Volunteering

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Catholic Charities! As you have seen from our website we are a multifaceted agency with programs and services across the 14 counties of the Diocese of Albany. 


We work to create safe environments in all our programs and agencies. All of our volunteers are required to fill out an application and some positions may require VIRTUS training (sexual abuse awareness training) or other specific training and background checks.

Once you have found a program in which you are interested or if you have questions, please contact:

Sr. Betsy Van Deusen, Director of Community Partnerships
E-mail: Betsy.vandeusen@rcda.org
Phone: 518-453-6650

 

Click here for Individual Volunteer Opportunities

Click here for Group Opportunities

Click here for a Volunteer Inquiry Form 

 


 

Volunteer stocking a food pantryINDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES


As an individual you may be inspired to help your neighbors in need for a variety of reasons – desire to do good, need to do service hours, faith commitment, to learn new skills, opportunity to try something new, or ? The following list is not exhaustive but will begin to give you a sense of some of the areas of need and the opportunities available to you.
 

Albany County

  • Mentor for After School Program (ages 9-12)

  • Mentor for Residential Program with youth

  • Early morning food pick up from businesses for food pantries/soup kitchens/residences

  • Spruce Up at a residential program

  • Food Pantry volunteer – unloading food, shelving, packing

  • VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Preparation) tax preparer volunteer or greeter (Jan-Apr)

  • Drive residents to appointments or on errands on a regular basis

  • Event Coordinator for residents- discover/visit "no or low" cost events, natural areas, etc.

  • BINGO volunteers- host monthly games for residents and provide prizes. Prizes are the key!

  • On-site Meditation/Gentle Yoga instruction for residents

  • Farm to table volunteers deliver/donate "bounty crop" fruits or veggies to our food programs. A special dish could be made for residents using ingredients as well

  • Long Term Care Ombudsman Program - volunteers help residents and their families understand and exercise their rights to quality care and quality of life. Email volunteer@cathcharschdy.org for more information.

 

Columbia County

  • Serving clients at a Food Pantry - Monday 9-12 and Wednesday 12-5

  • Food Pantry delivery, unloading and shelving food – 2nd and 4th Friday of the month


Fulton & Montgomery Counties

  • Food Pantry volunteers - serving family members, stocking shelves, pantry upkeep - M, W, Th, F, 1-3 hours per day

  • Long Term Care Ombudsman Program - volunteers help residents and their families understand and exercise their rights to quality care and quality of life. Email volunteer@cathcharschdy.org for more information.

 

Hamilton County

  • Long Term Care Ombudsman Program - volunteers help residents and their families understand and exercise their rights to quality care and quality of life. Email volunteer@cathcharschdy.org for more information.

 

Herkimer County

  • Transportation service to appointments


Otsego & Delaware Counties

  • Mentors for our Delaware County Mentoring Program – spend at least 6 hours per week with an at-risk youth ages 7 – 17 doing activities ranging from cooking, gardening, bowling, crafts, board games, hiking, etc. An extensive background screening is required and a one-year commitment once matched with a youth.

  • Mediators – we will help you to become certified as a mediator before volunteering

  • Drive residents to appointments or on errands on a regular basis

  • Caring Connections Volunteers – assisting individuals and families seeking emergency assistance – intake, referral, local resourcing

  • Event Coordinator for residents- discover/visit "no or low" cost events, natural areas, etc.

  • BINGO volunteers- host monthly games for residents and provide prizes. Prizes are the key!

  • On-site Meditation/Gentle Yoga instruction for residents

  • Food Donation Partner- appeal to local businesses and coordinate pick up for residences

  • Farm to table volunteers deliver/donate "bounty crop" fruits or veggies to our food programs. A special dish could be made for residents using ingredients as well.


Woman reading a book to kids in an after school programRensselaer County

  • After school volunteer or Homework Mentor

  • Food Pantry Intake Volunteer for a few hours a week

  • Drive residents to appointments or on errands on a regular basis

  • Caring Connections Volunteers – assisting individuals and families seeking emergency assistance – intake, referral, local resourcing

  • Event Coordinator for residents- discover/visit "no or low" cost events, natural areas, etc.

  • BINGO volunteers- host monthly games for residents and provide prizes. Prizes are the key!

  • On-site Meditation/Gentle Yoga instruction for residents

  • VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Preparation) tax preparer volunteer or greeter (Jan-Apr)

  • Food Donation Partner- appeal to local businesses and coordinate pick up for residences

  • Farm to table volunteers deliver/donate "bounty crop" fruits or veggies to our food programs. A special dish could be made for residents using ingredients as well.

  • Long Term Care Ombudsman Program - volunteers help residents and their families understand and exercise their rights to quality care and quality of life. Email volunteer@cathcharschdy.org for more information.

 

Saratoga County

  • Planting flowers, window washing, general sprucing up of a residence

  • Mentor afterschool and/or weekends

  • Long Term Care Ombudsman Program - volunteers help residents and their families understand and exercise their rights to quality care and quality of life. Email volunteer@cathcharschdy.org for more information.

