Get Involved

Update as of March 2020: Limited volunteer opportunities are currently available during the stay at home order by the New York Governor. Prospective volunteers are welcome to contact our team while understanding that our typical opportunities will be modified at this time to protect our clients.

How can you volunteer?

  • Friendly Visiting and Telephone Reassurance: visit or call homebound seniors, including Holocaust survivors. Volunteers enjoy conversation, activities i.e. drawing, listening to music together, computer games, etc. with older adults who are isolated and lonely. Special need for English, Greek, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Spanish speaking volunteers. Location: Queens. Click here to watch a video about a Friendly Visiting match. Email
    • There are limited Friendly Visiting volunteer opportunities with Holocaust survivors in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Nassau County. Email:
  • Virtual Senior Center (VSC) class facilitators: teach an online class to homebound older adults! You choose the class topic, i.e. arts, education, English language, exercise, history, music and more. Classes are taught from your home computer. Email
  • Coffee Houses with Holocaust survivors: join a social luncheon with Holocaust survivors: greet and speak with survivors, serve and share lunch, and dance with survivors. Generally, be a friendly face and warm presence. Coffee Houses are located in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau County, Manhattan, and Washington Heights. All volunteer positions are filled through New York Cares, contact New York Cares to volunteer.
  • Class Leader/Teacher: Lead a class or activity in an area of interest at Senior Centers, NORCs, and/or our senior Affordable Housing. Classic topics are flexible and may include: Tai Chi, Chair Yoga, Art or Dance classes, English or computer classes. Locations: Queens, limited availability at Selfhelp’s housing locations.
  • Serve meals at senior centers: join a vibrant community of older adults and volunteer by serving meals. Locations: Queens.

Make a difference today! Join more than 1,000 Selfhelp volunteers!

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Ready to volunteer? Email us at

Become part of the Selfhelp Legacy
Volunteers are an integral and essential part of the Selfhelp community. From our Virtual Senior Center instructors, to the senior center volunteers who serve lunch and the coffee house volunteers who engage with Holocaust survivors, our programs rely heavily on the hard work and support of our volunteers.

Our history is rooted in volunteerism. In 1936, Selfhelp Community Services was founded as Selfhelp for German Refugees by a group of dedicated volunteers who had recently arrived in New York themselves. Our founders' original purpose was to help victims of Nazi persecution rebuild their lives in America before and after WWII. Volunteers provided them with food, shelter, clothing, employment and financial assistance.

Today, we are honored to have more than 1,000 volunteers working at our sites throughout New York City and Nassau County.

Thank you to all our wonderful and dedicated volunteers!