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Where to Volunteer with Your Kids in Rockland County, NY

Where to Volunteer with Your Kids in Rockland County, NY

UPDATED OCTOBER 2017: Lend a little hand in your community, and make it a family affair! We've put together a guide to some places around Rockland County that need your help, including nonprofit organizations, nursing homes, animal shelters, food pantries, and many more. Volunteer opportunities are available for children and adults alike. And remember, big or small, everyone has the power to make a difference.

Be Neighborly

March is Red Cross Month: The Red Cross provides relief to individuals affected by disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. Parents and kids ages 14 and older can help with mailings, help with fundraising events, or come up with their own projects (through creating school clubs, too) to raise money for the Red Cross. To volunteer, fill out the application online.

People to People helps Rockland County residents through difficult times by providing food, select clothing, and school supplies. Kids ages 14 and older can volunteer at the food pantry, where they’ll shelve, bag, and check expiration dates on food, or in the clothing room, where they’ll sort and rack donated clothing. Families with children younger than 14 are encouraged to participate in a food drive or other service project—contact the program director for more information. Volunteer applications are available on the website or at the front desk, between 9:30am-4pm Monday-Wednesday and Friday, and until 6:30pm on Thursdays. Community service credit for school and religious groups is available. All volunteers must complete an application process. Call Guadalupe Fishman, director of administrative services, at for more.

Meals on Wheels where “meals are just the first course,” provides more than a meal to the housebound, seniors, and others in need through nutritional, recreational, and social support programs. Parents and children of any age can assist by delivering meals for one hour, once a week; deliveries are made with your own vehicle Monday-Friday 10am-1pm. Parents and children ages 12 and older can also assist in preparing and packaging food (Monday-Friday 7-11am). Parents can also choose to deliver meals on holidays only, when they are off from work. Volunteers ages 18 and older are greatly needed to help with administrative duties, at the adult learning center and day care center, on the fundraising committee, putting together care packages, and more. Kids can also do take-home projects to earn community service hours such as caring cards and making small crafts for a meal recipient. To get started, contact Michelle Gebbia at or at 845-624-6325, or visit the website.

Make a Wish Come True

Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Hudson Valley grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their lives with hope, strength, and joy. Kids For Wish Kids® is a Make-A-Wish® program that enables students to discover philanthropy by selecting their own fundraising project and managing it from start to finish, with little or no help from their teachers. Students develop leadership skills, build self-esteem and learn about teamwork while working towards a final goal, making a difference in the life of a child who is fighting overwhelming odds. For more information and to get involved, visit, or contact community outreach coordinator Clare Sharrock at 914-478-0327. For other volunteer opportunities, contact volunteer coordinator Jillian Hruscik at 914-246-8689. 832 S. Broadway, Tarrytown.

Go Green

Keep Rockland Beautiful promotes a cleaner and more beautiful county. Families can participate in the fall waterway cleanup, which runs from September through mid-November and has a special focus on cleaning up local streams. Cleanup volunteers are also welcome year round; register online. Parents (PTA members) and elementary and middle school-aged children can also bring Earth B.E.A.T. (Basic Environmental Awareness Training) to their schools. Earth B.E.A.T. is an interactive environmental program that teaches kids about environmental topics such as the effects of pollutants on our watershed and the benefits of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Volunteers all ages are welcome to participate. To get involved, email or 120-126 N. Main St., 2nd Floor Annex, New City.

Mitzvah Movement

JCC of Rockland Mitzvah Program is dedicated to the enrichment and continuity of Jewish life and to the preservation and celebration of Jewish heritage. The center’s mission is to strengthen individual awareness and connection to the Jewish community, the state of Israel, and the community at large through recreational, physical, educational, social, and cultural programs. Volunteers are always welcome. The Mitzvah Program is designed for middle school and high school aged kids. For certain other JCC programs certified by the state, you must be 16 to volunteer, and for family event programs you must be 14 in order to volunteer. If you would like to know how you can utilize your skills or outreach passion, contact Emily Shotland, director of teens and Maccabi experience, at or Monica Rosenbaum, director of youth and family engagement, at 450 W. Nyack Road, West Nyack.

Rockland Jewish Family Service helps organize volunteers to work with the Rhoda Bloom Kosher Food Pantry of Rockland County and various synagogues in the area to provide staples to needy families in the County. Once a month, volunteers prepare bags of non-perishable food to be picked up by the families enrolled in the program. For more information visit their website or call Kathryn Samalin at 845-354-2121.

Do Something Great 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 at For more information, call 212-254-2390.

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