I’m grateful that my experience with New York Cares allows me to have such a positive perspective on volunteering. Although I am now a very passionate and committed volunteer, that was not always the case. I must confesses that, I was a bit of a reluctant volunteer at first. I initially signed up with New York Cares simply to complete a 25-hour service requirement for school. I really did not intend to volunteer beyond this. In my mind, people like me did not volunteer. I wasn’t rich or retired. In fact, like many, I was feeling overworked, underpaid, and stressed out! How would someone like me find the time to give back in a meaningful way? It has been very rewarding and empowering to see firsthand the impact that volunteers can have in responding to challenges in local communities. Ironically, volunteering is also now my favorite stress reliever!
Volunteering with New York Cares allows Phara to use her skills in many different ways in service to others. From managing volunteer teams that serve over 1,500 weekly meals to those in need to special events projects such as Service Day on 9/11, where volunteers packed one million meals for distribution.
Perhaps most significantly though, Phara spreads the love by championing the orientation/training of new volunteers. To date, she has supported 5,000 + volunteers in getting started. These volunteers have since gone on to participate in over 12,000 projects with New York Cares.
New York Cares has truly revolutionized the way that volunteers can contribute to addressing challenges directly in their communities. Since its founding in 1987, New York Cares makes it easy for anyone, from busy professionals, working moms, retirees or students to find a place of service. With nearly 1,600 projects scheduled every month, the need is critical and volunteers are treasured. New York Cares projects are custom designed, planned and executed by seasoned staff members to allow volunteers to have a meaningful service experience. Thanks to 65,000 active volunteers and partnerships with nearly 1700 nonprofits, every year, over 549,000 people benefit from these volunteer service projects.