The mission of Yale Community Connect is to build ongoing relationships based on volunteering between Yale alumni (and friends) and community-based organizations (including public schools). Our philosophy is that to volunteer on an ongoing basis is a privilege, because volunteers are guaranteed to grow in amazing ways and to feel good about helping communities grow as well.

The name of our entity, Yale Community Connect, intentionally avoids the word “service” — which focuses on the good deeds of the volunteer. Instead, Yale Community Connect emphasizes the relationship of mutual benefit and enjoyment that both volunteer and host institution experience in an ongoing relationship of connection, engagement, and resource-sharing.


The vision of Yale Community Connect is a world in which:

  • Communities are strengthened by increased meaningful, ongoing volunteer engagements between Yale alumni and community-based organizations;
  • Yale is strengthened by producing alumni who have internalized the self-expectation to connect, engage, and share resources with vulnerable communities; and
  • The notion of “service,” which focus on volunteers’ good deeds, is expanded to an appreciation for the “equity of exchange” or mutual benefit that occurs in meaningful, ongoing relationships between volunteers and organizations.

Our goals for Yale Community Connect volunteers are to:

  • Strengthen the 10-year tradition of Yale Day of Service (YDoS) by helping to deliver on its expanded mission;
  • Be useful to organizations that support and strengthen communities;
  • Establish and sustain ongoing relationships based on volunteering with organizations;
  • Socialize with other like-minded volunteers (Yale alumni, friends, organization partners, and others)

Sign Up for YC Connect | Contact YC Connect


Yale Community Connect Flyer


How You Can Help Families Separated at the US-Mexico Border (scroll down)

Family-Friendly Volunteer Opportunities (scroll down)

Martin Luther King Day of Service Opportunities (Monday, January 21)

Seeds in the Middle Hip2B Healthy Day of Service (NY – Brooklyn)

  • PS 284 (213 Osborn Street, Brooklyn): Set-up at 9am, event runs 10am – 2pm
  • PS 770/398 (60 East 94th Street, Brooklyn): Set-up at 10am, event runs 11am – 3pm
  • Contact: Nancie Katz | 917.697.3745

UJA Federation – NY/ Time For Good Initiative (NY – Various locations)

Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger: Garden Clean-up
NY – Brooklyn; 2010 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, b/w Saratoga & Howard Streets; C train to Ralph Ave.

The Mission Continues: MLK Service Day Projects
NY/Newark – Various Locations

Hunger Free America: Serve at Soup Kitchen or Food Pantry (NY – Various locations)

Repair The World & UJA-Federation: MLK Day Week of Service (NY – Various locations; Jan 14-21)

Volunteer New York: Various projects (NY – New Rochelle, Elmsford, Rockland; Jan. 19)

Visit the following sites for more ideas:

  • https://ww2.pointsoflight.org/mlkday
  • https://www.generationon.org/days-of-service/martin-luther-king-day
  • https://www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday

New York City Community-Building Opportunities

Queens STEM Women is seeking volunteers for an Architecture & Engineering Workshop for 6-8th graders (queensstemgirls.org)
NY – Queens (The Renaissance Charter School, Jackson-Heights) | Feb. 2, 8:30am-12:00pm

Mosaic Preparatory Academy (M375) is a college prep elementary school that rents buses to take students to colleges inside & outside NYC (insideschools.org/school/04M375).

NY – East Harlem, Every Friday, 1:00pm to 2:30pm (Oct. 5, 2018 — May 31, 2019)

  • School Wide Enrichment Program (SWEP) Volunteers Needed
    • Robotics, Chess, Gardening, Creative Writing, Art, Knitting, Jump Rope, and other Enrichments
  • For more details and to RSVP contact Yale Community Connect

NY – East Harlem, Every Saturday, 9:00am to 12:00pm (Nov. 3, 2018 — Mar. 30, 2019)

  • Saturday Enrichment Program
    • Volunteers needed to teach “fun stuff”: basketball, cheerleading, cooking, robotics, coding, etc.
  • For more details and to RSVP contact Yale Community Connect

NY – East Harlem, Ongoing Year-Long Opportunities

Booker T. Washington (MS54) (ms54.org)
NY – Upper West Side, weekly afternoon commitment

  • Volunteers needed for homework help, coaching small team of 6th-graders; Supervised and trained by teachers
    • Must commit 1 day/week for 11 weeks; 3:00-4:30pm
  • Learn more & apply

Behind the Book (behindthebook.org) is a literacy nonprofit in New York City that brings accomplished authors into NYC schools to inspire students to love reading and writing.

BioBus (biobus.org) is a mobile science lab that visits public schools around the city.

  • Seeking teaching and event volunteers
  • More info

GallopNYC (gallopnyc.org)

iMentor (imentor.org) matches every student in our partner high schools with a college-educated mentor—a personal champion to help them on their college journey.

  • Roles Needed: mentors (especially men) for high school students
  • Become a mentor

Love146 (love146.org) is a global human rights org working to end child trafficking and exploitation.

