DUMBO is home to tons of non-profits who are improving communities and individual lives everyday. Whether you’re a student or a scientist, a photographer or an entire company, there’s a myriad of fun DUMBO-based volunteer opportunities with your name on it. To help you help others help others, we’ve put together a list of 20+ volunteer opportunities for groups and individuals alike.
Do you have an opportunity to add to this list? Get in touch at dumbo @ dumbonyc.org.
(Photo by Alexa Hoyer for Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservatory)
Brooklyn Bridge Park is a world-class waterfront park with rolling hills, riverfront promenades, lush gardens, and spectacular city views.
- Park Peers (Groups of 10) A program for volunteers with disabilities who commit to lend a hand in the park for six weeks. Park Peers assist with maintenance and gardening tasks while learning professional and social skills. Service agencies with a group of 10 members or fewer must connect with the Volunteer Manager to coordinate in advance. Opportunities available in spring and fall. Space is limited. For more information, click here.
- Coastal Cleanup (Groups of 10): Coastal Cleanup Volunteers give back to the community by helping us remove hundreds of pounds of trash from Pier 1 salt marshes and beaches. May-October. Group Opportunity (10 people max.) For more information, click here.
- Spring Spruce Up and Cutbacks (Group Opportunity): Volunteers enjoy the outdoors and getting their hands dirty as they help prepare the park for a new growing season. Volunteers, with various levels of experience, support BBP Gardeners by cutting back overwintered grasses and perennials, removing winter debris, and helping tidy up the planting beds. March-April. Group Opportunity.For more information, click here.
- The Green Team (Group Opportunity): The Green Team is a weekly volunteer group that provides essential horticultural care to the park. Weekly projects may include planting, mulching, or removing invasive plants. May-October. Group Opportunity (10 people max). For more information, click here.
- Zone Volunteers (Group Opportunity): Zone Volunteers work alongside BBP Gardeners to care for the park’s diverse plant communities and habitats. Members of this horticultural team must commit to working 3-4 hours per week. Year round. For more information, click here.
- Docent/Tour Guides (Individual Opportunity): Docents lead guided park tours to the public on weekends and to groups during scheduled visits. Docents represent BBP and The Conservancy to visitors and play a crucial role in educating the public about Brooklyn Bridge Park’s unique design, history, and ecology. Year round. For more information, click here.
- Education Volunteers (Individual Opportunity): Volunteers help in one of three Education activities: School Programs, Environmental Education Center Open Hours, and Seining. March-December. Individual Opportunity. For more information, click here.
- Park Greeters (Individual Opportunity): Stationed at the Conservancy’s Mobile Info Station, Park Greeters welcome visitors to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Greeters are important members of the BBP Visitor Services team who engage the public, answer questions, distribute park literature, and more. Year round. For more information, click here.
- Park Visitor Count (Group Opportunity): Lend a hand in the park by collecting data that will help us better understand how Brooklyn Bridge Park is used by guests. Volunteers count visitors entering/exiting the park at different access points and report their findings after each assignment. June-August. For more information, click here.
- Photographers (Individual Opportunity): Volunteers offer their time and talents to the Conservancy to support Brooklyn Bridge Park’s social media, educational materials, and special projects. Year round, as needed. For more information, click here.
- Program Volunteers (Individual Opportunity): Public Program Volunteers greet and provide information to the public, help facilitate programs, assist in the set-up and break down of equipment, and administer park surveys. Year round, as needed. For more information, click here.
- Corporate Groups (Group Opportunity): Large-scale horticultural and maintenance projects promote team-building while providing an important service to the park. Brooklyn Bridge Park can host corporate groups with up to 30 members. Activities are based on the needs of the park at the time of the scheduled visit and are typically scheduled on Mondays and Thursdays for 2-3 hours. Year round. For more information, click here.
CityScience raises the quality of science education while supporting environmental stewardship. By using the natural and built environments of cities as laboratories for active learning, we transform teaching to make science relevant and engaging for PreK-8 students. Volunteering is a great way to get to know CityScience and help bring high quality science education to where it is needed most. Whether you are high school or college aged, in the professional world or retired, CityScience strives to create meaningful and memorable volunteer experiences. We offer a range of opportunities to a range of skill sets and age groups including:
- Corporate & Group Opportunities: Volunteers who to give back even with packed schedules. Bring all your corporate friends and colleagues to a day of volunteering with CityScience. Schedule a day to volunteer, tailor the day to meet your organization’s needs, and bring your coworkers closer together in a fun hands-on day of giving back. Groups of volunteers make dreams come true by coming together to better the schools and communities CityScience works in. Welcoming partnerships with corporations, universities, and community based groups, we work with you to create opportunities that meet your group’s needs and priorities. Year – round. For more information, click here.
- Scientists & STEM Professionals (Individual Opportunity): Professionals with input to improve all aspects of STEM education. Utilizing cities as laboratories for active learning requires continuous input from local scientists and STEM professionals. These are the volunteers who make it possible to connect scientific learning to the city in deep and meaningful ways. Scientists and STEM professionals who volunteer can: Provide valuable background information about your field, increase students’ awareness of STEM careers, connect students to field trip opportunities, speak in classroom, invite students to your lab/workplace, help to facilitate a demo for students, create easy-to-build projects, lead walking tours, and more. Year-round. For more information, click here.
