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1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds 55 Plus Yonkers Connections 9/11 Memorial & Museum A -HOME AARP - Tax Aide Program Abbott House Ability Beyond Academic Pathways ACCES-VR New York State Education Department Adopt-A-Dog Inc. Afya Foundation of America: Supplies for Life Aging in Place in White Plains Aisling Irish Community Center Allied Community Enterprises, Inc. ALS Association Alternatives to Violence Project Alzheimers Association Amani Public Charter School American Association of University Women - Westchester American Cancer Society - Hudson Valley Region American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer American Diabetes Association American Heart Association American Pakistan Foundation American Red Cross Metro New York North Chapter American Red Cross Northeastern New York Amy's Greenhouse Andrus Children's Center Andrus on Hudson Angelman Syndrome Foundation April's Child ARC of Rockland ARC of Westchester ArchCare at Home Areyvut, Inc. Ariva Arthritis Foundation, The ArtsWestchester Asociacion de Familias Hispanas of Tarrytown At Home In Somers At Home on the Sound Atlas Corps Atria Senior Living - Briarcliff Manor Audubon Center at Greenwich Autism Project F.L.O.S. Autism Science Foundation Autism Speaks Axial Theatre Back-to-School Clothes for Kids Baking Memories 4 Kids Basecamp Westchester Inc. Bear Mountain Toll House Visitor Center Bedford 2020 Bedford 2020 (Food Forum 2017) Bedford Audubon Bedford Historical Society Bethel Nursing, Rehab, and Retirement Homes Bethesda Social Day Center Better Business Bureau Mid-Hudson Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Rockland County Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester Bike Walk Alliance of Westchester-Putnam (BWAWP) Birthright of Rockland County, Inc. Blue Door Art Center Blythedale Children's Hospital Boy Scouts of America Westchester-Putnam Council Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester Boys and Girls Club of Mount Vernon NY Bread of Life Breadwinners Foundation, The Briarcliff Manor Public Library BRiDGES Bridges to Community Brieant Youth Alliance, The Bristal at White Plains, The Bronx River Parkway Reservation Conservancy Bryn Mawr Children's Learning Center Burke Rehabilitation Hospital Cabrini Eldercare CAGeM Camp AmeriKids Camp Herrlich Cancer Support Team Caramoor Center for Music and The Arts CAREERS Support Solutions Caring for the Homeless of Peekskill Inc. Caritas of Port Chester Carl L. Dixson Primary School Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York Catholic Charities Community Services Center for Safety and Change Cerebral Palsy of Westchester ChangingThePresent Chiku Awali African Dance, Arts & Culture, Inc. Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County Child Care Council of Westchester Children of Promise Stable, Inc. Children's Village, The Choice of New York City of New Rochelle Office for the Aging City of New Rochelle Parks & Recreation Department City of Yonkers City of Yonkers CERT Claremont School Clay Art Center CLUSTER Community Services Collaborative for Palliative Care College Summit Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation Common Ground Community Awareness Network for a Drug-free Life and Environment (CANDLE) Community Capital New York Community Cats Community Center of Northern Westchester Community Food Pantry at St. Mary's Community Housing Innovations Community Housing Innovations, Inc. Community Opportunity Center of the Tarrytowns, Inc. Community Service Associates Community YMCA of Northern Westchester Compassion & Choices of New York Concern Worldwide US Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County Corporate Angel Network County Harvest Creative Response to Conflict, Inc. Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America - Fairfield / Westchester Chapter Crossover Yoga Project CSDNR Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Daybreak Independent Services, Inc. Destination: College Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry at South Presbyterian Church Dolan Middle School Dominican College of Blauvelt DOROT Westchester Dress For Success New York Eastchester Public Library Eastchester Senior Nutrition Center EcoNeighbors Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary Edna L. Roker Social Adult Day Center Educated Canines Assisting with Disablilities EF International School of English Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute Elinor Martin Residence for Mother & Child, The Elisa Lanera Foundation (ELF) Elizabeth Seton Children?s Foundation Emanuel Foundation, The Emelin Theatre Emergency Shelter Partnership Empire State Development Enclave at Port Chester Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, The Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc. Family Resource Center Family Service Society of Yonkers Family Services of Westchester (FSW) Family YMCA at Tarrytown Family-to-Family, Inc Federated Conservationists of Westchester County Ferncliff Manor Field Library Fieldhome First Presbyterian Church Food Pantry First Seventh Day Adventist Church Food Pantry FISH of Heritage Hills Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network Food Bank for Westchester Inc. FoodSync Foreign Policy Association Foster Kids Unite, Inc. Friends of Karen Friends of the Dobbs Ferry Public Library Friends of the Mamaroneck Library Friends of the Mozartina/Tarrytown Music Hall Friends of the New Rochelle