bring joy and celebration to some of our frailest and most isolated seniors. Each month, DOROT mails over 200 birthday cards to seniors. Every card is designed and created by volunteers. Often, this card is the only recognition a senior receives on his or her birthday. Full directions can be found at on their website.
  • God's Love We Deliver (GLWD) believes that what makes God's Love so special is the personal touch they add to every meal. This includes special meals on holidays and a personalized cake for each client on his or her birthday. To accompany the cake, we include birthday cards and to accompany our holiday meals, we package them in decorated holiday bags, all made by local elementary and high school students.  For full instructions, contact GLWD at volunteer@glwd.org or 212.294.8158.
Write Letters to a Soldier
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Flexible, at your convenience
Location: Contact A Million Thanks or Operation Gratitude for information on where to mail your letters

Practice gratitude as well as kindness. You and your family can send some appreciation and cheer to men and women who are serving our country far from home. Reach out to a soldier that you know or contact A Million Thanks or Operation Gratitude, two nonprofit organizations that  make it easy to send letters to soldiers eager for mail from home. Visit the Doing Good Together Write a Letter to a Soldier project page for reflection questions and other ways your family can make a positive difference for soldiers.

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: mail@doinggoodtogether.org. If you have specific letter-writing questions please contact www.amillionthanks.org/contactus.php or info@operationgratitude.com directly.

As the crisis at the border floods the news, your children may have questions. You may feel helpless to respond. Our latest blog post can help you navigate this heartbreaking issue with your kids. As our blogger concludes, "Doing Good Together has always relied on two essential truths. In every crisis, there is something you can do to make a difference. And your family's actions, along with your empathy, will help shape the next generation of helpers and heroes."



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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. 

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