Why Your Community Group Should Serve Together

September 21, 2016

The writer of Hebrews says, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” Certainly, serving the poor and marginalized together is a specific way we can encourage one another toward good works and build one another up in Christ. At Hope for New York, we believe it is important not only to serve individually, but also in community. When you serve in community, you are working together towards something greater than yourself, and it has great implications on the group.

Last year, we started HFNY Reps at Redeemer’s East Side congregation in order to encourage community groups to serve even more. And it worked! We saw a significant increase in volunteerism at Redeemer East Side this past fiscal year. Which is why we think one of the best ways to mobilize churches to volunteer is through community groups—after all, they are a group of people gathering together to live out the gospel!

And, it’s more fun to serve together. When you volunteer with others, it adds an element of community to an already rewarding experience. It’s fun to mix up the ways in which you spend time and engage with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Not to mention, it can be an incredibly edifying bonding experience.

At HFNY, we have several volunteer opportunities throughout New York City that are suitable for groups. Below are some ideas—so go ahead and sign up to serve with your community group today!

The Bowery Mission // Prepare and Serve Dinner to Homeless Guests

Lower East Side; Wednesdays and Fridays
Up to 10 volunteers at a time can serve dinner to 200+ homeless guests. Volunteers prep, serve a meal in a buffet line, and clean up after dinner.

Brooklyn Teen Challenge // Pack and Distribute Pantry Bags

Clinton Hill; Saturdays

Up to 8 volunteers work alongside Teen Challenge residents to set up tables and supplies, pack bags filled with groceries, and distribute the bags to low-income families in the neighborhood.

Center for All Abilities // Provide Childcare for Parents Attending Autism Support Group

Chinatown; Saturdays

Volunteers will engage with children with autism during monthly play-dates, providing opportunities to improve their motor skills, mature in their social development and communication while interacting with their siblings, peers and volunteers in a supportive and fun atmosphere.

Citymeals-on-Wheels // Deliver Meals to Homebound Elderly in Upper East Side

Upper East Side; Saturdays

Volunteers pick up meals at local UES center, receive route for delivery from center, and walk in groups of 2-3 to deliver meals to elderly recipients in the neighborhood.

Living Waters Fellowship // Serve Breakfast and Build Relationships

Bushwick; Saturdays

Up to 10 volunteers will prepare and serve a delicious breakfast to over 100 guests, including the elderly, children, and homeless. Volunteers will set up, cook, and serve food and drinks.

New York City Relief // Mini Don’t Walk By

Midtown West; Thursdays

Don’t Walk By is NYC Relief’s Thursday night outreach that puts “feet on the street”. Up to 10 volunteers will go out in teams to find our friends on the street who are afflicted with homelessness, and distribute socks and hygiene kits, as well as build relationships with men and women.

World Vision // Sort and Pack Donated Materials

Bronx; Saturdays

Up to 12 volunteers will sort and pack donated materials that will be distributed to communities in need in the South Bronx.

If you have any questions about these opportunities, email volunteer@hfny.org.