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Volunteers work together in a garden.

Whether you are new to volunteering or are looking for fresh ideas — this guide is for you!

Below you will find opportunities — both big and small — that serve to fit your busy schedules and new lifestyles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s important is that you put your best foot forward and do your best to reach out to your communities.

Log your Hours

Don’t forget to log your volunteer hours at and help demonstrate to the Saint Rose community how much we care!

Log Your Hours

Community Support

  • Shop for your elderly or at-risk neighbor
    Dedicate an hour of your time by assisting your neighbor with errands such as grocery shopping. Vulnerable individuals may not have someone who can help out, and there could be an immediate need even right next door!
  • Start a non-profit
    Notice a need in your area and have a passion for helping people? Think about starting a non-profit in your community and working closely with local partners.
  • Volunteer at your local YMCA
    There are a plethora of volunteer opportunities at all times across the country. Get involved on a regular basis or check out opportunities with short term commitments by contacting your local YMCA.
  • Mission Trips
    Many churches and religious communities offer mission and service trips for community empowerment year-round. Programs may be local, national, or global — so check out what interests you!

Donate Resources (Monetary or Supplies)

  • Donate to a local food bank or food pantry
    Reach out to your local food bank or food pantry and ask about their current needs and how you may be able to help them continue to feed your community.
  • Animal Shelters
    Donate materials/volunteer at your local animal shelter.
  • Contact American Red Cross
    Contact your local American Red Cross to see what their needs are. Most locations allow for gently-used clothing and household item drops.
  • Volunteer at a Children’s Hunger Organization near you
    Feed My Starving Children
  • Host a garage sale or yard sale
    Donate resources or funds made to local charities and organizations.
  • Donate clothing/home goods:



  • Public School Program
    Our neighborhood schools and the Office of Community Service design programs once or twice each semester to give our elementary-age neighbors an opportunity to experience college up close. This is designed to get them excited about their own educational futures and to encourage them to consider college as a future option. Saint Rose volunteers interact with students and answer questions they have about college life.

  • Literacy New York Greater Capital Region
    Volunteers work directly with adults in Albany County to help them build functional literacy skills or improve their current reading skills. Training is provided. For further information, visit the website.

  • Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, Inc.
    The Pre-K Program stresses the importance of reading aloud to young children while encouraging them to begin to read on their own. Volunteers are asked to read children’s stories aloud to those children in the pediatric waiting room.


  • Sit on your child’s school board/be a member of your local parent and teacher alliance PTA).
  • Offer tutoring and/or mentorship to students in your local school system.

Environmental & Animal Services



Health & Safety

  • Help with the Coronavirus Pandemic
    Many organizations are asking those with medical and non-medical backgrounds to help with the crisis in various capacities. You may be able to help as a response worker and strengthen your community’s health education.
  • American Red Cross
    Donate blood and help save a life! Check out the American Red Cross website to learn about local blood drives near you and more about the COVID-19 safety protocols.

Give Blood

Human Services

Local Opportunities

  • Mercy House
    This organization operates a temporary shelter for individuals in a crisis situation. Volunteers are needed to sort donated clothes and toiletries for easy distribution to residents.


  • Serving the homeless
    Volunteer with local homeless shelters or soup kitchens to prepare and serve food for the homeless (if available). Many may also be accepting food donations. You can also create homeless care packages for shelters.

Saint Rose Service

  • Participate in “Reach Out Hits the Road”
    This campaign asks the Saint Rose community to participate in a virtual challenge: walking/running/hiking 100 miles by December. All proceeds will go toward the Dennis McDonald Student Emergency Fund. Learn more here.
  • Volunteer with campus-wide/programming committees
    Reach out to the Office of Student Life or Student Association to find out more information about upcoming opportunities!
  • Help with Admissions!
    See program or event opportunities for admission events such as Be a Knight for Day, Accepted Student Days, and more!
  • Plan community service trips on campus
    Reach out to Director of Spiritual Life Joan Horgan for opportunities to help plan, coordinate, and execute community service events. Email
  • Contribute to the Dennis McDonald Student Emergency Fund
    Donate to the Dennis McDonald Student Emergency Fund to benefit our students.

Programs for Children or Adolescents

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
    BBBS have agencies across the country and several volunteer opportunities as well as an ability to give a gift to fund their matching efforts. You can even help start a workplace mentoring program in your area!
  • Double H Ranch
    Provides specialized programs and year-round support for children and their families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. Assist in annual summer programs, office support, special events, and more! While primarily for those in New York/the Northeast, there can be opportunities at organizations near you with similar backgrounds and needs.
  • Offer to babysit (for free) for a local family
    Volunteer your time to watch a local family’s children, so they can make time for themselves.
  • Offer to provide free carpool or transportation
    Not everyone owns a vehicle, and using public transportation now can be risky. If you feel comfortable, volunteer to drive at-risk populations to work, doctors appointments, or the grocery store.
  • Donate books and read books to children
    Local schools and after-school programs might be looking for volunteers or used books. (This can be done virtually as well).

