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Where to Volunteer with Your Kids in Suffolk County, Long Island

Where to Volunteer with Your Kids in Suffolk County, Long Island


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 Suffolk County, Long Island, that need your help, including nonprofit organizations, animal shelters, nursing homes, and many more. Volunteer opportunities are available for kids and adults alike at these locations. And remember, big or small, everyone has the power to make a difference!
    

Befriend a Furball

Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue and Adoption Center is a “safe harbor” for companion animals. The shelter also serves the community by teaching and practicing humane behavior toward man and all living things. Save-A-Pet accepts adult volunteers: Anyone older than 18 can walk dogs, children 16 and older can work with the center’s cats, and children younger than 16 can do things off-site to help orphaned pets. Volunteers can help out in a variety of ways, from tidying up and fixing the shelter and its grounds, to bringing pet therapy to the residents of the Jefferson Ferry Assisted Living community (21 and older only; must have own dogs that pass the rescue’s criteria). To volunteer, contact dori@saveapetusa.org. The center is located at 608 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station. For more information: 631-473-6333 or click here.

Do Something Special

Special Olympics New York aims to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Volunteers can coach athletes, raise money, coordinate events, provide office support, volunteer at one-day events, serve on local program committees, help with sport development, and more. There is a place for volunteers of all ages (kids ages 13-16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian), abilities, and interests. For more information on sports events, contact Tim Flynn at 212-661-4327. For more information on development, contact Alexis Dawson 631-386-8038. For more information on the organization, call 631-254-1465 x4204 or visit online. The Long Island office, which serves both Nassau and Suffolk counties, is located at 560 Broadhollow Road, Suite 106, Melville.

Make a Wish Come True

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Kids For Wish Kids is a program that enables kids between the kindergarten and college level to devise fundraising projects such as bake sales, dance parties, and talent shows to help make local kids wishes come true. For more information on Kids For Wish Kids, or to become a registered volunteer (must be 18 years old), call 631-585-WISH (9474) and ask to speak to Erin Ehresman or Diane Denicola, or visit online.

Miracles on the Field

The League of YES, formally known as the Miracle League of Long Island, believes everyone deserves the chance to play baseball. The grassroots organization will open its ninth season in May to provide people of all ages with disabilities the joy and benefits of playing America’s national pastime. The league’s mission is to develop social skills and boost self-esteem for the players while fostering community support. Through the BUDDY program, volunteers are assigned to a League of Yes player and help him or her in every aspect of the game. No matter the age of the player, volunteers, preferably ages 12 and older, help the player in batting, running bases, protecting him/her from balls, and most importantly be a friend on the field and off. The program breaks barriers for a child with disabilities when he or she becomes friends with a volunteer and this community aspect of the League of Yes is the most important statistic on the scorecard. To find out more about how to become a buddy contact Kristine Fitzpatrick at 631-278-6385 or kristine@leagueofyes.com. The field is located at the Brookhaven Amphitheater at 55 S. Bicycle Path in Selden and there is a field at Field 8 in Eisenhower Park. Visit online for a volunteer form.



Show Some Love

Have a Heart Children’s Cancer Society is dedicated to alleviating some of the financial burdens of families with children diagnosed with cancer. Individuals of all ages can help out by volunteering their time at events or organizing their own fundraiser for the cause. Fundraising ideas include a bowling night, neighborhood garage sale, block party benefit, car wash, bake sale, or school dance. Volunteers can also donate used cars and boats. To fill out the volunteer application form, visit haveaheartcharity.org. For more information, call 631-470-1198 or visit online.

Spring Clean Your Closet

The Salvation Army has locations throughout Suffolk County and offers many opportunities for families to lend a helping hand to others in need. The Salvation Army accepts volunteers of all ages—as long as an adult is along to supervise—to work in a wide variety of programs, from soup kitchens to after-school programs. Jobs could include cooking, cleaning up, serving meals, or playing soccer with other children, but programs vary by location. For more information, call 631-363-6100 or click here.

You can also donate your old clothes to the organization’s thrift stores. Enlist your kids in the process of cleaning out their closets before springtime. It can even turn into a fashion show to see what still fits. Take your kids with you when you donate the clothes so that they can see the good their efforts are doing. Check with your local Salvation Army Family Store for instructions on donating clothes:

• 227 Little East Neck Road, West Babylon; 631-669-1354
• 110 Bellerose Ave., East Northport; 631-754-4449
• 414 E. Main St., Patchogue; 631-654-9380
• 319 E. Main St., Riverhead; 631-727-1571

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 dosomething.org.
 


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