I need suggestions for volunteering on short notice
November 25, 2009 6:35 PM   Subscribe

I want to do volunteer work in NYC when I have discretionary time. I'm not sure what I want to, but whatever it is it can't have a fixed schedule, as my work hours tend to be erratic. Basically I'm looking to volunteer on short notice. Any suggestions?
posted by helios410 to Human Relations (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My best volunteer experience in NYC was with God's Love We Deliver. I think once you do the orientation they can be pretty flexible.

A friend of mine used to do outreach with the homeless in NYC. I don't know how flexible that was, but he found it exceptionally rewarding. You go out with a crew of volunteers and visit homeless camps, etc. Wow. His stories about that were just...Wow.

posted by jbenben at 6:45 PM on November 25, 2009

NYCares is exactly what you're looking for.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:47 PM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you show up at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in Chelsea before 9 on a weekday morning, they will put you to work. No commitment needed and no need to tell them ahead of time that you're coming — it's a big enough operation they always have something to do.

If it matters to you, the church that runs it is ridiculously liberal and is not about to proselytize at you while you're working.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:51 PM on November 25, 2009

One Brick
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:15 PM on November 25, 2009

826 Drop in tutoring?
posted by mattsweaters at 7:46 PM on November 25, 2009

If you are interested in animal welfare, once you do the orientation at the CACC (Center for Animal Care and Control, it's the city run shelter), you can go in anytime you want, for as long as you want. Generally you just bring the dogs out to the play area, or entertain the cats, occasionally answer questions from people who are interested in adopting.
posted by newpotato at 8:35 PM on November 25, 2009

Also recommending NYCares. They have a list of "hot projects" that they send around of projects that are available that week, and I've also had a lot of success just by emailing team leaders and asking to be added on to full projects. Only catch is you have to go through an hour long orientation to be able to sign up for projects.
posted by KilgoreTrout at 9:19 PM on November 25, 2009

NYCares and OneBrick were what I came in here to mention. Lots of great people, organizations, and projects through them both.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:47 PM on November 25, 2009

Nthing one brick it's exactly what you want.
posted by bananafish at 11:15 PM on November 25, 2009

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