Here in NYC summer has finally arrived! I love summer because it’s so full of color and energy. Just the simple act of being able to get outdoors and navigate the city by bike makes me smile! There’s also stacks of opportunities to socialize outdoors during summer, from leisurely sidewalk brunches to festivals and concerts. Speaking of festivals, you might have seen on Instagram that I attended the Governors Ball in NYC a couple of weekends ago? My friends at State Farm invited me to volunteer with them as they had an activation to raise awareness of the State Farm Neighborhood of Good website. The portal is a place where you can find volunteering opportunities nearby, and it helps to match you with local organizations who need help. They set up a volunteering village to show festival goers that volunteering doesn’t have to mean a huge commitment and that even a small amount of time spent micro volunteering – from 15 minutes to a few hours – can truly make a difference to those in need.
There were three volunteering homes in the village: one was for packing food kits for local homeless people; the second was for making musical instruments to give local school children; and the last house was where you could write notes of support to local at-risk youth. These are just small things, but they are a start! It was heart-warming to see so many young people taking time out of their day at the festival to stand in line and volunteer. If you are going to any of the below festivals makes sure to go along and volunteer at the village:
3. Music MidTown
4. Austin City Limits
My day helping State Farm with their micro volunteering got me thinking of what other volunteering opportunities there were in the NYC area. So, I went over to the State Farm Neighborhood of Good website and found a local opportunity that matched with each one of the micro volunteering I did at the festival. Check them out below – and if you aren’t based in New York City head over to Neighborhood of Good to find volunteering opportunities in your local area!
1. Hunger – Food Delivery Support in West Harlem
Unload the truck and help deliver new food items at this choice-style food pantry that provides more than 40,000 meals a month. Volunteers should wear closed shoes or sneakers and comfortable clothes, such as jeans and t-shirts. For groups of volunteers, it’s recommended you wear a team color or your corporate t-shirts. Some outdoor work and heavy lifting may be needed. Alternate tasks can provided to those who have injuries/health issues that prevent them from participating in such activities.
Click here to see if this opportunity is still available and to find out more.2. Music – Musicians on Call Volunteer Guide at Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s
Musicians on Call is a non-profit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. Volunteer Guides escort Volunteer Musicians from room to room as they play for music for patients. Volunteer Guides knock on each hospital room door and ask patients if they feel like hearing music. They also introduce the musicians prior to their performances and guide them through the facility. Each guide is assigned to a specific healthcare facility. The Volunteer Guide is the “eyes and ears” of MOC during the Bedside Performance Program as well as the liaison between the hospital and the Volunteer Musician. But most importantly, Volunteer Guides know the protocols, policies and expectations of the hospitals or healthcare facilities in which they volunteer and are responsible for making sure these guidelines are upheld during the program. Volunteer Guides are critical to the success of the program. After completion of screening and training, volunteers commit to volunteering once a month for at least one year.
Click here to see if this opportunity is still available and to find out more.3. Youth – Classroom Volunteer/Literacy Coach
Behind the Book is a non-profit organization that provides rich, innovative literacy programs in high-needs New York City public schools. They identify books that speak to pre-K–12 students, then partner with teachers to create immersive curriculum units that bring the authors into the classroom, where they discuss their work and teach a genre of writing, encouraging students to see themselves as readers and writers. No experience or training is needed to volunteer. As a writing or research coach, you’ll engage and support students as they work on their projects. Individual workshops run an average of 90 minutes on a school day, usually in the morning. You can volunteer for any number of workshops in any number of programs, which are scheduled over a few weeks at schools around the city.
Click here to see if this opportunity is still available and to find out more.
I’m looking forward to partaking in more volunteer opportunities later this year!