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

Our Response to COVID-19

Client getting food from food distribution

Photo credit: Obed Obwoge

Our Response

Our work is vital now more than ever as our city’s most vulnerable residents are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. As the city’s lead agency designated by the Volunteer Coordination Task Force for mobilizing spontaneous volunteers in cases of citywide emergencies, we are committed to harnessing the passions of caring New Yorkers in a way that supports their safety and the safety of the people we serve. 

New York Cares is currently:

  • Running on-the-ground volunteer programs that focus on urgent needs, like providing meals for food-insecure and homebound New Yorkers.

  • Regularly enforcing health and safety requirements for volunteers and nonprofit partners, ensuring social distancing and PPE protocols are followed.

  • Shifting existing programs from in-person to online and adding new virtual volunteering opportunities.  Some of our latest projects include virtual yoga and Judo for elementary school students, a virtual storytime for kids, online SAT tutoring, phone banking to homebound seniors to conduct wellness checks, and more! 

  • Partnering with the New York City Department of Education to provide volunteer coordinated technology support to parents and students living in temporary housing. To date, trained volunteers have made more than 20,000 calls to families.

While there have been significant changes to the way our staff, Team Leaders, volunteers, and nonprofit partners respond to the needs of our city, one thing remains constant: the way New Yorkers show up for one another in times of crisis.

Impact Numbers

Since relief efforts started March 16, New Yorkers have been working hard for our city. Numbers as of August 31, 2020.

meals served

Volunteerism in the News

"Volunteering While Social Distancing.The Brian Lehrer Show (WYNC), March 24, 2020. 

"New York Cares Has New Yorkers Helping One Another Through Pandemic.WCBS 880, May 16, 2020. 

"City’s Volunteer Sector Swells But Faces New Challenges in Coronavirus Pandemic." City Limits, June 10, 2020.

"Hunger is Worsening. Here Are 7 Ways New Yorkers Are Addressing It." The New York Times, July 11, 2020. 

Our Partners