Here are some frequently asked questions from our network, and our responses.
Where can I donate (specific items)?
HFNY doesn’t directly accept donated goods or in-kind donations. Instead, contact one of HFNY’s partner affiliates to determine where and how items should be donated. The Salvation Army is a great organization to give any in-kind donations to. They have locations throughout the city where you can drop off donations. You can find their locations on their website here.
I need help and access to certain resources. Where can I find them?
Our affiliates are equipped with resources to serve you. Please contact The Bowery Mission, City Relief, The Salvation Army for further assistance. You can also look to our Resource Card to find different locations around the city that provide food, shelter, clothing, medical assistance, and more.
How can I start volunteering on my own?
The best place to find volunteer opportunities is on our Volunteer page: hfny.org/volunteer. Use the filter to narrow down opportunities by date, type of activity, population served, etc. Before signing up to volunteer, you will need to register on our site (hfny.org/user/login) and create a profile.
You can also visit our Urgent Needs page for a round-up of our most pressing needs by the week/month. If you would like to receive a weekly email with Urgent Needs opportunities, sign up on this page.
During COVID-19: To support our HFNY network, we have created a Virtual Volunteer page that lists current virtual volunteer opportunities in response to COVID-19. Feel free to request information to learn more! You will need to create a HFNY Account in order to request information on the specific opportunity they are interested in. If you are interested in volunteering in person, we have an Urgent Needs volunteer page that would be a helpful resource as well.
How do I volunteer with a friend and/or family member?
Find a volunteer opportunity either on our Volunteer page or our Urgent Needs page. If you already have a Volunteer profile, your friend and/or family member will need to register and create a separate profile. If you do not have a profile, you will both need to register separately on our site and create a profile. Please note: If your friend and/or family member does not have an email, you are welcome to register them a "guest."
Do you have any family-friendly volunteer opportunities?
If you want a list of family-friendly opportunities, navigate to our Volunteer page and choose "My Family is" on the first line of our volunteer filter. Then continue choosing options from our other filters before a list is populated. For the opportunities listed, you can register your child as a guest.
How can I arrange to volunteer as a large group (10+ people)?
Some of our volunteer opportunities are able to accommodate a group that's less than 10 people. Otherwise, for group volunteering, the best option is to reach out to our affiliates directly to discuss setting up a volunteer opportunity. Below is a list of our partners that could potentially accommodate your group. You are also welcome to look through our list of non-profit partners here and contact them directly to inquire about opportunities for corporate groups.
- Cru Inner City
- Dream Center
- Habitat for Humanity
- The Father's Heart Ministries
- The Bowery Mission
- New York City Relief
- Urban Hope
During COVID-19: To support our HFNY network, we have created a Virtual Volunteer page that lists current virtual volunteer opportunities in response to COVID-19. We will be adding new virtual opportunities to this link in the coming weeks and months. Feel free to share with your students! They will need to create a HFNY Account in order to request information on the specific opportunity they are interested in. If you are interested in coordinating a large group to volunteer together, we recommend that you reach out to our affiliates directly. Their information is listed on our website. If any students are interested in volunteering in person, we have an Urgent Needs volunteer page that would be a helpful resource as well.
Is there an age limit to volunteer?
Different organizations have different age limits. Age limits depend on the volunteer opportunity, but the majority are for adults ages 18 years and older. If an affiliate has an age limit requirement, they will usually note this on their volunteer opportunity pages.
Are there any restrictions to volunteering?
Most of our volunteer opportunities are open to anyone who has the heart to serve any communities and neighborhoods in our city. In addition to age limits (as noted above), some of our affiliates may have their own specific requirements based on client needs and programs.
During COVID-19: To protect the health and the safety of our affiliates, staff and volunteers, please follow these Center for Disease Prevention guidelines. If you have experienced any of the below, we ask that you not volunteer at this time if you:
- Have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath
- Have traveled from an affected geographic area within the past 14 days or been in close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 within the past 14 days
- Are currently sick and/or over 65 years old (especially if you have chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system), as per NYC.gov guidelines
How can I volunteer to receive court-mandated community service/hours?
Unfortunately, HFNY does not accept volunteers who are looking to fulfill court mandated service hours. However, we suggest you reach out directly to specific affiliates, such as The Bowery Mission, Graffiti, City Relief, The Salvation Army.
Where do I find a holiday volunteering opportunity?
The best place to find volunteer opportunities for Thanksgiving and Christmas is on our Holiday page. You can also use the filter on our main Volunteer page to narrow down opportunities by date, or click on the "Search" icon and type "Thanksgiving" or "Christmas" into the search box for holiday-specific opportunities. Before signing up to volunteer, you'll have to register with us here, and then you're good to go!
How do I sign up to volunteer with Don't Walk By?
Visit www.hfny.org/dontwalkby to register to volunteer.
Do I need to be vaccinated to volunteer for Don't Walk By?
Volunteers are encouraged to be vaccinated and boostered. To ensure the health and safety of all our guests, volunteers will be asked for proof of vaccination during check-in. If you are unable to show proof of vaccine we will require documentation showing proof of a negative COVID test administered by a medical practice. We will accept either a PCR test dated no earlier than the Tuesday before your outreach date, or a clinically administered rapid test dated no more than two days prior to your outreach date.
I am part of a group that would like to volunteer for Don't Walk By. Can we sign up to serve together?
This year we do not have the option for volunteers to register in groups, however you may sign up with another volunteer during registration. If you have a friend that you would like to serve with we encourage you to sign up as a pair. If you have a large group we suggest all volunteers sign up for the same Saturday outreach, and if possible volunteers may be grouped together at the when you arrive but we cannot guarantee that all volunteers in a group will be together.
When is volunteer training for Don't Walk By?
Training this year is two-fold. Asynchronous training will be emailed to participants two weeks prior to each outreach date to be completed at their leisure. A real time training via Zoom will take place from 7-9 pm the Monday before each outreach date.
Is there an age requirement for Don't Walk By?
All volunteers for Don't Walk By must be at least 18 years of age.
CONNECTING WITH US
Do you represent a specific affiliate? (e.g. The Bowery Mission, New York City Rescue Mission, etc.)
Currently, we partner with 60 affiliates across the five boroughs. While we support and work alongside them, we are separate organizations and do not represent them. If you have a specific question for an affiliate, please reach out to them directly. See our full list of affiliates.
I represent an organization that’s interested in becoming one of your affiliates. Where do I begin?
We have an application process for starting new affiliate relationships, which you can read about here. To apply, you are welcome to fill out the online application and a HFNY staff member will reach out to continue the process.
I represent a church that’s interested in becoming one of your church partners. Where do I begin?
We have an inquiry process for starting new church partnerships, which you can read about here. To inquire, you are welcome to fill out the online interest form and a HFNY staff member will follow up with you.
I represent a non-profit organization that is interested in applying for a grant. What are the steps?
Currently, we only provide grants to grant-eligible affiliates that we partner with. If your organization is interested in becoming one of our affiliates for a long-term partnership, fill out an online application form and a HFNY staff member will follow up with you.