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VOLUNTEER with ENGAGE!

All around New York, boomers are getting engaged.

UJA-Federation of New York’s Engage Jewish Service Corps is for boomers and beyond who want to effect powerful change within the Jewish community through hands-on activities.

This new model of volunteering is perfect for the generation of game changers looking to reshape society at every stage of their lives.

As an Engage volunteer, you can use your skills, expertise, passion, and leadership to address issues like poverty, hunger, joblessness, education, the isolated elderly, and children with special needs – in a way that fits your schedule and lifestyle.

Join the movement. Become part of a community like-minded people who want to find real solutions to real problems.


Upcoming ENGAGE events

CLICK HERE to read the latest ENews blast with program description

You can click here to sign up online to become an Engage Volunteer

For more information contact Maida Silver @ msilver@shamesjcc.org
or call 914-366-7898 x1147


The JCC Mid Westchester is always looking for volunteers to help with senior programming, Arts & Talks, Sunday Funday, office help, and more. If you have some time–an hour a week, two hours a week, an hour a month–what works within your schedule, please contact Susan Groner @ groners@jccmw.org


For more information about or to register for any opportunity, please contact Maida Siilver @ msilver@shamesjcc.org

PROGRAM ASSISTANTS  for ARTS & TALKS and Senior Connections

If you like attending films and lectures at the JCC of Mid-Westchester, consider volunteering as a Program Assistant for Arts&Talks and see them for FREE.  Arrive an hour before to help set up and check people in.  Training provided, but volunteer must be mobile and able to work independently.


Ongoing Engage Group Service Projects

Once a month, Engage organizes group service projects at local agencies. There is no ongoing commitment and Engage volunteers work side-by-side with a great group of like-minded contemporaries.

Engage In Song
Engage In Song embraces all volunteers who like to sing. Engage volunteer singers and musicians conduct monthly sing-alongs at area nursing homes, dementia centers and family service agencies. A monthly meeting is also held to rehearse customized playlists that include Broadway songs, pop tunes and Hebrew and Yiddish favorites.

Engage In Knitting
The Engage In Knitting program encompasses 3 Engage volunteer knitting/crocheting groups across the County: Knitters for Need at JCCMW in Scarsdale, Shul Stitchers North at Engage Mount Kisco and Shul Stitchers Rivertowns at Greenburgh Hebrew Center. All knitters and crocheters are welcome – beginners too! Current projects include: baby blankets and hats donated to Hadassah Hospital in Israel; lap blankets, hats and scarves for men and women at the Bronx and Montrose Veterans Administrations; adult/youth blankets, hats and scarves for the teen residents at the Jewish Board Mann Center. Ossining Children’s Center Ossining Children Center creates a foundation for children’s life-long learning,
achievement and well-being by providing high quality educational child care, and by serving as a community resource and advocate for families. Engage volunteers read to preschool children, participate in arts and crafts activities and each spring volunteers garden with the children each week.

AFYA
AFYA recovers surplus medical supplies and equipment from healthcare centers. Each year, American hospitals discard 7,000 tons of usable medical supplies. AFYA works with public health partners in 56 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean to ascertain the specific needs of each mission and ship custom containers, pallets or duffel bags. Engage volunteers sort and pack critically needed surplus medical supplies, hospital equipment, and humanitarian provisions for health crises worldwide.

Kids’ Kloset
Since Kids’ Kloset opened in 2011, it has provided approximately 6,000 local children with clothing, diapers, strollers and other items, while also helping to boost confidence and self-esteem of the youth, potentially helping to improve grades at school and reduce stress in the household. Engage volunteers:
 Sort and fold donated clothing
 Create outfits for incoming requests from social worker

Feeding Westchester
Feeding Westchester’s mission is to end hunger in Westchester County.  As the heart of a network of more than 300 partners, they source and distribute food, and other resources, to towns across Westchester helping to ensure that none of our neighbors are hungry. Engage volunteers sort and pack produce and other goods at the warehouse.

