"A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe."
- Le Corbusier
Volunteering in NYC:
Your Guide to Working Small Miracles in the Big Apple
by Richard Mintzer
Despite New Yorkers' rough edges, many of us have hearts of gold. Here are some of the organizations to contact if you'd like to lend a helping hand.
419 East 86 Street, NY, NY 10028, (212) 831-1322
Office of the Manhattan Borough President, 1 Centre St., NY, NY 10007, (212) 380-8159
This is a free program to welcome tourists to New York City by setting them up with a volunteer "friend". Greeters show visitors the color and flavor of the city's many neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Call 48-72 hours in advance for appointment. A knowledge of any foreign languages is helpful.
City Harvest, 575 Eighth Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10018, (917) 351-8700, email@example.com
355 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10017, (212)687-1234
If you live in New York City area and can deliver weekend meals, shop, provide friendly visits or chat on the phone with the homebound elderly, visit www.citymeals.org for an application.
89 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007, (212) 964 5900
600 Pacific Street, Brooklyn, (718) 399-7300
Meals for homebound people with HIV and AIDS.
166 Sixth Avenue, Manhattan, (212) 294-8104
Meals for homebound people with AIDS.
Volunteers work on building housing for families living in sub-standard situations.
154 Christopher St.-Suite 1D, (212) 80-PRIDE, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Heritage of Pride is a volunteer-managed not-for-profit corporation that organizes Gay and Lesbian events in New York City, culminating each year in Pride Week at the end of June. HOP needs hundreds of volunteers during this week to help with the Rally, March, Dance & PrideFest. There is something to work on, plan, or think about all year round.
296 Ninth Avenue, New York 10001, (212) 924-0167
Counseling and midday meals for people. To volunteer for meal service, arrive at 9:45 Mon-Friday and work from 10:30-12:30. For counseling, call for an interview. Volunteers get breakfast and lunch.
126 Crosby Street bet. Houston and Prince, (212) 334-3324
Housing Works Inc. is a non-profit organization which has been providing housing, health services and support for homeless people living with HIV and AIDS since 1990. The Used Book Cafe is a beautiful store with over 45,000 titles which can be perused over coffee and sweets.
Volunteers are asked to commit a minimum of four hours per week to: working at the cash register, shelving and alphabetizing books, or preparing food in the cafe. Donations are also accepted during store hours (Mon-Wed 10am-8pm, Thurs-Fri 10am-9pm, Saturday noon-9pm, Sunday noon-7pm). Pickups can be arranged with a minimum of 10 boxes by calling (212) 366-0820.
457 Madison Avenue, New York (212) 935-3960
120 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005, (212) 558-5300
116 E. 16th Street, New York, NY 10003, (212) 228-5000
90 Lafayette Street, New York 10002, (212) 226-6214
Beds and food for people in need. Call for volunteer opportunities.
150 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023, (212) 875-2067
Volunteer positions in a wide range of areas -- from making telephone calls to the elderly to managing emergency shelters during disasters.
405 E 73rd Street, New York, (212) 639-0100
The Ronald McDonald House of NYC is a temporary home to families from all over the world, who have traveled to the city primarily for pediatric cancer treatment available only in New York's hospitals. The organization periodically organizes parties for the parents and children of the House, and schedules fund-raising events to maintain the operation and continued administration of this beautiful, 11 story facility.
120 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011-7393, 888-234-8888
2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016, (212) 251-2500
340 West 85th St, New York, NY 10024, (212) 873-2600
Volunteer opportunities include:
115 W. 31st Street, New York 10001, (212) 695-4758
Childcare, housing and education for homeless women.