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New York City Volunteering With Your Family: Opportunities to Give Back

people putting their hands in the center

New York City volunteering is something near and dear to all of us here at New York Family. Volunteering in NYC as a family is even better. It helps teach kids the value of what they have and why it’s important to help those who may not have as much. It also helps build strong family bonds as you work together as a family to do good. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, giving back spreads goodwill and joy to the community. 

A Guide to New York City Volunteering

In a city as large as New York, finding ways to volunteer as a family can be a little difficult. It’s the double-edged sword of New York City living. Everything is here, but that means EVERYTHING is here. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best places for New York City volunteering as a family. This borough by borough list will help you find the perfect way to give back. 

Manhattan

City Harvest – Midtown
6 E 32nd St., 646-412-0600

City Harvest’s farmers market-style distribution centers provide fresh produce to those in need across all five boroughs of the city. Along with other activities, they promote more food being used and less wasted. City Harvest offers volunteer opportunities for both adults and youth.

Ages: Contact volunteer services

New York Cares – Financial District
65 Broadway, 19th Floor, 212-228-5000

New York Cares is an excellent vehicle for giving back with your family. Children ages 14 and up can join up with an adult group leader for a variety of activities, while family-friendly projects are available for everyone to take part in, even the younger kids. 

Ages: All ages

Food Bank for New York City – Financial District
39 Broadway, 10th Floor, 212-566-7855

This organization provides support to the underserved across New York. To help them with their many charitable endeavors, they accept volunteers of all ages. Even kids as young as 5 are welcome for the organization’s Weekend Repack to help sort donated and bulk items into specific categories. 

Ages: Five years old and up

Toys for Tots – Across Manhattan
888-848-2596

One of the easiest ways to participate in New York City volunteering is to do it on your own. Parents and their children can give back together by donating toys to Toys for Tots. Take the kids and make a day of purchasing requested toys and donating them to your local Toys for Tots drop-off center. 

Ages: All ages

volunteers

God’s Love We Deliver – SoHo
166 Avenue of the Americas

Offering a variety of ways for families to do good as a family, God’s Love We Deliver offers all manner of charitable opportunities from seasonal to year-round. 

Children 16 and over can help with activities like packing and serving. Those 18 and older can make meal deliveries. Meanwhile, children younger than 16 can participate in Crafting Love projects like making beaded bracelets and birthday and holiday cards. 

Ages: All ages

New York Common Pantry – East Harlem
8 East 109th Street, 917-720-9700

Giving back as a family by volunteering at New York Common Pantry is a great way to do good. This pantry depends on volunteer help to allow its continued distribution of thousands of meals yearly. Children ages 14 and up are welcome and can help with the distribution of pantry items, meal service, or pantry item packing. 

Ages: 14 and up

Friends of Governors Island – Financial District
10 South Street, Slip 7

Friends of Governors Island only accepts volunteers who are 18 or over, so this New York City volunteering opportunity is limited to those with grown children. It’s a wonderful way to help one of the most beautiful spots in NYC stay beautiful. 

Ages: 18 and over

food bank
Photo via Real Estate Weekly

Food Bank for New York City – Financial District
39 Broadway, 10th Floor, 212-566-7855

Based in Manhattan, the Food Bank for New York City provides food and other services to those in need across the entirety of New York City. Opportunities to volunteer range from helping with stocking to customized volunteer experiences, with many opportunities for children to help. It’s the perfect outlet for giving back as a family.

Ages: All ages

Project Happy – Lenox Hill
695 Park Avenue, Rm. 1023W

Project Happy focuses on improved physical and mental health along with improved social skills and self-confidence for New York City children and young adults with disabilities. Volunteers 13 years and up act as camp counselors, helping with a variety of programs. 

Ages: 13 and over

Partnerships for Parks – Across Manhattan
212-360-1399

Partnerships for Parks is devoted to helping neighborhood parks thrive. A diverse network of dedicated park volunteers continues to expand, making it possible to do more to restore and revive parks across the city. This joint program of City Parks Foundation and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation is always looking for more volunteers. 

Ages: All ages

Jewish Association for Services for the Aged – Garment District
247 West 37th Street, New York, 212-273-5200

Accepting volunteers of all ages, the JASA offers a variety of services that help improve the lives of seniors across the city. Offering everything from meals to legal services, the JASA is committed to empowering and embracing the elderly community of New York. 