Library Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct Friends of the Port Chester/Rye Brook Public Library Friends of Weinberg Nature Center Fun For Cure, Inc. FURBRIDGE, INC Furniture Sharehouse Future Leaders 4 Success Inc Garito Manor GiGi's Playhouse Westchester Gilda's Club Westchester Giolai Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Inc Girls Inc. Westchester Give More HUGS Graham Windham Gramatan Village, Inc. GramatanVillage,INC Graph It Forward Today Green Chimneys Greenburgh Arts and Cultural Committee Greenburgh Evergreen Club Greenburgh Nature Center Greenburgh Public Library Greyston Groundwork Hudson Valley grow! Lincoln Park Community Garden Guiding Eyes for the Blind Gullotta House Inc H.O.M.E. Inc. Habitat for Humanity of Rockland Habitat for Humanity of Westchester Hammond Museum Harrison Food Pantry Harrison Public Library Hawthorne Foundation Inc Head Start Rockland, Inc. Hearing Loss Association of America/Westchester Chapter Hearthstone Alzheimer Care Heartsong, Inc. Heavenly Productions Foundation Helping Hands for the Homeless Helping Hands Rockland Hendrick Hudson Free Library Her Honor Mentoring Highview Elementary School Hillside Food Outreach Hilltop Hanover Farm Historic Hudson Valley Hi-Tor Animal Care Center, Inc. Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center HomeFront, Inc. Hope Community Services Hope's Door Hospice and Palliative Care of Westchester Hospice Care of Westchester and Putnam Housing Action Council, Inc. Howard University Alumni Club of Westchester and Rockland Hudson River Audubon Society Hudson River HealthCare Hudson River Museum Hudson Valley Blood Services Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art Hudson Valley Community Services, Inc. Hudson Valley Developmental Disabilities Service Office Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce Hudson Valley Honor Flight Hudson Valley Justice Center Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry, Inc. Hudson Valley Singers, The Hudson Valley Special Olympics Hugh Doyle Senior Center Huguenot & New Rochelle Historical Association Human Development Services of Westchester Humane Society of Westchester IFCA Housing Network Infinite Family Institutes of Applied Human Dynamics, Inc. Integrated Peace Arts Irvington Town Hall Theater, Inc. It Takes a Village Italian Hospital Society, Inc. Jacob Burns Film Center, Inc. James F. Galgano Senior Center Jansen Hospice and Palliative Care Jawonio Jay Heritage Center Jazz For Peace JCC of Mid-Westchester JCC on the Hudson JCY Westchester Community Partners Jennifer Fante Foundation Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA) John A. Coleman School John Jay Historic Homestead State Historic Site John Jay Homestead State Historic Site J-Teen Leadership Junior Achievement of New York Junior League of Central Westchester Junior League of Northern Westchester Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Katonah Museum of Art Katonah Village Library Keep Putnam Beautiful Keep Rockland Beautiful Keon Center/ CARC, Inc. Kids X-Press, Inc La Plaza de Paulo Larchmont Public Library Larchmont/Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force Latino U College Access, Inc. Leake & Watts Service, Inc. Leave The Light On Foundation Legal Services of the Hudson Valley Let's Get Ready! Let's Play It Forward Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Leviticus Fund LIFE Progressive Services Group Inc. Lifting Up Westchester Lighthouse Guild Lincoln Depot Foundation Literacy Volunteers of the Tarrytowns (LVT) Little Orphan Animals Live On New York LiveOn NY Living History Guild Living Transformation International Center Living Word Christian Church Lois Bronz Children's Center Lord's Pantry, Inc. Love Holds Life Children's Cancer Foundation Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network LPSS,Inc. (Lambda Peer Support Services) MAC Angels Foundation Mahopac Senior Center Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley Mamaroneck Community Action Program - WestCOP, Inc. Mamaroneck Shares Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center March of Dimes March of Dimes - National Office Margeliz Center Social Day Program Martin Luther King Multi Purpose Center Meals On Wheels of New Rochelle, INC. Meals on Wheels of White Plains Meals on Wheels of Yonkers Meals on Wheels Programs & Services of Rockland, Inc. Meals on Wheels-Bronxville Meals on Wheels-Mamaroneck Meals On Wheels-Scarsdale Mental Health Association of Westchester County Midnight Run Montefiore New Rochelle Mount Carmel Baptist Church Mount Kisco Child Care Center Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry, The Mount Kisco Public Library Mount Kisco Senior Center Mount Pleasant Public Library Mount Vernon Animal Shelter Mount Vernon Day Care Center Mount Vernon Youth Bureau Mt. Vernon Armory Senior Center Mt. Vernon Public Library Muscular Dystrophy Association My Brother's Keeper My Future - Money Management Workshops, Inc My Second Home of FSW My Sisters' Place NAMI Westchester National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering National Educational Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder National Kidney Foundation Serving Greater New York National MS Society National Multiple Sclerosis Society Neighbors Link Nepperhan Community Center Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Neuberger Museum of Art New Roc The Vote New Rochelle Cares AIP New Rochelle Chamber Of Commerce New Rochelle Council on the Arts New Rochelle Day