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Voluntourism Spotlight: Give Back in the Big Apple with NY Cares

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This week’s voluntourism spotlight takes you to Manhattan and introduces the city’s largest volunteer organization—New York Cares. The organization partners with over a thousand smaller organizations on long and short-terms projects. Learn about the different ways you can give back in this weekend’s broadcast of Peter Greenberg Worldwide and check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities.

As the city’s largest volunteer organization, New York Cares brings together 1,300 nonprofits, city agencies and public school to create short term or on-going project open to volunteers. There are over 56,000 annual volunteers that bring help to more than 400,000 disadvantaged New Yorkers. The organization works by creating projects to assist their partner organization with their greatest needs. The model worked so well that more than 370 other volunteer organization have adopted it.

This January you can help sort coats from their holiday coat drive, assist in Hurricane Sandy relief projects or work directly with children, seniors and other New Yorkers in need. Other year-round opportunities include tutoring children or adults, caring for abused and neglected animals, helping homeless kids get their first library cards, and revitalizing parks and needy neighborhoods. Visit the volunteer database to see all the available projects.

In order to volunteer, you must be 18 or older (though there are special programs for youth volunteers). Volunteers are also required to attend a 45-minute orientation, though that orientation is not required on Hurricane Sandy relief projects.

By Lily J. Kosner for