Current Volunteer Opportunities

Note on Volunteering During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In an effort to continue to “flatten the curve” in Tompkins County, and keep the community healthy and safe, moving forward United Way asks that volunteers follow the safety protocols and requirements identified by the agency they are serving. 






United Way of Tompkins County




Remote Opportunity


United Way of Tompkins County | (

Application link: 

UWTC 22-24 CCF Reviewer Application.pdf 

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information

Gregg Houck, Interim Director of Community Impact


Phone: 607-272-6286

Description of Volunteer Opportunity

Community Care Fund Grant Application Reviewers

United Way of Tompkins County is currently seeking volunteers for the Community Care Fund Review Teams. Each year community volunteers generously give their time and talent to serve as reviewers in the United Way Community Care Fund investment process. Reviewers will be responsible for reading funding applications, making funding recommendations, and reviewing the progress of the programs once funded.


This is an opportunity for you to:

• Contribute positively to the community;

• Help ensure that United Way investments have the greatest impact possible;

• Learn about the United Way of Tompkins County and many other local non-profits;

• Network with other peers with various backgrounds and a shared desire to serve the community.

All non-profit agencies serving individuals in Tompkins County are invited to apply for funding for programs fitting the current UWTC funding priorities. Once reviewer applications are received, they are then divided into individual review teams. Each team will be assigned a group of CCF applications to review. Reviewers will complete a scoring rubric for each application their team is assigned. Teams discuss applications and rubrics in depth, and ultimately make funding recommendations to all assigned applications.


The Sciencenter is a non-profit informal science education institution in Ithaca, NY. We are a nationally recognized museum, hosting 100,000 guests on-site each year and reaching over 1.5 million people worldwide through traveling exhibitions and outreach programs. Volunteers, interns, and work study students are an integral part of our team.


Sciencenter, 601 1st Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 

Application link:

Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information

Kimberly A. Griffiths, Volunteer Program Manager


Description of Volunteer Opportunity 

Sciencenter Education Programming Assistant Position Description:

Programming Assistants enhance guests’ experiences on the museum floor by: 
-Encouraging and inviting visitor groups to explore and interact with exhibits 
-Answering basic visitor questions and offering a welcoming, approachable presence on the museum floor 
-Facilitating hands-on tabletop activities in galleries 
-Staffing the Discovery Space
-Opening the Tidepool Touch Tank and facilitating guest interactions with its marine inhabitants 
-Handling and introducing guests to teaching animals 
-Assisting the Education staff with activity prototyping and providing feedback for curriculum development 
-Assisting with cleanliness procedures 
-Communicating with Sciencenter staff members about visitor questions and comments, exhibits needing repair, First Aid and other emergencies, and any other issues relating to visitors’ experience in the museum

Programming Assistants may also choose to help out with on-site Special Events or off-site outreach, as their schedule allows.

Is this opportunity ongoing?

-Upbeat and positive attitude, with enthusiasm for the Sciencenter’s mission
-Interest or background in science, with the ability to learn new things quickly 
-Museum docent, teaching and/or early childhood education experience helpful; experience working with teens (or desire to do so) a plus 
-Strong oral communication skills 
-Ability to respond calmly and professionally to unforeseen circumstances 
-Ability to perform assigned duties independently, but take direction from Sciencenter staff as required 


YMCA of Ithaca & Tompkins County: Neighborhood Food Hub and Farm Stand



50 Graham Rd W, Ithaca, NY 14850

Farm Stand located in the north parking lot (towards Ciao!)




Volunteer Coordinator Contact   Information

Teresa Morehouse       Associate Executive Director



Description of Volunteer Opportunity 

Mondays, Fridays 12:30-4:30, occasional mornings for food pick-ups or deliveries

Tasks include stocking shelves and refrigerators, sweeping and tidying up distribution areas, restocking items throughout the day, breaking down cardboard boxes from deliveries, greeting/checking in guests and handling crowd control, ensuring fair distribution of items, assisting guests with mobility challenges, occasionally picking up food donations from local grocers/bakeries/restaurants.


Get Your GreenBack Tompkins (a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County)

GYGB works collaboratively to help people, especially those with limited income, and organizations, take high impact steps that simultaneously reduce our community’s carbon emissions, save money and create a socially-just, local economy.


Remote Opportunity



Volunteer Coordinator Contact Information
Emily Belle
607.269.7648 (C) | 607.272.2292 x262 (O)


Description of Volunteer Opportunity 
Energy Navigators are concerned and capable residents who help their friends, neighbors and other
community members learn about ways they can reduce their energy use and energy bills and use
renewable forms of energy to heat and power their homes. In particular, Navigators focus on programs
that cover costs of energy efficiency, renewable heating and solar for households with limited income.
Navigators provide hands-on demonstrations of energy-saving strategies for interested renters and
homeowners, assist with outreach at community events and sites serving low-income residents, spread
the word through their personal networks, and lead by example! They may also choose to help
facilitate energy literacy programs for K-12 students at area schools using the PowerHouse, a tiny home
on wheels showcasing energy best practices.

