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Volunteer opportunity description

Friendly VOICES (Virtual Opportunities Improving Connections with ElderS) is a program that provides friendship and social engagement for Older Adults through one-on-one relationships and small groups. DFTA identifies older adults, recruits and screens volunteers, and provides training and ongoing support to volunteers and clients to ensure engagements are rewarding to both parties. Friendly VOICES is an important resource to help relieve the social isolation experienced by many older adults. Connecting with an older adult is an enriching experience for volunteers. Many relationships are sustained over many years and can provide ongoing companionship for both older adults and volunteers. Volunteers commit to making weekly calls to an assigned older adult friend for 6 months. We also offer the older adult the option to join a video group call facilitated by a volunteer with like-minded older adults for 8 weeks, or get introduced to a fellow older adult client.


  • To connect Older Adults who want increased social interaction with others in meaningful conversations and virtual activities
  • To provide more New Yorkers with the ability to connect with an Older Adult
  • Using communications technology such as telephone or web conferencing applications (ie. Zoom, Skype, Facetime)
  • Ensure interactions are done safely within the Social distancing guidelines,
  • Break down physical barriers that may keep volunteers and older adults from connecting

Start volunteering with older New Yorkers in 3 easy steps!

  1. Complete our Volunteer Application (click the link)

  2. Complete a free background check

  3. We will connect you with your selected volunteer opportunities once the background check is complete




  • Make weekly calls to a designated older adult (video or telephone) on a specified time and day of the week
    • Provide a consistent presence in Older Adult’s life by providing an ear to talk to
    • Be able to inquire about their well- being
    • Observe the older adult’s behavior for any potential service needs
  • Able to set and maintain social boundaries
  • Complete a weekly report on # times and # sessions spent with the Older adult to submit to the coordinator
  • Make oneself available for regular check-in calls with the coordinator
  • Manage/facilitate video call applications if necessary (ie.- Zoom, What’s App, Skype, Facetime)
  • Attend quarterly workshops and/or trainings as necessary/ recommended.

Skills Preferred:

  • Conversational skills
  • Able to set and maintain social boundaries
  • Time management skills and keeping to deadlines
  • Ability to manage/facilitate video call applications (ie.- Zoom, What’s App, Skype, Facetime)


  • 2-hour orientation on program policies and activity reporting requirements
  • Basic primer on:
    • Engagement strategies and active listening
    • Communicating with Older Adults
    • Recognizing Elder Abuse and Neglect and other issues facing older adults
    • Information on DFTA services

Time Commitment:

  • Volunteers serve any day of the week
  • Hours are flexible to allow for a mutually convenient time for the volunteer and client to meet
  • On average, volunteers make 4-6 calls per month for a total of approximately 4 hours each month
  • Minimum 6-month commitment, longer period strongly encouraged (and many volunteers gladly continue commitment)


  • Meet criminal background check and reference requirements
  • Attend a DFTA Volunteer Information Session
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Detail-oriented- able to commit to appointments and be on time
  • Possess compassion, patience, and empathy for older adults
  • Desire to make a connection with an older adult
  • Be a good listener

Our volunteer needs

We need volunteers who are free at these times


Volunteer opportunity location(s)

About the organization

New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA)

Volunteer Resources - Aging Connect
NYC Department for the Aging
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