Mission: New York Cares harnesses the power of volunteers to improve the lives of thousands of New Yorkers in need.
We are New York City's largest volunteer network made up of 63,000 caring New Yorkers across all five boroughs. To meet a wide range of pressing community needs, New York Cares develops and runs volunteer-based programs at 1,350 nonprofits and public schools at no charge to these organizations. For many of these partners, New York Cares' programs and volunteers are essential components to helping them fulfill their missions. Last year, our army of volunteers made a meaningful difference in the lives of more than 400,000 New Yorkers.
Target demographics: New Yorkers in need by improving education, meeting immediate needs, and revitalizing public spaces
Direct beneficiaries per year: 400,000 disadvantaged New Yorkers
Geographic areas served: All five boroughs of New York City
Programs: We build our partnerships and programs with a focus on three issue areas: education, immediate needs, and public spaces. We know that these three areas are all of great importance to New Yorkers and that progress in these areas will have an exponential impact on the quality of life in NYC.
1. With only 34% of fourth grade students in NYC public schools proficient in math and reading, and with double-digit unemployment in some areas, improving educational outcomes for children and adults alike is a top priority. Nearly 60% of our 195,000 volunteer positions focus on education.
2. Nearly 60,000 people, including 23,000 children, spend nights in shelters. One million New Yorkers are over 65. Our volunteers staff soup kitchens, distribute winter coats, provide much-needed companionship for seniors, and fill many gaps in social services.
3. At 29,000 acres, NYC boasts the largest urban park system in the world. Annually, our volunteers contribute $1.5 million in labor and supplies to parks and community gardens in need of extra attention.
New York won the overall Excellence Award from the 2009 New York Times Company Nonprofit Excellence Awards. These awards recognize excellent nonprofit management throughout the New York City area, and were selected through a competitive application process decided by a volunteer selection committee made up of influential leaders from the New York nonprofit community.
Additionally, I have personally worked with NY Cares on a few workshops on volunteer management, and they are the "experts" in this area, given the sheer volume of volunteers they service.