Nursery New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority New Rochelle Public Library New Rochelle YMCA New Rochelle Youth Bureau New Westchester Symphony Orchestra New York Basket Brigade New York Blood Center New York State Veterans Home at Montrose New York-New Jersey Trail Conference NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital Nonprofit Westchester North Rockland food pantry Northern Westchester Hospital NSSA at Mt. Vernon Nyack Center NYSIgN One Change at a Time One Sandwich At a Time Only Make Believe Open Door Family Medical Center Operation Gratitude Operation PROM Ossining Children's Center Ossining Food Pantry Ossining Micro Fund Our New Way Garden Pace University Pace Women's Justice Center Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon Pajama Program - Westchester Chapter, The PALS Programs PARC Parents Place Parks & Trails New York Partnership for School and Community Renewal Passage to Excellence Corporation Patterson Chamber of Commerce Paws Crossed PEACE OUTside Campus, The Lindsey M. Bonistall Foundation Peekskill Celebration Peekskill Clay Studios Peekskill Presbyterian Church Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, Inc. Pelham Art Center Pelham PACT Coalition Penguin Plunge Inc. People To People Pet Rescue of Larchmont Phelps Memorial Hospital Pinwheel Project, The PKD Foundation- Hudson Valley Chapter Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic Pleasantville Music Festival Pleasantville Recycles Port Chester Cares Community Coalition Port Chester Council of Community Services Posh Pets Animal Rescue Pound Ridge Land Conservancy Pro Bono Partnership Project Morry Providence House- New Rochelle Shelter Public-Private Alliance Foundation Pulmonary Hypertension Association Purchase Fire Department Purchase Free Library Putnam Arts Council Putnam Children's Discovery Center Putnam County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Putnam Family and Community Services Putnam Hospital Center Putnam Humane Society Putnam Recreation Programs & Habilitation, Inc. Putnam Valley Community Food Pantry Putnam/North Westchester BOCES Outdoor Education Program Putnam/Northern Westchester Women's Resource Center Reading Hamlets Reform Temple of Putnam Valley Regency Extended Care Center Resident Resource Center Retired Educators Consulting Service Reverse The Course Richmond Community Services RideConnect Riverkeeper Rivertown Artists Workshop Rivertown Runners Rivertowns Village Green Rockland Community Foundation Rockland County Office for the Aging Rockland County YMCA Rockland Farm Alliance Rockland Interfaith Breakfast Program Rockland Psychiatric Center Rockland Road Runners Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley Rotary Club of Yorktown RSHM LIFE Center Rye Fire Department Rye Nature Center Rye Town Park Alliance Rye YMCA Saint Mary's Rehabilitation Center San Souci Nursing Home Sarah Lawrence College Center for the Urban River at Beczak Save The Sound Scarsdale Audubon Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service Schnurmacher Center for Rehab and Nursing SCORE - Putnam SCORE - Rockland SCORE - Westchester Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. SER of Westchester - Inc Services, Education and Resources Sharing Community, The Sheldrake Environmental Center Sheltering the Homeless Is Our Responsibility, Inc (SHORE) Sierra Club - Lower Hudson Group Sisters From The Heart Sky View Nursing Home Sleepy Hollow Lions Club Somers Historical Society Somers Manor Nursing Home Somers Nutrition Program Songcatchers Inc. Soup Angels South East Consortium for Special Services, Inc. Sowing for Souls Ministries SPARC, Inc - Special Program And Resource Connection SPCA of Westchester SPELLBINDERS, Peekskill Chapter Sprain Brook Manor Rehab and Nursing Facility Spring Community Partners SPRYE, Inc. St. Christopher's, Inc. St. Christopher's, Inc/Our New Way Garden St. John's Riverside Hospital St. Joseph's Medical Center St. Peter's-St. Denis Church Stage Love Theater Company Inc. Steppin Up Yonkers Stepping Stones, the historic home of Bill and Lois Wilson Sterling Youth Leadership Development, LTD Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture Student Advocacy, Inc. Student Assistance Services Suffern Farmers' Market Sun & Moon Yoga Sunshine Children's Home and Rehab Center SUNY Purchase Support Connection Susan G. Komen Greater NYC Tappan Hill School Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow Community Food Pantry Tarrytown Community Opportunities Center Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council Tarrytown Lakes Committee Teach To Learn Foundation Teatown Lake Reservation The Barbara E. Giordano Foundation The Bridge Fund of Westchester The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation The Carver Center The Center for Aging in Place The Center for Career Freedom The Community Resource Center The Fountains At RiverVue The Friends of Scarsdale Parks The Future Society Inc. The Giver's Hand The Grove Rehab The Guidance Center of Westchester The Hudson Valley Writers' Center The Jewish Board, Westchester Campus The Justin Veatch Fund The League of Women Voters - Rye, Rye Brook & Port Chester The LOFT: Lesbian & Gay Community Services The Lustgarten Foundation The Mary J. Blige Center for Women The New Dawn Foundation The New Jewish Home/Sarah Neuman Center The Picture House The Pound Ridge Theatre Company The Preservation Company The Rye Arts Center The Salvation Army - White Plains The Salvation Army - Yonkers