Volunteer Opportunities in NYC
Volunteering is usually seen as something you do for someone else, but giving your time to others is also a gift to yourself. Helping others can combat depression, boost the immune system, and provide you with a sense of purpose. Thus, NYC volunteer opportunities can help you connect with other people and widen your social circle in unexpected ways.
What’s more, there are numerous ways you can earn money volunteering as well. Become a Direct Support Professional, a Paraprofessional, and even a Customer Service Representative with TemPositions.
How to Find the Right Fit
With a population of around 9 million people to serve, there are many organizations in New York City that rely on volunteerism. Whereas finding a position you enjoy and are capable of doing may take a little research, but the benefits of volunteering are well worth the effort.
To determine what opportunities are right for you, ask yourself:
• What causes am I passionate about?
• Am I comfortable working with people, or would I prefer a less public role?
• Do I enjoy being part of a team, or would I work better solo?
• Am I more comfortable working with children, adults, or animals?
Try to be honest with yourself as you consider these questions. Volunteerism is an opportunity for personal growth, but if you are too uncomfortable in certain situations, you’ll be less likely to keep your commitment. You’ll want to feel excited about the opportunity you choose.
Where to Find Opportunities
Look for volunteer needs in your own neighborhood or borough first. You may be more likely to enjoy your opportunity if you don’t need to travel a long distance to reach it.
Some great local options often include:
• Animal shelters or animal rescue centers
• Historical sites
• Youth organizations, such as youth sports teams or a Boys & Girls Club
• Service organizations, like the Lions Club or Rotary Club
• Organizations that serve the homeless
• Senior centers
• Places of worship, such as churches, synagogues, mosques, or other religious organizations
Most organizations are happy to accept whatever time commitment a volunteer can offer, but some may have specific hours or days when help is needed. Visit several organizations before making a final decision. Furthermore, taking even a few minutes to meet the staff and get a feel for what the position entails will help you make a great choice.
How to Become a Hospice Volunteer
Volunteers are an essential part of every hospice program. In fact, any hospice organization that receives funding from Medicaid or Medicare must show that a minimum of 5% of the work at their agency is done by volunteers.
That being said, such opportunities may include a variety of tasks, including office work, fundraising, caregiver relief, social visits, or comforting a dying patient.
To explore the possibility of becoming a hospice volunteer, start by contacting your target agency and asking about their training programs and requirements. An extensive training and orientation program may be required.
Become an Animal Shelter Volunteer
Helping animals is a popular volunteer job, especially in a big city like New York, where owning your own pet can be complicated. Shelters and rescue organizations rely heavily on volunteers to keep the kennels clean and the animals fed, exercised, and happy.
So, contact your local shelter to ask about volunteer openings. Few skills are required for this position other than a willingness to deal with the occasional messes animals can make.
You may be asked to:
• Fill out an application
• Attend orientation and training meetings
• Sign a liability waiver
• Make a tax-deductible donation to the shelter
Naturally, every shelter has its own requirements and guidelines. Tasks you may fulfill include walking and socializing with the animals, cleaning, photographing pets, completing office work, maintaining the organization’s website, and showing animals to potential adopters.
Become a Food Bank Volunteer
It’s estimated that over 2 million people in New York City are food insecure. Thus, you can help make sure the people in your community receive the nutrition they need by becoming a food bank volunteer. No specials skills are required, and there are a number of roles you may be asked to fulfill, including:
• Purchasing supplies with donated funds
• Distributing food to organizations or individuals
• Doing office and clerical work
• Collecting food donations
• Working with local businesses, distributors, farmers, and other organizations
• Putting food boxes or bags together from donated goods
Most food banks host special events to raise money, especially during the holiday season. So, as a volunteer, you may be asked to help with event planning or attending to event guests.
To find a food bank position, contact local food banks and ask about volunteer opportunities. Note that some training and orientation may be required.
Ask Your Congregation About Becoming a Church Volunteer in NYC
Church volunteers are the heart of any religious organization. They are responsible for a number of duties, and more help is always welcome. Consequently, if you enjoy working with congregants or prefer to stay in the background, there is a task for you at your church, synagogue, mosque, or other places of worship.
Some of the roles volunteers fulfill include:
• Readying meeting rooms and serving refreshments at special events
• Assisting with Sunday school
• Greeting guests and making new members feel welcome
• Organizing luncheons and fellowship hours
• Administrative duties
• Helping elderly congregants with transportation to and from worship
• Assisting with the organization’s website
• Upkeeping of the worship center and grounds
• Feeding the homeless
Again, while volunteerism is unpaid work by definition, there may be opportunities to turn your church volunteer service into a fulfilling paid career. Looking ahead, experienced volunteers may become paid volunteer coordinators, community outreach coordinators, or administrators.
To volunteer in NYC at your place of worship, ask your worship leaders or other members of your congregation.
Other NYC Volunteer Opportunities
Ask yourself: what kind of giving piques your interest? Maybe you would like to be a mental health volunteer in NYC, or donate your time to an environmental cause. Remember, no matter your interest, there are volunteer opportunities in New York City for you.
Finally, if you’re ready to take the next step and turn your volunteer experience into an exciting and flexible career, apply today at TemPositions Health Care.