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

Carol Putnam | Team Leader Spotlight

Team Leader, New York Cares

"It was my first experience volunteering with New York Cares and I was a bit nervous. However, my nerves were put to ease when I met my Team Leader, Carol. She is wonderful and made me feel welcomed and appreciated. I loved it so much I volunteered to go back to help out in the kitchen the next morning and it was another great experience." -Melissa, New York Cares Volunteer

First impressions often leave the most lasting impressions. This month's Team Leader Spotlight has mastered this notion with her friendly, fun, and patient demeanor and in doing so, has left an unforgettable impression that keeps volunteers coming back to her projects time and time again. 

Meet Carol Putnam, a dedicated New Yorker who started leading projects only 3 short months after joining New York Cares as a volunteer in 2013. Since then, her leadership has been grounded in positivity, strength, and an unfailing commitment to her projects. Just ask New York Cares Program Manager, Julia Loehle who works closely with Carol on Blankets of Love with AHRC.

"I know I can rely on Carol without a doubt to make her weekly Blankets of Love project go off without a hitch. She is fully committed to her project, her volunteers, and the product that the group makes and donates to those in need.

Blankets of Love is a project that works with AHRC volunteers to knit and crochet squares that will be made into blankets and donated to foster children as they age out of the system and start a new chapter of their life. When this same project went on a hiatus for two months, Carol went ahead and organized a group to meet outside of New York Cares, knitting squares for quilts on the subway. Now that’s commitment!

As we enter a season where immediate needs like hunger and homelessness are brought to the forefront of our minds, Carol’s work and leadership serves as a beacon of light to our community. Just take Food Pantry Service at Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries, a project that Carol leads to ensure residents receive a warm welcome and friendly guidance through a local client-choice food pantry near Port Authority.

But what keeps Carol coming back time and time again? It's the diversity of volunteering.

"I  am excited to be volunteering in so many different ways. I feel incredibly blessed in my life and it is truly wonderful to be able to reach out to help those in need.  In a huge city like New York, there is so much to be done and what a wonderful experience to be able to help in any way!” 

So this November, we're grateful for positive first impressions and Team Leaders like Carol who have committed to making a lasting impact on our city and the many volunteers who come together to strengthen it.

  • Volunteer since: 2013
  • Team Leader since: 2013
  • Hours Spent Volunteering: 985
  • Describe in one word what being a Team Leader means to you: Friendship.
What’s one thing that you never leave the house without before team leading?


Share a favorite memory from a project.

The project, Blankets of Love, was established several years ago at FEGS. We have had to move our group to a couple of different locations, but I am thrilled that so many want to continue to create beautiful blankets and scarves for those in need. It was a wonderful moment last November when we were able to donate 150 beautiful blankets through this project!

What inspires you to continue your work as a Team Leader?

I am continually amazed by the New York Cares organization and the hearts of the volunteers with whom I share this work! Seeing the quality of work and the generosity of spirit in the volunteers brightens each project I attend! I am grateful to work with these wonderful volunteers.

What is your favorite thing to do in New York?

Just look around! There is so much beauty in this city, the buildings themselves, the parks and green spaces, the boroughs, the people - everything! I will never grow tired of this incredible city.

Interested in nominating a great leader like Carol to be featured in a future Team Leader Spotlight? Submit your nomination here.