The Shikuri Project The Tarrytowns Even Start Family Literacy Partners The White Plains Outdoor Arts Festival The Wolf Conservation Center The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights Theodore Young Community Center They Cage the Animals at Night Foundation Thornwood Fire District Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers Together Our Unity Can Heal, INC. Tommie Cares Topfield Equestrian Center Tourette Syndrome Association of the New York Hudson Valley Chapter Town of Clarkstown Auxiliary Police Department Town of Cortlandt - Senior Center Town of Cortlandt Homeland Safety Office Town of Greenburgh Town of Greenburgh NY Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Town of Mamaroneck Community Services Office Town of New Castle - CERT - Community Emergency Response Team Town of Yorktown Museum Toys for Tots - Westchester County Trails and Rails Program Trailside Museums & Zoo, Bear Mountain State Park Transplant Support Organization, Inc. Tuckahoe Public Library Tuckahoe Senior Center Turkish Cultural Center of Westchester UJA Federation of New York - Westchester Ujamaa Community Development Corp United Community Center of Westchester United for the Troops United Hebrew United Hospice of Rockland, INC. United Nations Association of the U.S.A., Westchester Chapter United Way of Rockland County United Way of Westchester and Putnam Untermyer Performing Arts Council, Inc. Ursuline Social Outreach Adult Learning Center USTA Serves VA Hudson Valley Health Care System Vacamas Programs for Youth VCS Inc. Venture Foundation Veterans Bedside Network Victims Assistance Services VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired Volunteer Action Center Rockland - Chore Service Volunteer Association for Bangladesh (VAB) Volunteers of America Volunteers of America--Valhalla Residence Wainwright House Walkabout Education Foundation Ward Acres Community Garden Warner Library Wartburg Adult Care Community Washingtonville Housing Alliance We Are Family Welfare to Work Foundation/Career Closet WESPAC Foundation West Point Foundry Preserve Westchester Cadet Squadron 1 (Civil Air Patrol) Westchester Children's Association Westchester Children's Museum Westchester Community College Foundation Westchester Community Foundation Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc. (WestCOP) Westchester County - Department of Social Services Westchester County Amateur Radio Emergency Service/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service Westchester County Archives Westchester County Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth Westchester County Community Mental Health Westchester County Consumer Protection Westchester County Department of Health Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation Westchester County Department of Planning Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services Westchester County District Attorney's Office - Victims Justice Center Westchester County Emergency Services Westchester County Environmental Facilities Westchester County Human Rights Commission Westchester County Office for Women Westchester County Probation Westchester County Public Safety Westchester County Youth Bureau Westchester Disabled on the Move, Inc. Westchester End-of-Life Coalition Westchester FARE Westchester Hispanic Coalition Westchester Independent Living Center Westchester Institute for Human Development Westchester Jewish Community Services Westchester Land Trust Westchester Library System Westchester Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute for Nonviolence Westchester Medical Center Westchester One Stop Employment Center Westchester Parks Foundation Westchester Philharmonic Westchester Putnam School Boards Association Westchester Residential Opportunities Westchester Symphonic Winds Westchester Toughman Triathlon Inc Westchester Veterans Service Agency Westchester/Putnam Workforce Investment Board Westchester-Rockland Project Linus Westchester's Christmas Dinner WESTCOP - Eastchester CAP WestCOP - Tarrytown Community Opportunity Center WestCOP Putnam Community Action Program WESTCOP-Whitney Young Head Start Program Western Connecticut Health Network: Danbury Hospital WestFair Rides WESTHAB Westmoreland Sanctuary WEVR-MRC Westchester Emergency Volunteer Reserves-Medical Reserve Corps White Plains Headstart- FSW White Plains Hospital White Plains Performing Arts Center White Plains Senior Center White Plains Youth Bureau Willow Towers Willows at Ramapo Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, The Woodlawn Conservancy WordStart Early Literacy Foundation World Cares Center Worldwide Community First Responder, Inc. YCOP of Mount Vernon Yes She Can Inc. YMCA of Central & Northern Westchester YMCA of White Plains YoFi Fest, Inc Yonkers African American Hertiage Committee Yonkers Community Action Program Yonkers Community Health Center Yonkers Employment Center Yonkers Family YMCA Yonkers Humane Society Yonkers Land Conservancy Yonkers Partners in Education Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra Yonkers PTA Yonkers Public Library - Riverfront-Branch Yonkers Public Library-Grinton Will Branch Yonkers Public Schools Yorktown Grange Yorktown Love In Action, Inc Yorktown Senior Nutrition Center Yorktown Teen Center, Inc. Young Professionals Program, United Nations Association of the USA Westchester Chapter Youth Shelter Program of Westchester Youth Theatre Interactions, Inc. YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester YWCA Yonkers Zion' Place, Inc



