Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Friends Committee

Friends Committee Women Talking

The Friends Committee is a group of young professionals who are passionate about volunteering their time to serve as ambassadors, raise $50,000 per year, and spread awareness for the mission of New York Cares. The Friends plan fundraising events, lead year-round volunteer projects, and connect with other civic-minded young professionals to help the half a million New Yorkers served by New York Cares' programs. In exchange, they are given the unique opportunity to network with influential corporate philanthropists and community leaders and grow their leadership skills.

Member Benefits

  • Quarterly networking happy hours with members and their guests across a number of industries in NYC (real estate, finance, tech, culinary arts, to name a few); 
  • Mentorship and networking opportunities with the Rising Leaders Committee; 
  • Support from the New York Cares staff in reaching individual and committee goals; 
  • Exposure to the strategic objectives of New York Cares, which the Friends Committee support on several initiatives; 
  • Access to myriad volunteering opportunities in the areas of education, revitalization, and immediate needs; 
  • Leadership opportunities as Team Leaders or Site Captains with our various annual events such as the Coat Drive and Winter Wishes; 
  • Opportunity to serve as an ambassador throughout the year; and the distinct honor of making an impact on their community while building their own empathy for the New York City community-at-large. 


Member Expectations

  • Commit to a net impact of $1,000 throughout the fiscal year (10/1-9/30), in one or more of the following areas:
    • Pledge a minimum personal financial commitment of $100 across your year of service 
    • Raise or leverage donations to New York Cares inclusive of ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, general individual donations, fundraising for New York Cares Day for Schools, the annual Coat Drive, etc. 
    • Secure in-kind donations to support the Friends Committee fundraising events throughout the year, such as raffle prizes, food, and other perks
  • Be an active volunteer:
    • Attend at least six committee meetings throughout the year, typically held on the second Tuesday or Wednesday evening of every month 
    • Actively participate in New York Cares calendar programs by volunteering on projects of their choosing and activities with committee members 
  • Introduce the New York Cares mission to your company by engaging them in our annual events such as Coat Drive, Winter Wishes, and Cares Day or introducing them to our customized corporate programs 
  • Serve as an ambassador for New York Cares at special events throughout the year 

Committee Members

Hanna Allerton

Colby Billhardt

Madeline Culkin

Sara Figel

Charlotte Gilliland

Gillian Hannon

Jay Hover

Anna Mann

Peter Mazzone

Caitlin Mintz

Anastasia Steranko

Carlos Vasquez

Marianna Vick

Elena Yochum

Join the Friends Committee

Interested in joining the committee? Submit the application below to get started.


Our Leadership


Austin Nelson

Events & Fundraisers Co-Chair

Krystyna Lijek

Events & Fundraisers Co-Chair

Akul Penugonda 

Membership & Finance Chair

Aimee Fajiculay

Social & Community Engagement Co-Chair

Ashley Scott

Social & Community Engagement Co-Chair

Shanée Walker

Social Media & Marketing Chair

Justine Berger