Community Service Organizations in New York City

Despite New Yorkers' rough edges, many of us have hearts of gold. Here are some of the organizations to contact if you'd like to lend a helping hand.

  • The Association to Benefit Children

  • 419 East 86 Street, NY, NY 10028, (212) 831-1322

  • Big Apple Greeter

  • Office of the Manhattan Borough President, 1 Centre St., NY, NY 10007, (212) 380-8159

    This is a free program to welcome tourists to New York City by setting them up with a volunteer "friend". Greeters show visitors the color and flavor of the city's many neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Call 48-72 hours in advance for appointment. A knowledge of any foreign languages is helpful.

  • City Harvest

  • City Harvest, 575 Eighth Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10018, (917) 351-8700,

    • Office Team: alternate Thursdays, help out with administrative work
    • Track Team: expedite food pick-ups and deliveries
    • Events Team: help out when there are special events
    • Food Alert Team: provide extra help when needed for pick-up and deliveries
    • Green Market Team: help pack surplus produce at Union Square's Green Market and other locations
  • Citymeals-On-Wheels

  • 355 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10017, (212)687-1234

    If you live in New York City area and can deliver weekend meals, shop, provide friendly visits or chat on the phone with the homebound elderly, visit for an application.

  • Coalition for the Homeless

  • 89 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007, (212) 964 5900

  • Food First

  • 600 Pacific Street, Brooklyn, (718) 399-7300
    Meals for homebound people with HIV and AIDS.

  • God's Love We Deliver

  • 166 Sixth Avenue, Manhattan, (212) 294-8104
    Meals for homebound people with AIDS.

  • Habitat For Humanity

    • Brooklyn: (718)246-5656
    • Manhattan: 115 E. 23rd Street, New York 10010, (212) 358-7955

    Volunteers work on building housing for families living in sub-standard situations.

  • Heritage of Pride

  • 154 Christopher St.-Suite 1D, (212) 80-PRIDE, email

    Heritage of Pride is a volunteer-managed not-for-profit corporation that organizes Gay and Lesbian events in New York City, culminating each year in Pride Week at the end of June. HOP needs hundreds of volunteers during this week to help with the Rally, March, Dance & PrideFest. There is something to work on, plan, or think about all year round.

  • Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen

  • 296 Ninth Avenue, New York 10001, (212) 924-0167

    Counseling and midday meals for people. To volunteer for meal service, arrive at 9:45 Mon-Friday and work from 10:30-12:30. For counseling, call for an interview. Volunteers get breakfast and lunch.

  • Housing Works Used Book Cafe

  • 126 Crosby Street bet. Houston and Prince, (212) 334-3324

    Housing Works Inc. is a non-profit organization which has been providing housing, health services and support for homeless people living with HIV and AIDS since 1990. The Used Book Cafe is a beautiful store with over 45,000 titles which can be perused over coffee and sweets.

    Volunteers are asked to commit a minimum of four hours per week to: working at the cash register, shelving and alphabetizing books, or preparing food in the cafe. Donations are also accepted during store hours. Pickups can be arranged with a minimum of 10 boxes by calling (212) 366-0820.

  • Municipal Art Society

  • 457 Madison Avenue, New York (212) 935-3960

  • National Urban League

  • 120 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005, (212) 558-5300

  • New York Cares

  • 116 E. 16th Street, New York, NY 10003, (212) 228-5000

  • NYC Rescue Mission

  • 90 Lafayette Street, New York 10002, (212) 226-6214

    Beds and food for people in need. Call for volunteer opportunities.

  • Red Cross

  • New York, NY 10023, (202) 303-4498

    Volunteer positions in a wide range of areas -- from making telephone calls to the elderly to managing emergency shelters during disasters.

  • Ronald McDonald House

  • 405 E 73rd Street, New York, (212) 639-0100

    The Ronald McDonald House of NYC is a temporary home to families from all over the world, who have traveled to the city primarily for pediatric cancer treatment available only in New York's hospitals. The organization periodically organizes parties for the parents and children of the House, and schedules fund-raising events to maintain the operation and continued administration of this beautiful, 11 story facility.

  • Salvation Army

  • 120 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011-7393, 888-234-8888

  • United Way

  • 205 E 42nd Street
 New York, NY 10017, (212) 251-2500

  • Volunteers of America

  • 340 West 85th St, New York, NY 10024, (212) 873-2600

    Volunteer opportunities include:

    • Caregiver in an AIDS Respite Program
    • Recreation assistant in a residence for adults with special needs
    • Office assistant at our administration or program offices
    • Tutor/mentor for children living in a transitional residence for homeless families
    • Art therapy assistant at an emergency center for medically needy, frail, elderly and mentally ill homeless men
    • Computer trainer in a work rehabilitation program for men recovering from substance abuse
    • GED tutor at a residential halfway program for state offenders

  • Women In Need

  • 115 W. 31st Street, New York 10001, (212) 695-4758

    Childcare, housing and education for homeless women.

    "A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe."

    - Le Corbusier


    Volunteering in NYC:
    Your Guide to Working Small Miracles in the Big Apple

    by Richard Mintzer