Four Ways to Give Back in Honor of National Volunteer Week

The Value of One, the Power of Many

“We are living in a moment that calls for hope and light and love. Hope for our futures, light to see our way forward, and love for one another. Volunteers provide all three.”

– A Proclamation on National Volunteer Week, 2021 by President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Without the care, activism, and support of our helpers and volunteers, the damage from the COVID-19 pandemic may have left many hopeless, with spirits broken over the vast injustices in our communities and overwhelmed to the point of inaction by the amount of work needing to be done. It is upon this precipice that volunteers light the way forward.

In 2021, as the city slowly reopens, we have more opportunity than ever to be a part of the turning tide. Racial equality, social justice, increasing the number of vaccinated – these causes live on in the everyday activities of your local nonprofit organization. In fact, the mass effort to get people vaccinated has been largely led by volunteers.

The easiest way to get people to volunteer is to make it easy for them to do so. With an innovative approach, we at the North Node do just that by connecting volunteers with local nonprofits. As we inch closer to a post-pandemic world, look below for some ideas on how you can reconnect, find your ‘why’, and grow your passion for giving back. You will likely even have some fun, meet your next soul sister, or discover a new career in doing so. As one of the hardest hit cities in the country, New York City is bursting with high-vibrational opportunities to help:

1. New York COVID-19 Vaccine Info (Virtual)

This Facebook group is an official gathering of Volunteer Vaccine Warriors whose efforts have already helped over 10,000 people get vaccines within the State of New York. As a ‘Vaccine Angel’ you can help fellow New Yorkers navigate the complex, and many times confusing, COVID vaccine booking process. There remains a high demand for volunteers to help the hundreds of people a day that visit the online resource.

2. Westchester Parks Foundation (In-Person)

Need an excuse to get in nature for the weekend and out of the city? Westchester County offers various volunteer opportunities throughout its park system. Aiming to make it fun and peak volunteer interests, the Foundation offers slots on different Squads such as the Green Squad, Clean River Project, or Graffiti Squad.  An easy train ride away, the Westchester Parks Foundation offers a welcome outdoor exercise opportunity by sprucing up public spaces and a chance to soak up some vitamin D.

3. Deliver Meals to Socially Isolated Seniors throughout the 5 Boroughs (In-Person)

Regardless of how you arrive, there is a plethora of programs to deliver meals and food bags to seniors and the disadvantaged throughout the five boroughs. Lucky enough to own a car in the city or miss driving? There are even more opportunities for you.

For hundreds of thousands of seniors, the pandemic’s negative effects have been exacerbated. Lonely and isolated, meal delivery becomes an anticipated time allowing seniors to reconnect, and sometimes even bond, with those helping. Some organizations to consider are the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, Heights and Hills, The Campaign Against Hunger, Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, Vision Urbana, Inc..

4. Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights (Virtual)

If you are bilingual, this is your chance to stand in the justice gap. The Young Center offers virtual opportunities via video conferencing to volunteer as a Child Advocate for unaccompanied immigrant children. Child Advocates play a unique and powerful support role for marginalized children and help guide their journey to a better life.

The ability to move forward, restore our community, and rebuild rests on our volunteers. Without them, we could not mobilize, respond, or move mountains like we have. On behalf of North Node and all of our partners and readers, please accept our humble and heartfelt gratitude to our volunteers!


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