Stars for Our Troops
A project of MSAWI (Major Stuart Adam Wolper Institute), the Stars for Our Troops project takes worn, used American flags that would otherwise be retired and burned, and turns them into a prized possession for those serving in the Armed Forces as well as for veterans. Each year on Veteran’s Day and Flag Day, Engage volunteers cut out stars and place them in small bags with the following message:
I am part of our American flag that has flown over a home in the U.S.A. I can no longer fly. The sun and wind have caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that You are not forgotten.

These bags are distributed globally to active and retired troops.

The Butterfly Project
The Butterfly Project is a call to action through the arts, using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate about the dangers of hatred and bigotry through the painting of ceramic butterflies, permanently displayed around the world to memorialize each of the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust. Engage volunteers memorialize the Holocaust on Yom Hashoah and again on Kristallnacht by painting butterflies with the
goal of creating permanent butterfly art installations (a Butterfly Trail) in Westchester.

Coachman Family Center
The Coachman Family Center in downtown White Plains serves homeless families until they find a more permanent home. Engage volunteers lead afterschool arts and crafts activities.

My Second Home: Lanza Family Center
MSH is an adult day program in White Plains that provides many benefits including a safe, nurturing and home-like environment where older adults with dementia can continue to find meaning and dignity in their daily lives. Engage volunteers lead arts and crafts activities with the program’s participants.

Interfaith Emergency Food Pantry of Pleasantville
The Interfaith Emergency Food Pantry of Pleasantville is affiliated with faith-based congregations in the community. It has been in operation since the mid-1980’s and began as a place where neighbors could help their neighbors in need. This tradition continues today. The pantry serves individuals who are unemployed or have low incomes and provide enough food for several meals. Engage volunteers help sort donated food when large collection drives (such as Yom Kippur) are scheduled to be delivered to the Pantry.


FAQs about ENGAGE

What is Engage?
Engage is a UJA-Federation of New York initiative that recruits (engages!) Jewish baby boomers to volunteer with local nonprofit organizations. By volunteering you get to use your skills, your passion and your leadership to roll up your sleeves and address issues that are important to you – poverty, hunger, isolated elderly, children and adults with special needs, to name just a few.

What makes Engage unique?
A big part of our mission is to create a volunteer “community”.  How do we do that? Not only can individuals volunteer by themselves but we also have group service projects once a month in which we go as a group to an organization to volunteer – sort clothing, read to children, pack medical supplies, make crafts projects with kids – a myriad of opportunities.  We also have other programs such as Engage In Song and our
knitting/crocheting groups in which you can participate in something you love with other people, while doing good for others. Our community building programs allow you meet other Engage volunteers while learning and enjoying various events with one another. And you’re always encouraged to bring your friends!

With Engage, you make new friends, benefit those in need and feel fulfilled all at the same time.  It’s a win-win!

How do I register and how do I choose where I want to volunteer?
You would meet one-on-one with a Site Coordinator closest to your home or work place (see below for names and locations.)  At that meeting, we would provide a general overview of the Engage organization and ask you to fill out an intake form with some of your background information, experience and interests. Then together we would discuss in detail your specific interests (i.e. working with children, elderly, individuals with special needs) to determine what organizations/programs we would recommend for you.

How do I find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities and community building events?
Once you become an Engage volunteer, your email address is added to our Constant Contact email list. We send out 2 eblasts per month – a bulletin on the 1st of the month and a newsletter in the third week of the month.  Periodically, we also send out a staff pick of an upcoming program that we want to highlight.

What is the time commitment? When I volunteer, do I need to drive to these organizations?
There is no specific time commitment.  The time is as little or as much as you want. Yes, you will need to drive to your volunteer activity, but you can choose an organization that is in a geographic area that is close to your home or place of business. In addition, most of our volunteer opportunities are during the day, although there may be Engage events that take place in the evening or on a weekend.

What if I’m only available a few months out of the year?

Again, there is no time commitment with Engage.  However, if you are interested in a program that requires a weekly commitment for a period of time, we would recommend you alert the volunteer coordinator of the organization. There is certainly no problem if you are a “snowbird” spending time outside the New York area during the winter or there is a break at any other time of year due to traveling or other personal reasons.

What if I don’t want to do this alone? Can my spouse or friend come along?
We would welcome that! Friends and spouses are always welcome at our community building events/programs. If they are interested in participating in a service/volunteer activity with you, we would be happy to register them as an Engage volunteer!