Make A Difference

There are no limits to caring. Change lives by becoming a volunteer today!

When VOA co-founders Maud and Ballington Booth were brainstorming names for their new organization in 1896, one word remained prominent: "volunteer”. In those days, a volunteer was anyone who was committed to a mission or cause. The name Volunteers of America was chosen because it signified that the organization was comprised of people voluntarily choosing to help others. 

[Read More About Us]

Thank you for your interest in volunteering. At this time, many of our volunteer opportunities are on hold as VOA continues responding to the COVID-19 crisis and serving those in need. Please email Jordynn Barnhart, Communications & Special Events Manager, at jbarnhart@voaupny.org if you have any questions.

How You Can Help

  • Brightening Birthdays

    Host a party for kids at our Family Shelter

    As part of our Brightening Birthdays ™ initiative, we hold monthly birthday parties complete with cake and presents for children and families who are experiencing homelessness. Those experiencing unstable housing issues often miss out on the celebrations most American families experience together, especially birthdays, and Brightening Birthdays ™ helps change that. Want to get involved? You can help these family celebrations a success by volunteering, donating supplies or making a financial contribution.

  • Hold a Donation Drive

    Organize a drive for those in need

    Families in our shelters need many things. Donations that you collect will help impoverished individuals and families in local neighborhoods. 

  • Life Skills Group Leader

    As a life skills group leader you can teach individuals how to search for and obtain employment,
    interview techniques, resume writing, how to dress appropriately for work, budgeting, healthy meal preparation, and more. The maximum anticipated group size is 10. You must be at least 21 years old to volunteer for this opportunity.

  • Classroom Volunteer

    Assist Children’s Center staff with daily classroom activities for Pre-K children such as reading, games, small group and large group activities, mealtime assistance and carrying out lesson plans. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and be available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

  • Club Design/Implementation

    We are looking for creative, motivated individuals to design and lead a club comprised of up to 15 students, ranging in age from 5-12 years. Clubs meet once a week for up to an hour in four- to six-week blocks. Club ideas may include gymnastics, dance, drama, pottery, games, sports, journalism, language (sign, foreign, etc.)…the possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

  • Landscaping

    Enjoy the outdoors! Help us maintain a beautiful facility that makes our program participants feel welcome.