Posted by: adventuressetravels | July 29, 2011

New York Cares

New York is home to one of the largest volunteer organizations in the country: New York Cares.

Started in the late ‘80s, and going stronger than ever, New York Cares is an extraordinary organization.  The program runs the gambit of volunteer activities.  New York Cares offers volunteer programs for more than 1,200 non-profit organizations.  There are volunteer opportunities in all of the five boroughs as  diverse as disaster response, youth, animal care, education, health and wellness, and many others … all bases are covered.

Because all of these volunteer opportunities can be found on one website it makes it easier for New Yorkers to volunteer with legitimate, safe organizations.  Citizens are able to get involved in all types of volunteer work, and help make their home a better and safer place to live.

Some people think of volunteer work boring, or something that is done out of obligation.  This couldn’t be further than the truth.  Not only does volunteering help build a stronger healthier community but volunteering gives the back so much more than is put in.  Seeing the looks of joy in those you are helping is a wonderful thing.  Building a stronger, cleaner, and safer community gives a sense of fulfillment and a peace.

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses; their likes and dislikes.  We all have different things we enjoy doing – pick something you like.  That is what you will be the best at.  Think of something you miss and volunteer in that type of program.  If you can’t have animals in your apartment or don’t consistently have time to take care of a pet but love and miss them, then volunteer helping out at a humane society.  If you love nature but don’t get to spend enough time outdoors then volunteer helping revitalize parks.  If you like dancing but don’t get a chance to do it then volunteer dancing with the elderly.

Over my years in New York I have volunteered walking dogs and playing with cats for animal shelters, as a side-walker in a therapeutic riding program helping disabled children, and in several activities in retirement communities.  But these are just some ideas, the possibilities are endless.

That is the beauty of New York Cares.  With thousands of programs, and more than 53,000 returning volunteers there is certainly a program that is right for you.  Or, if you have an idea for a new program contact New York Cares – maybe you can start a new program and become a project manager….

If you are living in the city I highly recommend checking out New York Cares.  Even you are not living in the city.

New York Cares’ exceptional model has inspired a nation-wide movement of volunteer programs across the United States.  Almost 400 organizations are allied under the Hands On Network of the Points of Light Institute.

Get involved, give back.  You will feel better that you have.


  1. Nice balance of personal and public inthis piece. The expression is “to run the gamut” (music) not “gambit” (chess).

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