Are you looking for items to add to your New Year’s resolution list? Or do you simply want to become more active within your community and feel connected again? We are starting our first newsletter of 2022 with our Give & Get help section. Epicenter-NYC reporter Andrea Pineda-Salgado curated a list of (mostly) in-person volunteer opportunities to help you get started.
Before we get to the list, remember to stay safe as you volunteer in-person — mask up! The majority of these organizations require volunteers to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Get your booster for extra protection. Need help scheduling an appointment? Fill out this form or call us directly at (917) 818-2690.
The Breakfast Collective
The Breakfast Collective is a group of queer and trans New Yorkers who serve breakfast in Brooklyn every Monday at 10 a.m. The collective needs volunteers to help prep breakfast, distribute it and drive the group around. Fill out a volunteer form here.
LI Helpers is a volunteer-run and youth-empowered group that helps families in Long Island and Queens with groceries, specifically those who are victims of domestic abuse, disabled and single mothers. It is in need of volunteers who can shop for groceries and deliver them. If you can not help in person, there are also remote opportunities. Fill out its volunteer form here.
NYC Parks Super Steward
NYC Parks has a tree stewardship program where volunteers help with forest and wetland restoration, planting and pruning street trees, harvesting and propagating native seed and monitoring local wildlife. You can start off by attending a volunteer event in your borough, but be prepared to get your hands dirty. Learn more and find a volunteer event near you.
NY Common Pantry
NY Common Pantry aims to reduce New York City’s food insecurity through its food pantry and by distributing healthy breakfasts and dinners. The organization needs volunteers to help with hot meals distribution. Find out more about what it takes to volunteer here.
The Garden Project at Mission Helping Hand
Mission Helping Hand is a mutual aid group that has partnered with local community gardens to provide help to maintain, prepare and care for the gardens so that they can become a healthy and sustainable food source for struggling communities. It needs volunteers to help with gardening across multiple Bronx locations. Sign up to volunteer here.
New Alternatives is an organization that provides a range of services to help LGBTQ+ youth succeed in transitioning to stable adult lives. The organization provides hygiene supplies, clothing, Metrocards and homemade meals. Volunteers are needed to help in the kitchen at their weekly community dinner held every Sunday evening from 4 to 7:30 p.m. To get involved and sign up for shifts, create a volunteer profile.
Astoria Food Pantry
You can help out at the Astoria Food Pantry on Mondays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers will distribute lunch and groceries, bag rice and beans, sort donations of food or grocery bags, collect donations at a nearby grocery store and assist in cleaning the space. Find out more about volunteer opportunities here.
Clio is an organization that connects seniors with community, volunteers and resources. Clio’s greatest need is for volunteers interested in socially distanced direct service with seniors, however volunteers can also help remotely by conducting phone calls and assembling care packages. Fill out its volunteer application here.
The Bowery Mission
The Bowery Mission is an organization working toward helping New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. Volunteers can help through a variety of ways, including tutoring or helping out at soup kitchens. Find out more about in-person volunteer opportunities here.
Food not Bombs
Food Not Bombs (FnB) is an international all-volunteer movement that recovers food that would otherwise be discarded and shares free vegan and vegetarian meals with people facing food insecurity. It has chapters in New York City and Lower Manhattan and Bedford-Stuyvesant. Volunteers are needed to help cook and serve food. Get more information on Lower Manhattan FnB here and Bedford-Stuyvesant FnB here.
Harlem Grown is a nonprofit organization that inspires youth to lead healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education on urban farming, sustainability and nutrition. It needs volunteers to help on the farms on Saturdays. Volunteers can also donate their time and skills — any talent that can advance social change within Harlem is needed. Find out more about volunteer opportunities here.
Animal Care Centers of NYC
Animal Care Centers of NYC helps find loving homes for cats, dogs, and rabbits. It needs volunteers to help the animals socialize and exercise, maintain kennels, take photos of animals, write their bios and more. Volunteer information sessions are coming up soon, sign up to join one here.
Free Clothing Queens
Free Clothing Queens is a mutual-aid group that hosts clothing drives all over Queens. Fill out a volunteer form here.