 

Schenectady County

  • Meals on Wheels driver

  • Day Haven Adult Day Services volunteer

  • Transportation for Seniors

  • VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Preparation) tax preparer volunteer or greeter (Jan-Apr)

  • Long Term Care Ombudsman Program - volunteers help residents and their families understand and exercise their rights to quality care and quality of life. Email volunteer@cathcharschdy.org for more information.

 

Schoharie County

  • Food Pantry volunteer – serving clients, stocking, unloading food orders, pantry upkeep

  • Thrift Store volunteer – Assist with sorting donations, stocking shelves, and pricing items
  • Front desk volunteer – answer phones and greet clients
  • Long Term Care Ombudsman Program - volunteers help residents and their families understand and exercise their rights to quality care and quality of life. Email volunteer@cathcharschdy.org for more information.

 

Warren County

  • Domestic Violence Hotline volunteer

  • Long Term Care Ombudsman Program - volunteers help residents and their families understand and exercise their rights to quality care and quality of life. Email volunteer@cathcharschdy.org for more information.

 

Washington County

  • Long Term Care Ombudsman Program - volunteers help residents and their families understand and exercise their rights to quality care and quality of life. Email volunteer@cathcharschdy.org for more information.

 


 


GROUP VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES


The following list is not exhaustive but will begin to give you a sense of some of the areas of need and the opportunities available to your group.

These first three items can be done with any size group, at anytime of the year.

  • Food Drive for a Food Pantry or Residence:

      • Items often needed: peanut butter, jelly, tuna, canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, spaghetti sauce, mac and cheese, rice, pasta, cake mixes and frosting; or Christmas/Thanksgiving meal items for the holidays.

      • A monetary drive as through the Regional Food Bank (we can purchase food at sixteen cents a pound)


  • Baby Items Drive for our Community Maternity Services or Mercy House and Family Apartment Programs:

      • Items often needed: diapers (all sizes), baby wipes, desitin, baby shampoo, baby lotion, etc.


  • Can't get it with food stamps collection:

      • Items often needed: toilet paper, shampoo, soap, tampons and pads, toothpaste/toothbrushes, deodorant, hair products, tissues, laundry detergent, razors, shaving cream


  • Welcome Packets for Domestic Violence shelter residents in Schoharie Co:

      • Packets include towel, washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, soap, razors, etc.


Spruce Up Days:

  • Help is needed to clean up (paint, rake, organize etc.) at our residences, Sunnyside Center, and Camp Scully.


Volunteer construction workers helping to build a cabinDisaster Response and Recovery Office:

  • Catholic Charities is working with individuals and families impacted by flooding in Herkimer, Montgomery and Fulton Counties. Help is needed to do painting, cleaning up yards, carrying debris, etc. Contact Mina at: (518) 641-6953


Sister Maureen Joyce Food Pantry in Albany:

  • Help sort, stock, clean, organize etc. Contact: (518) 465-8262


Feeding Our Neighbors Fundraiser:

  • A drive in late January into early February to raise funds to help restock our food pantries after the busy Thanksgiving and Christmas season.


College Campus Activity for Kids:

Group of 5-10 to organize an activity, outing or event on their college campus for children in the Youth Enrichment Program that meets on Saturdays.


In our Residences:

Catholic Charities manages a number of emergency shelters and affordable housing residences for formerly homeless individuals and families. Homelessness is neither is a disease or a failure of character nor is it a "choice." For the vast majority, homelessness is a symptom of poverty and below is a sampling of things that might make homelessness and poverty just a little more tolerable.

  • Smiling girl and her peer mentorMake a Meal/Monthly Meal: Meals are served three times a day in our
    residences. Perhaps your group would like to bring a meal or come and prepare a meal that is scheduled. Small (2-5) or Large (10+).

  • Read a story to children at Mercy House: this family shelter often has small children that would love to have another adult or older young person read and tell stories.

  • Monthly Birthday Party: to recognize shelter residents who have a birthday that month.

  • BINGO volunteers: host monthly games for residents and provide prizes. Prizes are the key!
  • Seasonal or Holiday Decorating: pick one.

  • Clothing room organizing at Mercy House: this very busy shelter has a clothing room for folks to "shop in" while in residence there. It needs to be regularly straightened and sorted and organized.

  • Music concert: play music for the residents during dinner.


What your group project will accomplish for the people served by Catholic Charities: By adopting a shelter your group will help the residents of the shelter or residence feel important, that they are cared for. Your group, especially if you choose an opportunity to interact with the people who stay at the shelter or residence, will enhance their lives by initiating social relationships. This is incredibly important to people who are often "invisible" and "avoided." Friendly interactions boost self confidence, sense of belonging and happiness. Also, your project will help create a connection between the shelter and the broader community.

Where the project takes place: One of our shelters or residences.

Days and times needed: Typically meal time is Noon and 6pm so preparation time will be needed.

When this project is needed: Any day of the week

Preferred duration of the project: Commit your group to adopting a shelter or residence for one occasion then consider making an ongoing service commitment.

Interested in volunteering at one of our residences? Please contact Don Arnold directly at (518) 465-2614.