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2019 MLK Day

Join hundreds in your community for Volunteer New York!’s 9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Saturday, January 19, 2019 in New Rochelle, Elmsford and Rockland! Registration is now open. Families and groups encouraged to participate together. Sign up now to MAKE A DIFFERENCE and help fulfill Dr. King's vision of building a "beloved community." No experience necessary! The only thing needed is a "heart full of grace and a soul generated by love."

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Books Every Volunteer Should Read

By Jessica Falk There’s a wealth of inspiring and informative books, guides, and novels about volunteer culture and serving your community--whether you’re a regular volunteer, looking for something to read between service activities, or if you’re a beginner looking to start volunteering. Here are just a few that come highly recommended for do-gooders and public servants . . .

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Getting Things Done: An Interview

Meet Wendy Armstrong, the new Director of RSVP of Westchester. "That’s the joy of this new position. I’m working with senior population directly, and they do want to continue to contribute. They want to do something with meaning and stay active and socialize—that’s what’s missing once you retire or when your kids have left the nest. The RSVP of Westchester program has all that. You don’t need the money, but can give the time. I can’t wait to get started. Senior Corps gets things done, as they say."

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Giving In Style

#GivingTuesday may have past, but #ThankYouWednesday is in our hearts all year long. What an awe-inspiring day Tuesday, November 27, 2018 was -- thank you! Take a look inside to see what an amazing community of hat-wearing supporters of local volunteerism we have locally . . . and a few (digital) thank you notes!

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Hogwarts Guide To Volunteering

Whether you’re a muggle or wizard, there’s magic in you . . . the magic to transform lives, communities, and even the future—all through volunteer work. So, for all the wizards among us, here’s a handy guide to start volunteering, based on your Hogwarts house.

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Holiday Volunteer Ideas

Where To Volunteer Over The Holidays. The autumn chill is in the air. You know what that means . . . the holidays are officially here! And volunteers are needed now more than ever to help all members of our community feel connected and enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season! Thanksgiving falls on November 22, but fear not if you haven't already signed up to volunteer -- there are ways to help out now through the new year! You can really make a difference!

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Serve + Remember

WATCH NOW: 2018 Impact Results from 9/11: Serve + Remember. Over 1,000 volunteers made blankets for children's hospitals, spent quality time with seniors in New Rochelle, created literacy kits for under-served youth, packed thousands of diapers for families in need, donated blood, set up a community fair in the rain, fought invasive species in Wildflower Woods, made sandwiches, moved furniture, wrote cards for our troops, and more. But, no matter what you did, we did it together.

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Top Ways To Volunteer With Friends

By Jessica Falk

Do you consider community service a solo activity? Well, it doesn’t have to be! Volunteering can be a wonderful way to meet new friends in your community, or to spend a day with old pals. Have fun together while making a real impact in New York communities! There are opportunities of all kinds, waiting to be discovered . . .

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Featured Opportunities




Local Changemakers


Leandro Francisco



Leandro Francisco


Volunteer Spirit Awards - Recipient of 2016 Safe Community Award



For Leandro Francisco, as with so many Americans, heart disease is a family matter, reaching him through his mother’s family. For Francisco and for many of the White Plains middle school students who have participated in Hoops for Heart and Hands Only CPR training over the years, the connection between heart disease, heart health and preventive measures is very personal indeed.


Puerto Rican-born Leandro was raised in the Bronx. He attended City College and received his Master’s degree in Health education from Lehman College.  He has worked for nearly 30 years as a coach and health educator. For the last 20 years he has been in the White Plains school district at the Eastview Middle School.


To increase the impact of the event, Eastview schedules the event in March to take advantage of the March Madness excitement.  For the 6th graders, a Hands Only CPR training to the informative rhythm of the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive” was added.  Students are taught to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke and when to call 911 and how to use a defibrillator.  In order to better instruct educate the over 400 students in the program each year, Francisco has formed a collaboration with the nurses throughout the White Plains City School District.



Jake Gallin



Jake Gallin


Volunteer Spirit Awards - Recipient of 2012 New York Life Youth Leader Award



Since receiving the Youth Leader award in 2012 (at age 13) for his volunteer work as founder of local New Rochelle nonprofit, Stars for Cars, Jake has remained active with his commitment towards supporting Gold Star and Blue Star Military Families – going as far as being named a top-10 youth volunteer in the nation in recognition for his service by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, partnering with the USO and having his nonprofit selected to be part of the New York Yankees Hope Week (and amongst other distinctions as well). We asked Jake a few follow up questions recently about his experience volunteering:


What’s the most fun you have ever had volunteering? 


That’s a difficult question because there have been so many wonderful experiences throughout the six years I have been volunteering.  I probably had the most fun volunteering while selling our magnetic Star decals in New York City with my friends before Memorial Day 2015.  Another fun experience was hosting a baseball clinic for Military Families at MCU Park last summer.  It is always fun attending the Volunteer Spirit Awards!


Looking back at the time you’ve spent volunteering, what are you most proud of having accomplished?


It’s not the accolades and the awards, although I am very grateful that people have given me a platform to talk about Military Families, but I am most proud of the relationships that have been formed.  I am proud to have formed lasting relationships with Volunteer New York!, the USO, Prudential Financial, the NY Yankees, and schools all across the country. The most important relationship is with the Gold Star Mother who inspired me to found Stars for Cars. If I can inspire one person to acknowledge the sacrifices of the “Blue Star” and “Gold Star” Military Families then that’s an accomplishment to be proud of.


What’s your advice to other youth? 


Connect with something that you feel passionate about. Take that passion and inspire others.  Conversely, if you see that passion in someone else, let that inspire you to serve.  We serve each other to move the world forward. Our generation can move the world forward when we have passion and we inspire each other.  The world can change because we move it, together. 


What does it take to be a great volunteer?


If you are volunteering just to check a box, that isn’t a lot of fun.  Engaging in a fun activity with a positive attitude makes a good volunteer.  Passion makes a great volunteer.


What has volunteering prepared you to do, what are you working on next?


Volunteering helps to fine-tune my leadership skills and to visualize what real progress can look like.  Within the past week we expanded the “3 Holidays Announcement” from 10 states to 23 states.  Over the next few weeks (after finals), I plan to reach out to national organizations to ask them to say the announcement in their stadiums.  During the summer, I plan to contact every U.S. Military Base in the world to let them know that the announcement is being said at home because people haven’t forgotten about their families.  Since Military Families move on average nine times during a school career, it is important to let them know their sacrifice is acknowledged by whatever community they are in.



