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

Safety Requirements for Team Leaders

These safety instructions are being implemented on all New York Cares projects as part of our response to COVID-19.

As the city’s lead organization designated by New York City Emergency Management to mobilize volunteers in cases of citywide emergencies, we are in regular communication with city agencies on how our volunteers can make the most direct and meaningful impact at this time while taking necessary precautions. 

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. Due to the essential and immediate needs of our programs, New York Cares has not canceled all programming at this time, unless a partner has chosen to do so.

The health and safety of our volunteers, Team Leaders, and the people we serve remains our top priority. We are working with our Community Partners to ensure that city guidance is followed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and are requiring the following:

  • Have accessible hand washing stations and/or hand sanitizer easily accessible
  • Instruct volunteers to wash their hands upon entering your building
  • Post visible displays of preventive measures (e.g. flyers, signage)
  • Ensure that bathrooms and shared spaces are deep-cleaned and disinfected as per the General Disinfection Guidance for Commercial or Residential Buildings
  • Limit convening in populated areas, such as, waiting rooms, lobbies, etc.


All directives and recommendations pertaining to COVID-19 issued by NYC Health or other relevant City agencies must be followed such as allowing for 6 feet of distance between people.

We are also asking volunteers to adhere to our safety requirements to help in this effort.

All volunteers have been sent a message of our requirements which are now being reinforced in project sign-up confirmations and in orientation.

As a Team Leader, here is how you can support of efforts to protect the health and safety of the communities we serve:


Project Preparation 

  • Follow the latest guidelines to slow the spread of coronavirus
  • If you have questions or concerns about your project, please contact your Program Manager.
  • If any of the following conditions apply to you, you must stay at home for the safety of everyone. Please notify your Program Manager to find a replacement Team Leader for your project:
    • You are sick
    • You are over 50 years old or have chronic health conditions, including chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system
  • If you are unwell or uncomfortable leading a project, please contact your Program Manager or our emergency line at (212) 402-1102 to find a replacement Team Leader for your project.



  • Stay tuned for additional updates from New York Cares as our situation changes.
  • Join us for an upcoming Team Leader Digital Info Session where we will walk through the latest information on our response and provide another forum for you to ask questions.
  • If you have an emergency, or urgent need, please utilize our emergency line at (212) 402-1102.


Project Kickoff

We ask that Team Leaders read the following as part of their kick-off:

New York Cares volunteers serve in a critical capacity by providing food and other essential services to economically disadvantaged New Yorkers. According to Executive Order 202.6, food service and other immediate needs are deemed essential business and are therefore exempt from the order.

  • In partnership with the city's Volunteer Coordination Task Force, we are actively enforcing the following safety requirements on our projects:

If any of the following conditions apply to you, we ask that you leave the project and stay at home for the safety of everyone:

  • You are sick
  • You are over 50 years old or have chronic health conditions, including chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system

By staying on the project, you affirm that none of the conditions I read apply to you and that you are comfortable volunteering on our project today.

Before we begin the project, we’ll ask that all volunteers wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water or use the alcohol-based sanitizer that we’re providing.

While on the project, we ask that you:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Do not use your hands.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Do not shake hands.
  • Monitor your health more closely than usual for cold or flu symptoms.
  • Do not gather in large groups.
  • Keep at least six feet between you and others.


We continue to be awed by the volunteers, Team Leaders and staff for their ongoing efforts to keep their fellow New Yorkers healthy, whether that’s by staying home if feeling unwell or uncomfortable, or volunteering while following the guidance from NYC Health. Thank you for your service.

Downloadable PDF

If you are looking to print these instructions, you can find the PDF here.