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 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 fitness dance party with students and families, virtual SAT tutoring, phone banking to homebound seniors to conduct wellness checks, virtual citizenship preparation, and an online current events discussion group with adults and seniors who are blind or have low vision. 

  •  Partnering with the New York City Department of Education to provide volunteer coordinated technology support to parents and students living in temporary housing. In the next two weeks, over 300 trained volunteers will be calling each of these families to provide technical assistance.

While there's 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 from May 17, 2020.

8,400
volunteers
25,600
hours
803,000
meals served

Our Partners