Ages: All ages

Carter Burden Network – Lenox Hill
415 E. 73rd St., 212-423-9665

Another excellent resource for New York City volunteering as a family, the Carter Burden Network offers a variety of services to seniors and their families, including grocery shopping, computer training, and more. The organization accepts both adult and youth volunteers. 

Ages: All ages

American Red Cross – Across Manhattan
202-303-4498

The American Red Cross is always looking for more volunteers across all five boroughs, and they can use the help of almost anyone at any age. Families with kids 13 and older can help with mailings, handing out flyers, fundraising events, and more. 

Ages: 13 and older

Grow NYC Greenmarkets – Two Bridges & Gramercy Park
100 Gold St., E 17th St &, Union Square W, 212-788-7476

Grow NYC Greenmarkets are throughout New York City where families can donate their gently used clothing, shoes, and textiles. Practice giving back as a family by going through closets and donating items that you and your kids never use. 

Ages: All ages

Brooklyn

Citymeals On-Wheels – Murray Hill
355 Lexington Ave., 212-687-1234

Providing food and company to housebound elderly across New York City, Citymeal ON-Wheels is a volunteer group accepting volunteers of all ages to help hand-deliver meals. 

Ages: All ages

Gallop NYC – Forest Hills
88-03 70th Road, 646-233-4507

If your children are 16 and over, and you love horses, Gallop NYC is an excellent opportunity for Volunteering in New York City as a family. This group offers therapeutic horseback riding to children and adults with developmental, emotional, social, and physical challenges. Volunteers can help in a variety of ways, and training is provided. 

Ages: 16 and over

people volunteering and handling food

Greenpoint Church Hunger Program – Greenpoint
136 Milton St.

The Greenpoint hunger program is dedicated to providing food to those in need through their soup kitchen and food pantry. They accept volunteers of all ages so giving back together is easy and rewarding for families. 

Ages: 14 and up

Partnerships for Parks – Across Brooklyn
830 Fifth Ave., 212-360-1399

Partnerships for Parks is a city-wide initiative aimed at restoring and maintaining neighborhood parks so everyone can have green spaces to enjoy. 

Ages: All ages

Second Chance Saturdays – Park Slope
95 Prospect Park West, 718-965-8951

Hosted at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, Second Chance Saturdays is a great opportunity for giving back together with your kids. Have them clean out their closets while you do the same, and then donate your gently used clothing to help those in need. 

Ages: All ages

Queens

citymeals on wheels

Citymeals On-Wheels – Across Queens
212-687-1234

Citymeals On-Wheels provides food and companionship to New York City’s elderly. The organization is a great one for giving back because they accept volunteers of all ages.

Ages: All ages

Grow NYC Greenmarkets – Wallabout
Washington Park &, Dekalb Ave., 212-788-7900

Grow NYC Greenmarkets are throughout New York City where families can donate their gently used clothing, shoes, and textiles. Practice giving back as a family by going through closets and donating items that you and your kids never use. 

Ages: All ages

Partnerships for Parks – Across Queens
212-360-1399

Partnerships for Parks is a city-wide initiative aimed at restoring and maintaining neighborhood parks so everyone can have green spaces to enjoy. 

Ages: All ages

Queens Botanical Garden – Flushing
43-50 Main Street, 718-886-3800

Queens Botanical Garden makes giving back as a family easy. Their routine volunteer opportunities are made to accommodate ages ranging from 14 to adults, while younger children can help out at seasonal community days if they’re accompanied by an adult. Opportunities range from planting to office work. 

Ages: All ages

Gallop NYC – Forest Hills
88-03 70th Road, 646-233-4507

As previously mentioned, Gallop NYC offers a variety of opportunities for New York City volunteering for people 16 and up. That service is focused on helping people with physical, mental, and emotional developmental roadblocks. 

Ages: 16 and up

Salvation Army – Across Queens
280 Riverdale Ave., 718-345-7050

Giving back as a family is as easy as literally giving as a family. Go through your closets at home – with the kids’ help – and find any clothing or other items you don’t use and donate to Salvation Army.

Ages: All ages

Bronx

While the majority of family-based opportunities for New York City volunteering are in the other boroughs, the Bronx does have a variety of volunteer opportunities for adults. If you’re an adult in the Bronx area looking to give back, take a look at these New York City volunteering opportunities in the Bronx.

So Many Opportunities for New York City Volunteering As a Family

All it takes is a click or a phone call to start teaching your kids the importance of giving back. Most of the organizations we just listed accept children of various ages, so it should be easy to find a way for New York City volunteering that fits your family. It’s better to give than to receive so use this list to help you find the joy of giving back as a family! 

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