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Where to Volunteer with Your Kids in Queens

Where to Volunteer with Your Kids in Queens

UPDATED NOVEMBER 2019: Lend a little hand in your community, and make it a family affair! We've put together a guide to some places around Queens that need your help, including nonprofit organizations, nursing homes, animal shelters, food pantries, and more. Volunteer opportunities are available for children and adults alike. And remember, big or small, everyone has the power to make a difference!

Feed the Hungry

At Citymeals On-Wheels, an organization that provides food and company to the elderly housebound in New York City, you can volunteer once or sign up for a longer commitment. Volunteers younger than 16, accompanied by an adult, can help hand-deliver meals. All prospective volunteers must submit an application along with two references and attend an orientation/training session prior to beginning their volunteer work. For more information, call 212-687-1234 or email info@citymeals.org.

Go Green

Alley Pond Environmental Center engages volunteers along with college and high school-aged interns (ages 14 and older) in community service through assistance with animal care, outside work, educational programs, and special events. APEC provides guidance, training, and supervision, as well as a sense of commitment and sensitivity to environmental issues. Visit online for more information. 228-06 Northern Blvd., Douglaston.

GrowNYC’s environmental education program implements a service-learning model, where students go out into their communities to make real changes in the areas of conservation and alternative energy. Common activities include tree planting along the Bronx River and further upstate, during which students learn about habitat restoration and why trees are important to our ecosystem, along with watershed maintenance, during which students learn how they can help keep watersheds clean and ensure the city has healthy drinking water. Students can also become part of the Greenmarket and Youthmarket and Learn it, Eat it, Grow it (LGE), which promotes cooking and various community outreach opportunities. GrowNYC does not formally accept volunteers younger than 18, but middle school and high school students throughout the five boroughs can get involved through programs in their schools. Check the website for volunteer opportunities.

Partnerships for Parks helps New Yorkers work together to make neighborhood parks thrive. The public-private program has a diverse, growing network of dedicated park volunteers and groups and it provides opportunities for them to celebrate their parks (such as volunteering for It’s My Park Day), become more effective leaders in their communities, and work with government officials to affect decisions about their parks. There are various volunteer opportunities for all age and interest levels. For more information on how to get involved, visit cityparksfoundation.org, call 212-360-1399, or email info@cityparksfoundation.org.

Queens Botanical Garden offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for adults and teens ages 14 and older; younger audiences can volunteer at seasonal community volunteer days if they are accompanied by an adult or chaperone. Whether you like getting your hands dirty in the soil, prefer office work, or savor the excitement of special events, there are opportunities for every interest. Volunteers are interviewed and placed according to the garden’s needs, and training is provided. High school students can enroll in a summer volunteer program at the Children’s Garden. Visit the website for more information. 43-50 Main St., Flushing.

Lend a Hand at the Stable

Kids ages 16 and older can get involved with GallopNYC, which brings the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding to kids and adults with developmental, emotional, social, and physical challenges. Volunteers can help with lessons, supporting riders by leading their horses and providing encouragement; lend a hand with stable work; or participate in fundraising and special programs. Volunteers sign up for two hours a week for multiple weeks. GallopNYC asks its volunteers to help with riding lessons (leading of horses) or sidewalking (two volunteers walk along either side of the horse). No experience is needed as training is provided. Sign up to volunteer here, or by calling 646-233-4507, or emailing volunteer@gallopnyc.org.

Sign up to volunteer here, call 646-233-4507, or email volunteer@gallopnyc.org.

Serve Your Community

March is Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross provides relief to individuals affected by disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. Parents and kids age 14 and older can help with mailings, hand out flyers at fundraising walks, help with fundraising events, or come up with their own projects to raise money for the Red Cross. Teens ages 14-18 can start or join a Red Cross Club at their high school. For more information or to fill out the online volunteer application, visit online. 877-733-2767.

Spring Clean Your Closet

Enlist your kids in the process of cleaning out their closets. It can even turn into a fashion show to see what still fits. Take your kids with you when you donate the clothes so they can see the good their efforts are doing. Check with your local Salvation Army thrift store for instructions on donating clothes:

• 148-15 Archer Ave., Jamaica; 718-523-4648

• 34-02 Steinway St., Astoria; 718-472-2414

• 462 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont; 516-354-9498

• 39-11 61st St., Woodside; 718-458-1526

Start Your Own Project

DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations in the United States that helps young people rock causes they care about. Kids ages 12 and older take action all year through Do Something’s campaigns and their own projects (apply here). For more information, call 212-254-2390 or visit online.

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