Over a period of nine months, Energy Navigators help residents and students increase their energy
literacy and take concrete steps to reduce energy use, save money and switch to renewables. To
accomplish this goal, Energy Navigators are expected to do the following:
• Participate actively in all sessions of the training, including completing homework when
• Volunteer for at least 50 hours over the course of their service period—June 2021 - February
2022—including at least 20 hours of community outreach or presentations, plus an additional
20+ hours of either K-12 lesson facilitation, one-on-one energy advising with contacts who
request follow-up, or targeted outreach.
• Actively seek out people who are interested in reducing their energy use and carbon emissions,
especially those with limited income. This can be done in a number of ways, including personal
networks, and public outreach.
• Create quarterly team-based work plans with the support of Get Your GreenBack staff.
• Participate in monthly Energy Navigator team meetings and gatherings that follow the period of

Is this opportunity ongoing?

• Basic interest in energy-related knowledge and skills
• Enthusiasm for helping others increase their energy literacy and take action to save money and
reduce reliance on fossil fuels
• Reside in Tompkins County, or be well-connected to the area
• Ability to attend all training sessions and commitment to do related service work
• Ability to communicate with community members in a responsible, helpful, timely, and
respectful fashion
• Ability to self-start and follow through on volunteer efforts with limited guidance


New Roots Charter School and the CCE-Tompkins County Farm to School Program

New Roots Charter School prepares a diverse student body to embrace the opportunities of citizenship, work, and life-long learning in the 21st century.


 Locations vary




Volunteer Coordinator Contact   Information

Chloe Boutelle

CCE-Tompkins County Farm to School Coordinator
(518) 275-8030


Drivers Needed to Help Students Learning Remotely
New Roots Charter school's farm to school meal program is looking for volunteer drivers to deliver school meals to their remote learning students in the surrounding region!
When: Monday/Wednesday mornings, estimated time frame: 10 AM-12 PM
Where: Pick up meals at the school kitchen and bring them to the assigned location (s).
Is this opportunity ongoing?  Yes 
What qualifications are you looking for volunteers to have?
  • Valid Driver License and reliable transportation
  • Ability to carry food boxes up to 25lbs.
Visit this GOOGLE FORM to sign up for this opportunity.


Second Wind Cottages

Second Wind Cottages' houses and walks with people towards restored lives. 


1435 Elmira Rd. Newfield NY 14867


Volunteer Coordinator Contact   Information 


Volunteers Needed for Variety of Projects
1. Meal Prep Volunteers-  We need people that are willing to make lunch (or provide lunch) for 10-12 people on Wednesday's from now until the weather changes.  The meal can be made/procured on or off-site, but needs to be either delivered to site or picked up by noon on Wednesday. Preferences can be discussed at time of inquiry.
2. Builder/Handy-Person Volunteers- On Wednesday's we are building and assembling a multi-bay garage.  We are looking for people that are willing to get their hands dirty. No construction experience needed.
3. Housekeeping Volunteers- Groups of people willing to clean cottages that are being flipped for a new resident.  The cottages will be in broom swept condition and require a deep cleaning prior to new residents moving in.  Cleaning supplies, gloves, etc. are provided.  This is on-site but your group does not need to directly interact with anyone if they choose not to.
Is this opportunity ongoing?  Yes 
Additional COVID-19 Information: 
Each volunteer should email and the volunteer coordinator will  have a phone conversation regarding our current status of on-site mask wearing, what is required of our on-site residents in regards to covid-19 precautions, and the needs of the volunteer coming on-site to make sure the agency can accommodate what is needed.

 Loaves & Fishes of   Tompkins County

 Loaves & Fishes of   Tompkins County is a   Christian ministry   which provides a   place for free meals,   hospitality,   companionship and   advocacy for those in   need, regardless of   their faith, beliefs, or   circumstances.


St. John’s Episcopal Church

210 N. Cayuga Street Ithaca, NY



Volunteer Coordinator Contact   Information

 Brenda Orzino
 Phone: 607-272-5457


Loaves & Fishes Seeks More Volunteers During Coronavirus Situation

Help is needed to prepare free meals to go. Our staff and volunteers are committed to safely working together to continue our ministry to provide free meals to all Tompkins County   residents during the Coronavirus situation.

When: Shifts are 2.5 hours at different times Monday-Friday

Volunteers Need to:
• Be at least 25 years old.
• Live with no more than two other people.
• Have no one in household or immediate social circle has been ill in the past 14 days.
• Have no one in household has been in close proximity of someone who has been tested for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
• Not have a chronic medical condition that would increase your risk during this time of COVID-19 Travel restrictions also apply
 Family Reading   Partnership
Family Reading 
delivers programs
and materials  designed to  empower families to  playfully engage  with their young  children as a  pathway to literacy in Tompkins County.
Remote Opportunity
 w/ a drop-off of   books to:
 54 Gunderman Road
 Ithaca, New York   14850
 Phone: 607-277-8602
Collecting and Donating Gentley Used Children's Books
FRP has been working with school teachers and liaisons, food   pantries, Head Start, and medical providers to get books safely   to families during this time. As their office has been closed we   have been unable to accept book donations and we're running   low on our supply. 
 When are drop-offs? 
Wednesday from 11am-2pm. This will be a no-contact drop-off.   Specific instructions for how to donate can be found on their   website. 
 Mutual Aid   Tompkins:   Immediate  Needs 

We are neighbors  concerned about our communities and  helping to make sure those most vulnerable and affected by COVID-19 get the support they need.



 Remote Opportunity



 Send a Smile

 Help raise the spirits of some of those who are isolated and   lonely. Send a photo of artwork, a letter/story/poem or a video   that can be shared to residents living alone who have requested   some spirit-lifting.

 Send submissions to: