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Volunteer opportunities for families living in Queens

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Here is a list of more volunteer opportunities for families to participate in throughout Western Queens and beyond. Previously, I wrote an article listing volunteer opportunities that revolved around tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged students within Western Queens. These latest opportunities include volunteering for a youth empowerment program, environmental education agency, and horse stable amongst others. These organizations will allow children of various ages to participate alongside their parents, and will accept volunteers on an ongoing basis:

1). Citymeals On-Wheels provides food and company to the elderly living alone in New York City. Volunteers can sign up to work for just one time or an ongoing basis. All prospective volunteers must first submit an application along with two references, then attend an orientation/training session prior to providing their services. Kids younger than 18 can help hand-deliver meals while being accompanied by an adult. Volunteer applications can be downloaded from the link below.

Telephone: 212-687-1234

Website: Download the volunteer application here

2). The Youth Empowerment Program of Puppetry Arts (YEP!) is a youth development program aimed towards turning youngsters aged 10-18 into stronger, more proactive and productive citizens within their communities. The program works on bringing to life various special youth projects that include group art programs, mentoring, professional support, youth-led community outreach, and volunteerism. While students aged 16 and older can volunteer alone, those that are younger than 16 must be accompanied by their parents at these community events.

Website: Puppetry Arts

3). GrowNYC is an environmental education agency that helps kids introduce various conservation methods and alternative energy sources into their communities. Activities include tree planting, watershed maintenance, and the running of a neighborhood Green- or Youth market.

Both middle- and high school students from throughout the five boroughs can get involved in GrowNYC programs via their schools. If your child's school is interested in getting involved with GrowNYC, please contact the number below.

Telephone: 212-788-7932

Website: GrowNYC

4). Partnership for Parks, a joint program of NYC Parks and City Parks Foundation, helps people work together to make NYC greenspaces thrive. PfP believes that neighborhood greenspaces are vital centers of community life, and local, sustained community involvement helps these spaces and surrounding communities live up to their greatest potential.

PfP offers intensive staff support; grants; tools and supplies for cleanup and beautification projects; leadership and organizational development workshops; connections to key people in NYC Parks, partner organizations, and other decision makers; opportunities to network and celebrate accomplishments; and access to important information so that people have a voice in planning and decision-making.

For more information on how to volunteer for this organization, please visit the website below. Also, join them on It's My Park Day on May 17th, 2014 in your local park to learn more about PfP!

Website: Partnership for Parks

5). GallopNYC is an organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding to kids and adults with developmental and/or physical disabilities. Volunteers are needed to help with the horseback riding lessons, help lead horses with riders on them and provide encouragement to our riders, and participate in fund raising programs.

Volunteers must sign up for two hours per week for multiple weeks, and must be 16 years of age or older. No experience is necessary since training is provided. GallopNYC offers its services at three stables, one of which is located in Queens. Sign up to volunteer at the website below.

Location: Lynne’s Riding School: 88-03 70th Road Forest Hills, Queens

Website: GallopNYC

6). The Salvation Army is always accepting clothing donations; let your kids help in cleaning out their closets and in giving away whatever does not fit them anymore that's still in good condition. Also, take them with you when you go to drop off the clothes at the charity. The following Salvation Army drop-off sites below are located in Western Queens.

Locations: 34-02 Steinway St., Astoria; 718-472-2414

45-18 Broadway Astoria; 718-721-9046

39-11 61st Street Woodside; 1-800-SA-TRUCK

86-07 35th Avenue Jackson Heights; 1-718-335-3693 or 1-718-335-1590

69-23 Cypress Hills Street Ridgewood; 1-718-497-4356

Website: The Salvation Army

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