Paul Alcorn and Mel Berger



Paul Alcorn and Mel Berger


2018 Safe Community Award



As a longtime pharmacist in Mount Kisco, Mel Berger was keenly aware that a number of his clients were dealing with health issues related to exposure from the severe cold. There was also no escaping the sad fact that there were one or two deaths annually from people living and sleeping in cars, abandoned buildings, or the woods. While Mel was already busy with his work as chairman of the Mount Kisco Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Council, and as a drug treatment referral liaison with local courts, he felt that he could not let the problems of the homeless in the area continue unaddressed. In fall of 2004, Mel approached the Northern Westchester Interfaith Clergy Association headed by Paul Alcorn to see if together they could find a solution.
Paul has served as the pastor of the Bedford Presbyterian Church for almost30 years. He says it is part of his job to help the community identify and solve problems. Paul gave his full support to the project and he and Mel, along with the leadership of the village of Mount Kisco, discussed the troubling problem of homelessness in Westchester. “Together we imagined what was needed and how it might work,” Paul remembers. The group acted quickly to bring together a handful of churches that would open their doors to offer members of the community a safe place to sleep, and the Emergency Shelter Partnership (ESP) began in January 2005. The Board was initially concerned that there might be backlash to the idea of the homeless being sheltered in local churches, near residential homes. These worries proved to be unfounded.
Today a coalition of 30 churches, synagogues and community agencies form a network of support for homeless men and women from November through March. They provide meals, a safe place to sleep, transportation and bagged lunches and snacks for the day. From its initial group of four men, ESP now serves 20 to 25 people each night. Furthermore, the model is being successfully replicated by a group of congregations in Ossining, with plans to merge the programs together this summer. ESP also works with various agencies to try to place people in housing. Just recently, a long term homeless man was welcomed into A-Home’s supportive housing program.



Christine Silverstein



Christine Silverstein


2018 Social Advocacy Award



Christine Silverstein is quite clear on one point: women are excellent caregivers for their aging parents, their children, and their husbands. They are not nearly as good at asking for or accepting help when they need it. “Women always think that someone else needs the assistance more than they do. They are hard-wired to be the caregiver, not the receiver of care,” says the Rockland County native. Christine learned a lot about the challenges that one can face when she went through the high-risk pregnancy and delivery of her twin sons, Connor and Ryan, now 17-year-old seniors in high school. “I was confined to bed at the Westchester Medical Center for weeks. I was scared and depressed. I felt very alone. The medical bills were mounting and just overwhelming,” she remembers. That experience gave her a rich reserve of understanding and compassion to tap into years later when a good friend, who had a young son with cancer, was herself struck with breast cancer. It was Christine who stepped forward to offer her the support she needed.


What began as the simple gesture of helping a girlfriend through a medical and financial crisis blossomed quickly, and United Women of Rockland was formed as a nonprofit in 2014. Today over 150 volunteers form a web of support for women with the primary goal to help alleviate the financial stress of going through a medical crisis. Funds are raised through four annual events – including The Race, on May 12 – and on an as-needed basis. Everyone’s needs are unique however, and support can take on different, highly personal meaning. Some women need help going grocery shopping or preparing meals. Mothers may need a ride for their children to soccer practice, while others may need a ride to chemotherapy. Others need advice and direction to successfully navigate the various social services available. Oftentimes, Christine says, “People just need someone to make them laugh.”


Christine truly believes in paying it forward because she realizes you never know when you could be the one in need. And in that time, there is no doubt that United Women of Rockland will jump right in to lend a hand. .



Shakil Henriques



Shakil Henriques


2018 Youth Leadership Award



Shakil Henriques admits now that he did not know what to expect when he was sent to volunteer on a daily basis at the Wartburg Adult Care program. “They told me to go in with an open mind and I did,” he recalls. “This was definitely new territory for me.”


Shakil is a resident of the Youth Shelter of Westchester, an early intervention residential program for young men ages 16 to 21 who are awaiting resolution of various charges in the adult criminal justice system. The Shelter is licensed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and is the only one of its kind in the state. In addition to the emphasis on continuing education, vocational training, and counseling, the residents are encouraged to volunteer. Many young men, like Shakil, go to Wartburg, an elder care facility and nursing home in Mount Vernon to connect and give back. They provide assistance to the Adult Care program, as well as help with other things to brighten the participants’ spirits, such as decorating for the holiday season. It is a unique pairing that has proved to be successful for the young men and for the Wartburg community.


Shakil’s day can be busy and varied during his 9am to 2pm work period. He greets people as they enter in the morning and helps them with their coats. He serves meals and helps with games and other recreational activities. Some days there can be as many as 90 registrants at Wartburg’s programs. As one of the supervisors noted, not everyone can work comfortably with the senior population, many who have dementia. When asked what he has learned from his volunteer experience, Shakil is quick to reply, “I learned that I am a people person. The registrants show you so much love. I began to laugh more and I learned not to be so timid.” Shakil also shares his positive experience with his peers at the Youth Shelter, encouraging them to volunteer and never be afraid to venture into new territory.

