As a kid growing up in the city, I learned that giving back to the community was important. As an adult, I lost sight of that importance. Like most mamas, in the midst of having a baby, holding down the home dynamic, working outside of the home, or inside of the home, it was quite easy to simply forget to continue to give back.
It also seems impossible to “give back” when you have an extra mouth to feed. Giving back does not necessarily mean giving back monetarily. Donating your time as a volunteer to a community project, or person, is a big help, and quite fulfilling on a personal level. Many programs are open to any and all help, so they open their doors to kids and teens.
So, Brooklyn Mamas, was happy to round up some volunteering opportunities that the whole family (including my own) can partake in.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
If your teenager likes museums, and kids, then this is the perfect volunteer opportunity. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum currently has three positions available for volunteers. Museum Greater: As a greater for The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, you will be required to welcome all museum guest with a friendly, helpful, and responsive demeanor. Membership Associate: Maintain the highest standards of friendly, helpful, and responsive customer service at all times, communicate well with visitors; remain polite, courteous, and helpful at all times, and answer and return phone calls from Museum members, helping to answer questions and solve problems. Phone Operator: Answer incoming phone calls and route to specific departments, and answer questions and solve visitors’ issues.
Contact for More Information: (718) 735-4400 x160
City Meals on Wheels
This particular organization is very close to my heart. A couple of years ago, City Meals on Wheels, delivered food to my grandmother daily. She had limited mobility, so to have someone come, around the same time everyday with a warm meal was very special to her. Not only did they provide a warm, delicious, healthy meal, they also always provided her with a good conversation and a guaranteed visitor. That is what many of New York City’s elderly, are looking for…a meal, and a friend. According to the 2000 census there was 1 million elderly in New York City. In the year 2000 Brooklyn had the most, taking the lead, calling home to 30% of that population. You can deliver a meal by yourself, with your partner, or with your kids.
Information: You can download the application at citymeals.org and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
After School Homework Helper
There is no better way to help the community, than to help the children in our community. You or your teen can go to the closest Brooklyn Public Library and volunteer as a Homework Helper. You will assist children one-on-one and in small groups with assignments in math, science, social studies, and other topics, providing direction, clarity, and understanding.
Information: You can fill out an online application at brooklynpubliclibrary.org
Most of us here in Brooklyn, have at least one community garden, near our homes. I know I have about three. Those gardens constantly need a little love and attention, so why not take the whole family to volunteer and clean it up in the colder weather, and plant in the warmer weather?
Information: You can see a list of your local gardens at earthcelebrations.com
If you are a teen, or a adult, you can always visit your local YMCA, and volunteer in the child care programs, or their after school programs. If you own a company, you can also get involved as a cooperate volunteer. You and your company can fall into any of these three categories: Youth Development, Healthy Living, or Social Responsibility.
Information: Visit ymcanyc.org to learn more.