New Yorkers are some of the nicest people in the world. We use public transportation, we like our local stores, and most of all, we give back to the community. New York is a city of service. However, if you are anything like me, planning ahead to volunteer can be a pain in the neck.
Really, you’d love to help, and if you could sign up for volunteering in the same way you signed up for your first job at a temp agency (giving them the times you are available and waiting for the call), you’d be there for at least half of all Saturdays. Luckily there are several agencies who connect volunteers and opportunities in just that way, all for free! It’ll give you an excuse to get out of the house, keep yourself up and spiffy, and is a great way to help others.
Year-Round With The Red Cross
The Red Cross always needs people, and accepts volunteers at all times of the year. Their easy to follow website means getting started with them is terrifically straight-forward. The Red Cross also offers a wide-array of options and locations. If you have an hour to spare Uptown, you can schedule time to give blood. For long term help, you can choose any one of the many options the Red Cross offers: drivers, staff support, or clerical help is always needed.
Be Flexible With VolunteerMatch
If you are unsure about your current availability, trying out a flexible agency will give you more options for this holiday season. This database is searchable by location and type of volunteering. It gives options for people who can’t leave their home, only want to work on the computer, or don’t want to plan ahead. Volunteer Match is great for anyone who likes options. With well over two thousand opportunities, your choices are limitless.
Donate Goods With NYC Service
If you live in the city and have a bit of free time, my favorite way to search for volunteer opportunities is through Nyc service. There’s an app for it, you can search by borough or interest, and they have very strong mission statements. They have plans and strategies listed on their website, and there are also lists of what charities need what sort of donations. So if you have a ton of paint to donate, you can search by charity and see which one you want to donate to.
Research Specific Charities Aligned With Your Interests
If you like reading about charities before you go, try using Timeout’s list of volunteer opportunities. They offer a comprehensive list of their favorite charities, where they are, and what they are all about. It can be a good format if you’re more interested in helping a specific charity or cause.
Serve Food On Specific Dates
If you’re trying to get involved in the holiday staple of volunteering at the food bank, try going to the Nyc food bank’s volunteering page. They do not allow walk-on volunteers, so please sign up online before you arrive. They have a volunteer calendar of events available on their website where you can sign up for events that work around your schedule.
If you would like to volunteer this holiday season, or just need an excuse to get out of the house, try any one of these great charities for an easy way to help someone else this year!
Would love to know…do you have a go-to charity or place you volunteer with? Share below!
p.s. a few of our favorite animal charities in NYC to volunteer with!
By: Mary Grace