Description & History
New York Cares is New York City's leading volunteer organization.
Founded in 1987, New York Cares enables more than 54,000 volunteers each year to serve on flexibly-scheduled, team-based projects serving schools, social service agencies, and other deserving organizations.
New York Cares volunteers tutor children, feed the hungry, assist people living with HIV/AIDS, revitalize gardens, take homeless children on recreational outings, visit the elderly, and do so much more.
In addition to year-round volunteer programs, New York Cares organizes four large scale service events every year: New York Cares Day Fall, New York Cares Day Spring, Winter Wishes program, and Coat Drive.
Volunteering with New York Cares
You'll find volunteering for New York Cares easy, fun, and rewarding. Our projects offer hands-on, direct involvement. Our team-based approach eliminates lengthy screening and training, inflexible hours, and other obstacles to effective volunteering. Team Leaders provide professional organization and give teams direction; as a team member, you can serve once a week, once a month, or from time to time on an enormous variety of short- and long-term projects.
Calendar Projects and Annual Events
New York Cares coordinates two major types of projects: Calendar Projects and Annual Events.
Calendar Projects: 365 days a year, our Calendar Projects bring thousands of volunteers to serve on hundreds of flexibly scheduled projects: feeding the hungry, spending time with seniors, educating and mentoring young people, cleaning schools, revitalizing gardens, and much more. These year-round projects form the core of the New York Cares experience. If you'd like to volunteer to serve on Calendar Projects, just attend a one-time, one-hour orientation. Then, using our Web site, sign up for any one (or more!) of the hundreds of projects we coordinate.
Annual Events: To help out on a one-time basis and make a big difference, why not come to one of our four Annual Events? On New York Cares Day Fall and Spring, and in the Winter Wishes Program and the Coat Drive, you can have a fun and rewarding volunteer experience and get to know New York Cares. No orientation is required for these events!
You may also want to visit the Community Grapevine for a listing of great volunteer opportunities that fall outside New York Cares' group project guidelines.
In 1987, a group of friends were eager to tackle the social problems of New York City. Like many other caring New Yorkers with demanding work schedules, they searched in vain for an organization offering flexible, hands-on volunteer opportunities. Finding none, they decided to form a new organization, with a new and unique approach: New York Cares.
This approach involves offering professional-quality volunteer organizing to a wide range of social service agencies, schools, and environmental groups - New York Cares "Project Partners." The approach is team-based, hands-on, and, because projects are coordinated by trained, committed volunteer Team Leaders, easy to fit into busy schedules.
New York Cares Today One of the most rapidly growing volunteer organizations in New York City, New York Cares now has a full-time staff of over 60 and a corps of more than 64,000 volunteers. With affiliates in more than 50 cities, New York Cares also serves as a model for "Hands On" organizations throughout the United States.