Social Justice & Advocacy

  • Foreign Policy Association
    You can join existing groups or create your own.
  • Albany Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center
    Become a sexual assault hotline counselor with Albany County. There’s also an opportunity to be an office assistant.
  • Citizens’ Climate Lobby
    This link is specifically for Albany’s location, but they’re all across the country.
  • United We Dream
    You can create your own group if you want, but this is a great option for those who have limited time and would like to know more about policies and resources such as petitions!United We Dream
  • Volunteer with a political campaign.
  • Serve as poll workers at your local election site.

Volunteer at Home

  • Color a Smile
    Color A Smile is a nonprofit organization that distributes cheerful drawings to senior citizens, U.S. Military troops overseas, and anyone in need of a smile. Every month, they mail thousands of new drawings to all the people on their mailing list.
  • Operation Gratitude
    Support our troops with several virtual volunteer opportunities, such as creating paracord bracelets, writing letters, purchasing wish-list goods, and more!
  • Create face masks and donate to those in need
    If you have some fabric and a sewing machine, then you may be able to help community members by creating and donating reusable masks! Reach out to local agencies or healthcare organizations to see if they are collecting mask donations.
  • United Nations Volunteers
    If you’re looking to take your online volunteering worldwide, this is the place to start. UNV connects you with organizations working for peace and development and is in need of volunteers with skills like research, writing, art, and design. There are already over 12,000 volunteers from 187 countries lending their talents to organizations around the globe.
  • Catchafire
    This volunteer search tool is exclusively for online volunteer projects. Each one has a timeline that can range anywhere from an hour to a few weeks. So, whether you have an afternoon or several, you can help not-for-profit with tasks like writing thank-you letters or editing photos.
  • Smithsonian Digital Volunteers
    The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, but even they could use a little help sometimes. Help make their collections more accessible by volunteering online to transcribe historical documents or edit Wikipedia articles related to their artifacts and research.
  • Amnesty Decoders
    Operated by Amnesty International, this network of digital volunteers helps conduct research into global human rights violations. Volunteers have used their phones and computers to verify the location of oil spills, find evidence of drone strikes, and flag abusive tweets to women politicians in India.
  • Translators Without Borders
    For those fluent in more than one language, check out this nonprofit that combines language skills with humanitarian aid. Volunteers provide translations (10 million words a year!) to international organizations that focus on crisis relief, health, and education.
  • Crisis Text Line
    Here’s a perfect example of technology being used for good. Become a volunteer to help the Crisis Text Line continue to offer free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. If you’re at least 18 and can commit to volunteering four hours each week, you can apply to be trained for free.
  • Zooniverse
    Zooniverse is a platform for people-powered research that literally wouldn’t be possible (or practical) without the help of online volunteers. Spend as much or as little time as you’d like to identify endangered animals, classifying galaxy systems, or transcribing Shakespearean manuscripts.
  • Project Gutenberg
    Founded in 1971, this may just be the virtual volunteering effort that started it all. The goal is to create the largest digital library, and so far they’ve amassed 59,000 free eBooks. Volunteer by donating eligible materials, transcribing books into a digital form, or proofreading others’ work.


Volunteer Your Time

  • Volunteer at local Ronald McDonald House
    Offer support to families and children, help with preparing meals, and organize a toy drive.
  • Help out at St. Vincent’s Food Pantry located near Saint Rose on Madison Ave.
  • Help drive cancer patients for treatment
    This will be offered soon after Phase 4 of New York State’s reopening! You can drive cancer patients to their treatment centers when they do not have access to transportation. One ACS location is right in Latham. All for Good Projects Road to Recovery
  • Volunteer at Life Path NY
    You can also become a driver or meal preparer for Meals on Wheels. This is also located nationwide for our alum.
  • Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
  • Take care of the elderly
    Become a pen pal with a resident of a nursing home or retirement home
  • Reach out to first responders
    Leave a thank you note and/or present for the people we often take for granted (policemen, firemen, paramedics, nurses, mailmen, teachers, pastors).

Got questions?

Contact us:

Cherèva M. McClellan
Director of student life
Coordinator of family relations
Co-chair of the College’s centennial celebration
Vito Van Dunk ’19
Saint Rose alum
Co-chair of the College’s centennial celebration