Next month, Shakil will begin a new chapter when he returns home. He hopes to start college soon and apply his newfound “people person” skills.;


Stephanie Marquesano & the New Rochelle High School CODA Club



Stephanie Marquesano & the New Rochelle High School CODA Club


2018 Education and Literacy Award



Stephanie Marquesano founded the harris project at her kitchen table in Ardsley during the profoundly sad and difficult days between her son Harris’ death, from an accidental drug overdose from co-occurring disorders, and his funeral in October 2013. Many people would not have had the emotional or physical strength at that dark moment to think clearly after what Stephanie’s son and their family had been through. Stephanie, however, recognized with great clarity that the treatment systems had failed her son in terms of the mental health component of the problem. People needed to be given the tools to sustain their recovery once they were back home. It became a defining moment.


Since that time, Stephanie has become a tireless advocate to raise awareness of co-occurring disorders. She serves as Co- Chair of the Co-Occurring System of Care Committee of the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health and is a Youth Advocate for the Mid-Hudson Regional Planning Consortium.


Through the harris project, Stephanie developed the CODA (Co-Occurring Disorders Awareness) prevention program, a student driven movement to change the conversation about the way society thinks about mental health and substance abuse. The program was piloted in a number of Westchester high schools, but the club at New Rochelle High School has been one of the most active and impactful in its first year with youth-led activities including school wide announcements, tabling with awareness information and materials, displaying messages of encouragement and compassion throughout the school, and holding educational workshops and assembly presentations with outside speakers. “I believe that the things that I am learning from CODA will be the key to a healthy and happy college experience,” says senior and executive committee member Kristin Gallagher. Fellow board member Claudia Marcelin, echoes this sentiment when she talks about the organization. “Of all the things that I do,” she says, “I hold CODA most dear. It is the key to building successful coping mechanisms for the problems that come up in high school and even college.”


Together Stephanie and the New Rochelle High School CODA Club’s goals are increased awareness, early intervention and a reduction in the stigma typically associated with mental health challenges/substance misuse.



Jim Rathschmidt



Jim Rathschmidt


2018 Quality of Life Award



United for the Troops began quite simply with a gesture that parents everywhere can relate to: Jim Rathschmidt and his wife Patty mailed a care package to their son Luke who was deployed with the 82nd Airborne in Iraq. The package contained simple items like toiletries and snacks. Luke appreciated the package, but he told his parents that he felt badly because most of his fellow soldiers did not receive any mail or care packages at all. This bothered Jim, and he began collecting items to fill boxes to send to Luke’s friends and colleagues. In the early days, all the boxes were sent directly to Luke, who passed them around to his delighted fellow soldiers. Later on Patty sent out questionnaires asking what the soldiers would like to see in their packages. It was definitely a labor of love.


Today United for the Troops is a thriving nonprofit organization. Thanks to Jim’s tireless devotion and countless presentations, it is supported by a network of local schools, civic groups, Scout troops, and business leaders who help gather, sort items and pack boxes. Many also help by writing cards and letters that are tucked into packages to add a warm message of caring from the home front. The goal is always to support and remember deployed service members in the hope of making things a little easier for them. The organization works out of space provided by Putnam County to collect and pack the items needed to ship over 18,000 packages a year. The items that fill the boxes are all donated. Any money that is raised or collected is used to pay for the shipping which runs about $15 per box.


There is one point that Jim is most emphatic about: “My wife Patty and I are co-founders of United for the Troops. We each have done the things we do best. She works behind the scenes while I am the front man. We each have our roles to play in the success of the organization.” Together they are ensuring that those brave service members, in dangerous war zones, know they are not alone and thought of with a package from home.







Suzie Ross



Suzie Ross


2018 Going Green Award



Suzie Ross fulfilled a longtime desire to get involved with her community and to do something to make a real difference when she joined an advisory group that was writing a climate action plan for the Town of Ossining. At that time, Suzie was in the midst of a full-time career as a media research executive with two teenaged sons, Jake and Ben. She recalls feeling like a bit of an outsider sitting with people that she did not know during those early meetings. She felt uncomfortable with the thought that many had more academic credentials and experience. It didn’t take long however to realize that she did not need that level of expertise to get involved. “Being a concerned member of the community was what mattered. My opinions and commitment to the project were enough to make me an accepted member of the team,” recalls Suzie.


Today Suzie is the head of Green Ossining. Under her high-energy direction, the Greater Ossining Earth Day Festival has grown from 300 attendees in its first year to the largest such festival in Westchester County with 4,000 attendees in 2017. This year’s event will take place Saturday, April 21st, from 10am to 5pm. Recently Green Ossining launched a Repair Café where folks with skills gather to fix beloved but broken items, at no cost. As an extension of her engagement in environmental matters, Suzie recently attended Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corp, which further ignited her passion and dedication to making Westchester a greener place.


In addition, Suzie heads the Ossining Documentary and Discussion Series, which has as its slogan: “Bringing Our Community Together One Film at a Time.” Each monthly documentary screening is followed by a moderated panel discussion and Q&A session. When asked about the connection between her Green Ossining work and the Documentary Series, Suzie quickly replied, “At one point, a lot of things started overlapping for me. A healthy community is an environmentally aware community and vice versa. They are related.”