  • Seeking volunteer board members with expertise in Finance and/or Programs
  • Seeking ongoing pro bono legal support from lawyers licensed in the US
  • Packing Rapid Response backpacks for human trafficking survivors
    • 1-hr time commitment for group of 6; flexible times and dates
    • More info
  •  For more details, contact Development Officer, Sarah Spear at sarah@love146.org

West Side Campaign Against Hunger (www.wscah.org/volunteer) is a supermarket-style food pantry on the Upper West Side.

  • Roles Needed:
    • Help bring in food deliveries, stock shelves, bag bread, break down boxes, assist customers, work checkout, and other tasks as needed
  • WSCAH Volunteers Needed:
    • Mondays: 7:00am – 7:00pm
    • Tuesdays: 7:00am – 12:00pm
    • Wed, Thurs, Fri: 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • RSVP: email ycconnect@yana.community with: (1) your preferred dates/times; (2) a preferred range of dates over the next three months. A group will be organized based on respondents’ availability (WSCAH can only accommodate 8 or fewer at one time).

Brownsville Partnership (community.solutions/what-we-do/brownsville-partnership)

  • Check back for upcoming opportunities

Harlem Children’s Zone (hcz.org)
NY – Harlem

  • Check back for upcoming opportunities

Family-Friendly Volunteer Opportunities (compiled from DoingGoodTogether NYC)


Citymeals on Wheels (citymeals.org)

Manhattan Church of Christ Soup Kitchen (manhattanchurch.org)
NY – Manhattan (48 E 80th St, b/w Park & Madison)

CelebrateU (celebrateu.org) throws birthday parties for children in shelters or who can’t afford to celebrate their birthday.
NY – Bronx (Homes for the Homeless, 730 Kelly St.)

Concrete Safaris (concretesafaris.org) prepares youth in East Harlem and beyond to lead healthy lives and shape their environment through outdoor education, play, exploration, and community engagement.
NY – East Harlem

DOROT Intergenerational Chess (dorotusa.org)
NY – Dorot, 171 West 85th St. NYC | Mondays Jan 28—May 29, 4:00-5:30pm

DOROT Family Birthday Mitzvah Project & Home Visits (dorotusa.org)
NY – Homes of seniors on Upper West and Upper East Side, Manhattan

  • 1.5 hours; families with children 5+ welcome
  • 212.769.2850 & register online

Pajama Program (pajamaprogram.org) One Million Good Nights Campaign
NY – Your Community; Date/Time/Location flexible

  • Host a PJ & Book Drive: Details | Contact 212.716.9757

Alex’s Lemonade (alexslemonade.org)

UJA-Federation of New York (ujafedny.org) & Time for Good (timeforgood.org)
NY – The New Jewish Home, Harlem (120 W 106th St.)

  • Volunteer with seniors at the New Jewish Home; flexible time/dates
  • Contact | Sign Up

How You Can Help Families Separated at the US-Mexico Border

Women’s Refugee Commission (womensrefugeecommission.org – NY Office

Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights (theyoungcenter.org)

  • Volunteers needed to serve as Child Advocates for individual immigrant children; All cultures, professions, races, ethnicities, social backgrounds welcome; Must be 21+ and complete background check & have consistent availability
  • More info

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) (casaforchildren.org)

  • Become a court-appointed special advocate for young people in foster care (must be 21+; commit 30 hrs of training & see case to completion)
  • Donate to your local CASA program
  • More info

Freedom for Immigrants (freedomforimmigrants.org)

  • Visit immigrant people in detention; Join visitation networks in your state or start your own
  • More info

Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education (RAICES) (raicestexas.org)

  • Transform your place of worship, business, or school into sanctuary space
  • More info

National Immigrant Justice Center (immigrantjustice.org/how-help)

  • Various ways to volunteer and to donate

Cayuga Center

  • Foster a child on the border (must speak Spanish; child must attend learning center 7:30am-4:30pm each day)
  • 718-860-1656

Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (asylumadvocacy.org/volunteer)

  • Current waitlist — check back regularly

#StandWithImmigrants (standwithimmigrants.org/volunteer)

  • Various volunteer opportunities including translation, social work, etc. For a variety of volunteer opportunities, from translation to social work and more

CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project (caraprobono.org/volunteer)

  • Volunteer lawyers, law students, paralegals interested in asylum issues needed; Spanish-speakers preferred

Other Pro Bono Volunteer Opportunities:


Nonprofit Board Vacancy

  • Mercado Global, a nonprofit founded by Ruth DeGolia ’04, is seeking a NY-based board member. Mercado Global breaks the cycle of poverty in rural Latin America by providing education and business development support to indigenous women and connecting them to sales opportunities with major international retailers like Nordstrom, Levi Strauss and Reformation – allowing women to earn a sustainable income and send their children to school, often for the first time.
  • For more details, contact Ruth
Nonprofit Board Vacancy
  • SosteNica, a nonprofit directed by Joseph DeNicola (’86, ’96MF), is seeking a legal professional with an interest in sustainable economic development to join its board. SosteNica’s collaborative work integrates environmental and educational projects with financial services, creating a holistic and long-term approach to the alleviation of poverty in Nicaragua.

Bridal Garden (NYC) (http://bridalgarden.org/about-2/) is not only a bridal boutique, but also a not-for-profit charitable organization whose proceeds benefit education for disadvantaged children.

Gray Panthers NYC (graypanthersnyc.org) needs a volunteer accountant for about one hour/week.