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

About the Day

A campaign to address a crisis in education

Just one out of every three New York City fourth grade public school students today is proficient in both math and reading. More than 23,000 students drop out of city high schools every year. Less than a third of those who do graduate are deemed college-ready. In response to these jarring statistics, New York Cares is asking you to take part in Cares Day for Schools, a campaign where all funds raised are dedicated to expanding educational programming in public schools that connects volunteers directly with struggling students, helping them develop skills, networks, and self-esteem critical for long-term achievement.

What's more, the campaign culminates not in a walk or a plunge, but in a day of painting, cleaning, and organizing in schools, ensuring NYC students have bright and safe learning spaces in which to build futures of greater possibility.


This year, New York Cares Day for Schools will take place on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The schedule for the day will go as follows:

  • 9:00 a.m. Volunteers Arrive for Registration
  • 10:00 a.m. Welcome and Orientation
  • 10:15 a.m. Beautification Begins
  • 1:15 p.m. Finish Projects and Clean Up
  • 1:30 p.m. Wrap-up and Reflection
  • 2:00 p.m. Thank You and Goodbye


Take the first steps to serving students

First things first, create or join a team.

Once you get registered, you will get an email with an option of selecting your school site preferences for the actual day of service. You may want to volunteer near your office or apartment, but we select schools in all five boroughs based on need. Every school where volunteers work on Cares Day receives Title I funding from the government, and 95% of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. What that means for you is, while we will do our best to place you and your team at a work site that meets your preferences, Cares Day for Schools is, in the end, about the kids and about schools that could use a helping hand. We make sure that we have enough volunteers at all schools that join the campaign.


Your contributions

We suggest that all participants set a fundraising goal of $100 and make a personal donation of $25 to kick things off. For a few examples of where your money will be going, check out these high-impact, volunteer-led programs that we'll be able to expand to reach more students only with your support:

  • In 2016, New York Cares ran over 10,000 projects in elementary schools, assisting students with their homework, math, and reading skills.
  • Last year, our volunteers tutored more than 1,000 students in our SAT prep program, the largest free SAT prep program in NYC.
  • Just this past spring, trained volunteers consulted with 800 students and their families obtain more than $2 million in potential financial aid for college.


Need more details?

Want to get information on the specific schedule for the day? Want more ideas on how to raise money? Thinking about bringing along your entire family? We've got all the specific information, guidelines, and official event policies over on our FAQ page. You can also email with questions.