Know of a great place to volunteer?

hand reaching upward

People want to lend a hand.

We got an email from Chelsea this afternoon:

Could you list places that need volunteers in the Albany area? I'm sure there are many Capital Region folks like myself who would like to give back -- and I have had a hell of a time finding out where. Google has failed me ... and it just shouldn't be this hard to help others!

Got any ideas? Post it in the comments -- and if you can add why it's good/rewarding/interesting to volunteer there, even better.

We're hoping to put together a list and a highlight a few places.

(Thanks, Chelsea!)

photo: Flickr user HAMED MASOUMI


Almost any non-profit in the Capital Region could use volunteers. Figure out what you like to do and what community issues matter to you. You can work with kids, the food bank, animal shelters, hospice, Literacy Volunteers, museums...the list is endless. Here are some websites to get people started:

Through you can search for volunteer opportunities within a certain radius of your city or town, and search by your skills and interests.

Channel 6 has a website listing volunteer opportunities in the area. It's called "World at Home" and there is a link to it on [However today it wasn't working.]

See also

many of the emergency services agencies in the albany area are in desperate need of volunteers.

a few years back i volunteered at the ronald mcdonald house in albany. im pretty sure they are always looking for volunteers (unless something's changed), and it was actually pretty fun. you can do things like bake cookies for the families staying there.

become a volunteer firefighter, or an EMS worker. We need you and it is VERY rewarding.

The Damien Center over on Lake Street ( because who WOULDN'T want to volunteer for an organization with a fundraising event called the Santa Speedo Sprint?

The Damien Center also has a program called PAWS, which provides people with HIV/AIDS assistance in taking care of their pets when they are physically or financially unable to do it all alone. How incredibly rewarding!

Please, please, PLEASE become a volunteer for your local Red Cross chapter! We need help all year long with disaster relief, blood drives, senior advocacy, class instruction, fundraising, and all the rest.

I'm an employee, and I can tell you our volunteers are incredibly dedicated, and care more about their neighbors than I'd ever have thought possible. They inspire me every day.

Just call (518) 458-8111 and talk to our office of volunteers--they'll help you figure out an opportunity that fits your schedule and interests. If you click on my name below, you can also check out our website to learn more.

Big brothers/big sisters are always looking for bigs. Being a mentor to an at-risk youth sure beats sitting around complaining about the downfall of society (which many of us like to do). 1 hour a week or less, and you will make a PROFOUND difference. Not trying to sound cheesy, but, it's true.

troy bike rescue! details at

Thanks everyone these are great suggestions!

Depending on the type of work you would like to do: Food pantry, work with children, arts, animals, homeless, hospitals, social justice and activism, environmental, education, literacy, etc.

There are tons of places to volunteer in the capital district but you need to know what type of volunteerism you would like to do:

All of the local community theaters always need volunteers, for everything from acting to backstage work to ushering and hospitality. You'll meet amazing people and have a great time as well, and they're mostly all not-for-profit so you're also doing a good deed!

The Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany (NABA) needs volunteers to work one-on-one with blind adults reading and/or taping their correspondence. The fundraising staff has two events coming up in 2009: the Tulip Ball in May and a golf outing in September. Volunteers are needed to gather items for the silent auction component of each of these events. For more information about volunteering, call 463-1211.

Try Literacy Volunteers. They provide about 16 hrs of tutor training, a tutor guide book and picture dictionary. You can choose to tutor a nonreader or a non-English reader. Afterwards, you are assigned a student, then work out a schedule. I work with a Korean student and it has been a lot of fun.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

The week ahead

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (steamy), to the track,... (more)

An opinion on blood plasma centers, methadone clinics, a large logo, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

Exciting Tales of the Albany Planning Board is a program recorded before a live studio audience once a month in which the fates of multi-million... (more)

Exploring Washington County

The rural, rolling hills of Washington County are just about an hour northeast of Albany on a scenic ride along Route 40. The county is... (more)

Morning Blend

Next Albany police chief + Kathy Sheehan has appointed Eric Hawkins to be the next Albany police chief. He's currently the police chief in Southfield,... (more)

The Cornplanter pipe tomahawk

We got a chance this week to stop in the State Museum and see an interesting artifact that's newly on display, Cornplanter's Pipe Tomahawk. The... (more)

Recent Comments

... The theft itself of this important Native American artifact is an important part of its story. It's really a miracle that almost 70 years later that the Cornplanter pipe tomahawk ended up back at the State Museum, instead of remaining in someone's secret, private collection acquired illicitly, or even worse, not cared for professionally and therefore damaged, destroyed, or lost forever.

Exploring Washington County

...has 2 comments, most recently from Katie

Scanning that New York State Department of Health report that argues the case for legalizing recreational marijuana

...has 12 comments, most recently from Megan m

The Cornplanter pipe tomahawk

...has 2 comments, most recently from Ed

Morning Blend for Jul 20

...has 1 comment, most recently from Amy

Local places to buy head scarves?

...has 2 comments, most recently from Summer