- College Students (Individual Opportunity): Undergraduates and graduates looking to bolster their education with a new hands-on skill set. CityScience actively recruits at all local teachers colleges and provides great opportunities for graduate students interested in utilizing informal resources to teach science. In the past, capstone projects have improved program evaluation and new curriculum has been written while students gain valuable experience working with a committed staff in the nonprofit sector.College internships are not limited to those seeking careers in education. Applications for the following positions are accepted on an ongoing basis:Education Intern, Communication Intern, Development Intern, and Office Intern. Year-round applications. For more information, click here.
Edible Schoolyard NYC partners with public schools to transform the hearts, minds, and eating habits of young New Yorkers through garden and kitchen classes integrated into the school day.
- Kitchen Voluteers (Individual Opportunity): As a kitchen volunteer, you’ll work with Edible Schoolyard NYC teachers to create a fun, familiar kitchen environment, helping with food prep, setup, and cleanup. You’ll also serve as an important role model for the students, demonstrating safe and respectful ways to interact in the kitchen. For more information, click here.
- Garden Volunteers (Individual Opportunity): As a garden volunteer, you’ll assist Edible Schoolyard NYC staff in garden maintenance. Get ready to get your hands dirty, working rain or shine to develop and share urban organic gardening skills. All levels of gardeners are welcome! For more information, click here.
- Weekend Volunteer Days (Individual Opportunity): Edible Schoolyard NYC hosts occasional weekend volunteer days. Keep up with the latest opportunities by signing on for the newsletter or check out the upcoming events. For more information, click here.
- Corporate Work Days (Individual Opportunity): Looking to become a good corporate citizen? Edible Schoolyard NYC hosts corporate work days so that companies can give back to their communities. To inquire about a corporate work day, please contact them here.
- Other ways to get involved: If you’re interested in offering administrative, fundraising, media, or communications support to Edible Schoolyard NYC, please contact them here.
Brooklyn Community Services works to create powerful volunteer partnerships with hundreds of individuals, community organizations, the faith-based community, local businesses and corporations who share our vision of ONE Brooklyn Community. We are calling on Brooklynites who share our vision for ONE Brooklyn Community to partner with BCS and help change the math for the 23% of Brooklynites living in poverty. You can make an impact by becoming a BCS volunteer.
- Spring into Action (Group Opportunity): Our signature volunteer initiative at the start of every Spring, which has galvanized hundreds of volunteers to give back in low-income communities. For more information, click here.
- Corporate and Group Volunteering: BCS works with corporate groups, places of worship, universities, civic groups, and more. Our staff will work with you to make sure your volunteer experience is both meaningful for you, and makes a real difference in Brooklyn’s low-income neighborhoods. For more information, click here.
- ONE Brooklyn Campus Fellowship Program (Individual Opportunity): Apply Now!BCS has launched the ONE Brooklyn Campus Fellowship Program, a platform to mobilize college students through volunteer service, to effect change for Brooklyn residents living in underserved communities.The Fellows Program is designed to both give a select group of Brooklyn college students the opportunity to make a difference in Brooklyn and help these students grow into effective leaders in their communities. With the guidance of BCS staff, the Fellows will create and put into practice 70 hours (or more) of community service. College students living in or attending college in Brooklyn are encouraged to apply! For more information, click here.
DUMBO’s own Daniel Hale Williams Magnet School for STEM Studies.
- Master Organizer. (Individual or Small Group Opportunity): Put those organizational skills to use! PS307 needs immediate help organizing, sorting and labeling (1) all the great materials and the kids use in their everyday classroom adventures; and (2) library books!
- Garden Beautification. (Individual or Small Group Opportunity): Get outside, get your hands dirty and help make something beautiful!
- Mural Painting. (Individual or Small Group Opportunity): Get outside, get your hands dirty and help make something beautiful!
- Guest speakers in STEM fields. (Individual Opportunity): Share your passions, projects you’re working on, and career advice with the kids in a new type of career day.
- Class buddies. (Individual Opportunity): Connect with a classroom and assist its teacher with a range of exciting day-to-day learning activities.
- Student mentors. (Individual Opportunity): Connect with a student one-on-one and help them discover their passion.
Recycle-A-Bicycle (RAB) is a community-based bike shop and 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that facilitates job training and environmental education. Through innovative programs such as Earn-A-Bike, Green Jobs Training Programs, High School Internships, Recycled Arts Workshops, Summer Youth Employment Program, and Kids Ride Club, RAB is dedicated to the health, development, stewardship, and empowerment of NYC youth. In the past year alone, more than 1,000 RAB youth collectively refurbished 500 bicycles, pedaled 24,000 miles, and burned 1,750,000 calories. On average, RAB salvages 1,800 bicycles each year from the waste stream, diverting a total of 45,000 pounds of waste from NYC’s landfills.
- Volunteer Incentive Program (Individual Opportunity): Joining the Bike New York team as a volunteer is an experience like no other. You’ll meet like-minded people and help to make others’ lives more fulfilling simply by getting them on bikes. For more information, click here.
Stoked’s mission is to inspire teens who are the most vulnerable, to believe in themselves through action sports. They believe that riding a wave, building a skateboard, and gliding down snowy mountains can show teens that they are capable of greatness, despite the odds against them.
- Mentor Position (Individual Opportunity): Mentors act as role model for students to help create a community of fearless leaders. Mentors provide guidance, support, and nonstop encouragement to students. Individual opportunity. For more information, click here.