While she may have a busy volunteering schedule, Ross admitted “I don’t really think of it as volunteering. I think of it as civic responsibility.”



Geri Shapiro



Geri Shapiro


2018 Legacy Award



A senior advisor to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Geri Shapiro is a long-time Westchester resident and intimately involved with a myriad of important issues that impact our community and its residents. She is a staunch advocate for the county, working with leadership from all levels of government, nonprofits and the business community. Geri understands intimate details of the “big picture” of any issue – seniors, people with disabilities, nuclear power, access to social services, healthcare – but her primary focus is always on the person or family whose life is directly impacted.


Geri’s first career was as a stay-at-home mom who devoted much of her time volunteering at her daughter’s school and caring for her aging parents. She was active in the Edgemont PTA and served as PTA president. In 2000, she began volunteering for Hillary Clinton’s U.S. Senate campaign. Known by her family as the “expeditor,” her skills and experiences were quickly recognized and, at age 59, she was asked to serve as Westchester County Regional Director for Senator Clinton. In 2009 she transitioned to Regional Director for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and currently serves as a Senior Advisor.


Geri is among those who are quietly working to make Westchester County a better place, all while inspiring and empowering others. Throughout her career, she has mentored staff, volunteers, and members of the community, particularly women. Geri has been honored with the National Association for Female Executives 2012 Women of Excellence Award for Service to New York for her “vision, courage, compassion, proven success and generosity as demonstrated by how they help other women succeed.”


For Volunteer New York!, Geri has served as a mentor to the organization’s leadership. She greatly values Volunteer New York!’s mission and has asked probing questions that have encouraged critical reflection, helped formulate effective messaging, and introduced the organization to her extended network. Geri has described our work as “infrastructure” and knows that volunteers are critical to the effectiveness of any nonprofit.


Volunteering, and a bit of tenacity, opened a new door in Geri’s life, and she believes in its power to do the same for others.



Irene Harris



Irene Harris


SeniorCorps Week 2016 - RSVP of Westchester Volunteer Spotlight



Meet, Irene. An active member of RSVP of Westchester who loves to swim, read mystery books and the New York Times -- and just celebrated her 100th birthday without missing a beat.

Irene was born in Illinois in 1916, has one sister and two brothers. She has 7 grand kids and three great grandsons and lives in Thornwood.  She graduated from Iowa University and got her masters from Columbia.  She was a teacher and then a College Professor for Michigan State University and Washington State University.  Irene loves to swim at the YWCA at least three times a week.  Irene has traveled all over the world.  At 100 years old, Irene drives to her volunteer job but doesn’t enjoy the traffic.

Irene found out about the Open Book volunteer opportunity through the church bulletin.  She has been a RSVP member, volunteering with JCY’s OPEN BOOK program since 2000 at the Westchester Medical Center.

OPEN BOOK is a program that fosters reading and literacy among preschool children and families, distributing over 10,000 books annually. As part of the National Reach Out and Read Program, books are prescribed by the pediatricians to the families at the children's “well visits.”

Volunteers, like Irene and other RSVP members read aloud to the children in the waiting room and give them an age- appropriate book to take home; they also model reading techniques for parents/caregivers to use with their children. Parent Education Kits are distributed to the parents/caregivers.

Irene is a trained RSVP member that uses her skills to help the children learn new vocabulary words, proper word pronunciation and promotes a positive attitude towards reading. 

When asked “what does volunteering at age 100 means to you?” Irene says “I feel useful” and “I love the kids, they are so adorable”  

When Irene volunteers she feels that she’s using her expertise in education. She feels that the children need time to read and spend time to explore new ways of reading. 

Irene gives each child one on one attention, cues them on the story they read and goes over vocabulary words with them. She is very passionate about children in general and loves to read books.





Do You Know A Changemaker?


Volunteer Nominations Are Now Open For the 2019 Volunteer Spirit Awards. Visit volunteernewyork.org/awards for more info and give an amazing volunteer you know a chance to be recognized for their spirit and community impact.


2019 Volunteer Spirit Award Categories:

Education and Literacy Award
Honors volunteers dedicated to education and literacy through activities including, but not limited to, tutoring, adult literacy, library-based initiatives, early childhood education, and intergenerational programs.

Going Green Award
Honors volunteers who work to protect and beautify our environment and natural surroundings, advocate for the preservation of our planet and strive to instill these values for our community.

Quality of Life Award
Honors individuals who work to improve the quality of life in the following areas, including, but not limited to, working to reduce illness or with the disabled, homeless, elderly, and veteran populations, as well with those with substance abuse problems or mental disabilities.

Safe Community Award 
Honors volunteers who work to provide, promote and improve safe behavior in areas including, but not limited to, emergency preparedness, disaster response and relief, First Aid, fire prevention, internet safety.

Social Advocacy Award
Honors volunteers who advocate for and support the righting of injustice in our community in areas such as, but not limited to, human rights, minority rights, domestic violence, housing, job preparedness, etc.

Youth Leadership Award (Individual or Group)
Honors one youth (age 21 years or under) or group of youth for her/his/their outstanding volunteer service for a cause or nonprofit.


Transformation Award 
Honors volunteers who have triumphed over personal challenges or have been transformed through their volunteer service for a cause or nonprofit.




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