If you want to give back to your community, volunteering is a great idea. From providing meals for children to saving animals to improving the lives of those less fortunate, the opportunities are vast. Consider volunteering for one or more of these organizations this holiday:

Grace Van Vorst Community Services, an arm of Grace Church Van Vorst, offers breakfast for those in need on Saturdays and Sundays and meals in the church on Christmas Day. They are also interested in offering a class for senior citizens on English as a second language and on how to use basic technology such as smartphones.

Volunteers are needed to:

  • Help prepare and serve these meals
  • Teach English as a second language
  • Teach a course on basic technology

Grace Community Services
39 Erie Street
Jersey City, NJ. 07302

York Street Project weaves together various programs that shelter, feed, educate, and counsel women struggling with poverty and homelessness —and their children — in an effort to break the cycle of poverty. Kenmare High School provides secondary education and practical work skills for women 17 and older;  Joseph’s Home and St. Mary’s residence offer shelter for single women with children; The Nurturing Place provides day-care for children two months to five years old from low-income or homeless families; The Summer Program runs field trips during the summer for homeless or impoverished children.

Volunteers are needed to:

  • Drive to pick up donations around Hudson county (primarily in Jersey City)
  • Run their in-house clothing boutique (sort through donated clothes, put together packages for the needy, and manage inventory)
  • Perform administrative tasks such a entering information into their database an sending out thank-you letters
  • Help with children in classrooms and during unstructured time such as lunch time throughout the day

York Street Project
89 York Street
Jersey City, NJ. 07302

Liberty Humane Society is a no-kill shelter that contracts with Jersey City, Bayonne, and Hoboken. Stray dogs and cats are sheltered indefinitely until they are adopted.

Volunteers are needed to:

  • Foster animals in their home
  • Bathe, walk, and socialize dogs on site
  • Assist with care of cats on site
  • Serve as “animal visibility ambassador,” “humane education ambassador,” and “special projects ambassador

Liberty Humane Society
235 Jersey City Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ. 07305

St. Lucy’s Emergency Shelter provides shelter, meals, showers, and clothing for single men and women. They also meet with clients individually and refer them to local welfare and Social Security disability offices and to counseling programs in mental-health, substance abuse, and job search and training.

Volunteers are needed to put together meals and to sort and distribute food.

Jersey Cares
619 Grove Street
Jersey City, NJ. 07310

Women Rising runs a variety of programs to help women suffering from domestic violence or substance abuse: They help families on welfare understand their rights and make full use of the welfare benefits; they teach women how to use Microsoft Office; they train women for jobs in the hospitality industry; and they arrange apprenticeships for women with the carpenters union.

Volunteers are needed to:

  • Join their domestic violence response team where they will educate victims on domestic violence laws, provide emotional support and help victims with a safety plan
  • Host events or drives to raise money for its programs and spread awareness

Women Rising
270 Fairmount Ave.
Jersey City, NJ. 07306

Final Hope Animal Rescue provides temporary shelter, socialization, and medical care to stray animals. They have an active trap-neuter-release program in which they trap stray felines, neuter them, and release in order to minimize future unwanted litters.

Volunteers are needed to:

  • Feed their furry friends, clean cages, and help socialize the animals
  • Transport the animals and participate in adoption events
  • Help with vet visits and with their trap-neuter-release program

Final Hope
201-725-2044 (text preferred)

New City Kids is an after-school sanctuary for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade. Teens teach the younger children music and help them with homework. Adults are on hand to supervise the music classes and provide further help with homework. The organization is faith based but open to all children.

Volunteers are needed to serve meals during rehearsals for the kids’ music performances as well as help paint and decorate their common areas on Saturday mornings.

New City Kids
240 Fairmount Ave.
Jersey City, NJ. 07306

Fountain of Salvation Church — together with Freeholder Bill O’Dea, Rotary Club of Plainsboro, the National Honor Society of McNair Academic High School, Phi Theta Kappa chapter of Hudson County Community College, and Mercy Coop and Café — will be providing 600 meals to seniors and others in need on Thanksgiving day from 9am-12pm.

Volunteers are needed to donate turkey and pumpkin pie and to drive meals to home-bound recipients.

Fountain of Salvation Church
324 Communipaw Ave.
Jersey City, NJ. 07304

Header photo: Courtesy Grace Van Vorst Book Sale Facebook page.

Leave a comment