I volunteer as a mentor and a tutor, and the opportunity to help NAC kids has been the most fulfilling and enriching experience I’ve had in the past couple of years.
- Tommy, NAC Volunteer
Volunteers support programs and activities that would not otherwise be possible at NAC. They are an integral part of the agency, lending their skills, enthusiasm, and care. More than 800 volunteers lend their time to NAC every year, helping out as individuals or in groups and corporate teams; some volunteer opportunities are ongoing commitments and others are one-time events. But all of our dedicated volunteers step up to make the impossible possible and ensure children can reach their full potential.
Featured Opportunity: Become a Mentor
YOU can make a difference in the lives of the medically complex children we serve. NAC is currently looking for Mentors to work with and help bring out the talents and abilities of our special kids. Mentors have the opportunity to develop a rich, meaningful relationship with a NAC child or teen. By entering a youth’s life as a mentor, you can help change their trajectory in life and build a brighter future. Mentors meet weekly with their mentees, for approximately one hour, typically at 5:00 pm or later.
Volunteer with a Group
Corporate and community volunteer teams make a real impact. As a volunteer group you can enhance team building and create unique and special experiences for NAC kids. Join one of our events like the NAC Kids Olympics, Book Fair or Halloween party- or design your own! You can help broaden the horizons of kids who are medically complex. Here are just some of the ways your group can get involved virtually, and in-person:
- Lead a museum trip or cultural excursion
- Host a financial literacy or career exploration workshop
- Conduct a yoga/mindfulness or music workshop
- Treat NAC kids to a unique experience, like a basketball game or their first Broadway show
- Start a drive for holiday gifts, warm winter clothing, or books & school supplies
All volunteers must show proof of vaccination to volunteer with NAC.
Volunteer as an Individual
Individual volunteers make an enormous and direct impact on NAC children’s lives, from tutoring to mentoring and providing support with extracurricular activities. Whether you want to help out with a one-time event or make an ongoing commitment, there are so many ways you can make a difference. Here are just some of the ways individual volunteers can get involved, both virtually and in-person:
- Recreational and Educational Workshops
- Animal assisted therapy
All volunteers must show proof of vaccination to volunteer with NAC.
Tutoring is the highlight of my week, each week! Being able to maintain my connection to the child I tutor has been beyond rewarding during this challenging time.
-Rachel, NAC Tutor
NAC tutors make a significant impact in the lives of children. NAC children spend an enormous amount of time in hospitals and doctors’ offices, oftentimes instead of school. You can provide them the extra help they need to thrive academically through your personal attention and support. Becoming a tutor is easy: NAC’s Education team supports you every step of the way with lesson plans and guidance. Tutoring at NAC is a weekly commitment, currently on a remote platform.
Mentors have an opportunity to develop a rich, meaningful relationship with a NAC child or teen. They are friends, role models and confidants. Mentors and mentees participate in a variety of activities and learning experiences together. Guidance and support from an adult outside the family can help build self-esteem and change the trajectory in a life. The Mentoring pair virtually meet weekly or bi-weekly for one hour at a mutually convenient time; with quarterly in-person sessions. The program begins in October and continues through May/June. Mentors will receive an Orientation from The New York State Mentoring Program prior to the start of the group. Note: All Mentors are required to complete fingerprinting and background checks.
Adoptment is a specialized mentoring program that pairs adults who have been adopted and/or spent time in foster care with young people that have/or are currently experiencing foster care. In a fun, nurturing and safe space, young people receive an enriching mentoring experience with a unique layer of support, advocacy, and guidance from caring mentors who have personal connections with adoption and/or foster care.
Recreation and Special Events
We host over 30 recreation and special events every year for NAC kids, from Spring festivals to apple picking to trick or treating on Halloween to bowling and ice skating. These events and activities aren’t possible without help from our volunteers. NAC kids, who spend much of their time at doctor’s appointments and in hospitals, look forward to these special events and parties all year long. Our client events for children and families depend on volunteer assistance to help with set-up, work one-on-one with children, and facilitate activities which take place virtually and in-person, safety permitting. They include:
- Spring & Fall Festivals
- Museum trips
- Halloween Party
- Scavenger hunts
- Reading circles
- and many more
Animal Assisted Therapy
Do you have a certified, trained Therapy Dog? Become a Pet Therapy Volunteer Team and bring your dog for two hours of petting and unconditional love with our children. The program includes creating dog-centered art, playing dog-themed games, and cuddling up with NAC children to listen to stories about animals and the natural world. This opportunity is a twice-monthly commitment.
Launch a Drive
Gather your colleagues or mobilize your alumni network to make a huge difference in the lives of NAC kids when you join or launch a drive to collect critical necessities for struggling families. From books and school supplies, to essential food items and winter coats, holiday gifts and more, you can make a direct and immediate impact. Talk to us about launching a drive or join one of our many ongoing efforts.
Join the NAC Junior Board
The NAC Junior Board is a dynamic group of young professionals that are committed to creating brighter futures for NAC kids. Our Junior Board is looking for leaders to think big about innovative solutions to aid the organization, create and coordinate fundraising and volunteer activities, and involve and mentor future candidates.
Share Your Skills
Do you have a skill or talent that you can share with NAC children? Volunteers teach yoga and dance classes, assist with resume writing and interview practice, lead programs about money management, help out at big events for NAC families or at NAC’s offices. Whether you want to join a one-time event or make an ongoing commitment, volunteer on your own or with your corporate team, there are so many ways you can make a difference.
NAC Summer Olympics
Every year the NAC Kids Olympics welcomes over 800 children and their families for a packed day of fun activities where children can make memories that don’t involve hospitals or doctors visits. For many NAC children it’s not possible or safe to pick up a sport or even play in the park. But with the support of volunteers, we can ensure a full day of safe, healthy fun for children of all abilities to feel like champions. Children tackle physical and mental obstacles, meet new challenges, build self-esteem and just get to be kids for the day.
Literacy for All Book Fair
Many NAC kids do not have books to call their own. They often live in shelters or hotel rooms, and have very limited access to books and academic materials. With the Literacy for All Book Fair, our goal is to give every child new books to call their own and instill an early love of reading. Volunteers are critical to the event’s success, helping us give away over 3,000 books and provide a fun-filled day of literacy activities for kids of every age.
Every year, close to a thousand children and families join us for a very special day. Hundreds of volunteers lend their time and talents and generous companies and community supporters donate thousands of gifts to make the holidays brighter for struggling families. NAC children look forward to the holiday party all year long, a day filled with entertainment, including a NAC kids’ talent show, arts and crafts, fun holiday activities, and of course everyone goes home with a gift from Santa. Volunteers are there every step of the way to help make this a joyous and memorable day.