RIT students complete thousands of volunteer hours within our local community and beyond every year.
Our collective impact includes the creation of packaged meals, community gardens, refurbished technology in classrooms, and long-term housing for our neighbors. With so many ways to give back it can be difficult to know where to start.
After considering what charitable focus you are most passionate about, use the list below to start exploring local opportunities. If you are looking for a more personalized list, options for large groups, or have questions about volunteer experiences, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.
Foodlink is a regional food hub and the Feeding America food bank serving 10 local counties, including RIT's own, Monroe County. Their operations specifically target the root causes of hunger, distributing food to a network of agencies, serving meals through their kitchen, and offering a variety of food-related programs.
Flower City Pickers supports the local community with free food through the recovery and redistribution of safe but otherwise landfill-bound food. Volunteers attend the City of Rochester Public Market on regular shopping days, year-round, to collect several tons of surplus produce donated by generous vendors and recover food that might otherwise end up landfilled.
Food Not Bombs/Rochester (FNB Rochester) is an informal co-op that sprouted up within the last few years. FNB is a refreshing difference from the traditional, long established supper programs and agencies that have provided meals for decades. Every Sunday the young people of FNB offer the community the free, vegetarian meals available to anyone who wishes to partake.
A Meal and More, Inc. has been serving people in need since 1979. With the help of a retired professional chef and volunteers, they serve free, hot, well-balanced, and nutritious meals to as many as 100 guests every Wednesday and Sunday.
Comfort begins by staying in familiar surroundings and being cared for by caregivers who have become like family. At Meals On Wheels, the participants always come first. They strive to improve health and independence to all – regardless of their ability to pay. Often in the program, participants do not have the ability to pay for service.
Flower City Habitat for Humanity's (HOH) mission is to bring people together to build houses, communities, and hope. Since 1984, HOH has built or renovated over 200 homes in Rochester, helping families achieve their dreams of home ownership and strengthening local neighborhoods one home at a time.
House of Mercy provides individuals in need with food, shelter, clothing, and drop-in emergency services. The House of Mercy runs around the clock thanks to the help of volunteers that never give up. They have several volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups.
As a “community action agency,” ABC's programs touch upon the health, education, safety, employment, and housing of our region's families, individuals, teens, and toddlers. ABC has aided thousands of individuals/families to move from public assistance to a gainfully employed, tax-paying status.
Catholic Family Center dates back to the early 1900’s when it was founded to assist immigrants. Still, today, the Center works to resettle refugees, strengthen families, and provide emergency housing and shelters to those in need. Additionally, the center has expanded to provide services for aging adults, adoption, and foster care, substance abuse treatment, and behavioral health services.
A community-based human services agency providing services to youth, families, adults, and developmentally disabled individuals. Our activities range from providing education enhancement for kindergartners to food and clothing for families, and some family activities.
Mary’s Place is a refugee outreach center that has been serving refugee families living in the City of Rochester since 2009. Joined by refugees from 10 nations, and they assist these individuals as they work to adjust to American culture, learn English, find employment, gain permanent residency, and ultimately, citizenship.
Genesee Land Trust preserves and protects natural lands and waterways that enhance the quality of life in the greater Rochester region—providing wildlife habitat, locally grown food, and connections to nature.
Rochester Roots (ROOTS) is a non-profit organization focused on sustainability education and entrepreneurship, which it offers within 26 sustainability laboratories. These develop citizens and communities, starting with youth as future leaders, who work alongside businesses, university faculty and peers to solve the challenges of sustainability facing them in the 21st century.
The purpose of the Sierra Club Rochester Group is to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the Earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the Earth's ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
GRASP (Greece Residents Assisting Stray Pets) is committed to reducing the number of homeless pets in Greece, N.Y., by decreasing dog and cat reproduction, promoting responsible pet ownership, and placing homeless dogs and cats into compatible, loving, and permanent homes.
The Seneca Park Zoo Society is a not-for-profit organization that has, since 1957, provided education, fund raising, special events, and public relations support to Monroe County's Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, N.Y.
Verona Street Animal Shelter is dedicated to providing the resources necessary to enable Rochester Animal Services to more effectively serve the public. This includes animal care and control, pet sterilization, pet adoption interests and, in cooperation with the City of Rochester, other programs that support the mission of Rochester Animal Services.
Wild Wings Inc. is a not-for-profit educational organization which includes a bird of prey facility and the Mendon Ponds Park Nature Center. They care for permanently injured and non-releasable animals which are unable to survive on their own in the wild.
Empire Justice protects and strengthens the legal rights of people in New York state who are poor, disabled, or disenfranchised through: systems change advocacy, training and support to other advocates and organizations, and high quality direct civil legal representation.
Junior Achievement is focused on helping the young people of Rochester. With the goal of preparing young people for the real world, Junior Achievement works to teach money management, job seeking skills, entrepreneurial skills, and more.
The Rochester Museum and Science Center offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for those looking to get more involved. Each special role assists the center in an important and critical way for the success of their various programs and commitments throughout the year.
Provides youth and families with 24-hour crisis intervention/information and referral: emergency shelter for homeless/runaway youth; prevention education workshops and groups; short-term solution oriented counseling for youth and their families. Time requirements and screening process required.
Assisting the family caregiver to maintain a normal, productive lifestyle. They provide support, information, and education to family and professional caregivers of those individuals affected by dementia. Supports local and national research.
Volunteers are needed for patient services, information distribution, Cancer Control Network, health fairs, Hope Lodge maintenance and grounds keeping, special events throughout the year, and clerical assistance.
Services include disaster relief; health and safety courses (CPR, first aid, water safety, back injury prevention, HIV/AIDS education); community heating funds; job readiness training; community food and nutrition services; school programs.
The Rochester Area Red Cross is headquartered in downtown Rochester and offers a variety of services including CPR training, blood drives, walk-in blood donations, and warehouse and office jobs. They work to serve our local area along with several other local offices, which are a part of the Rochester Area Red Cross network.
Provides high-quality programs for individuals with developmental disabilities and or mental retardation. Program services offered include: residential, clinical, vocational, day treatment, family support service coordination, and transportation services.
The mission of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI)-Goodwill Industries of Greater Rochester is to “assist people who are blind or visually impaired to achieve their highest level of independence in their social and vocational lives.”
The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester’s mission is to make eradication of breast cancer a priority through education and advocacy, to empower women and men to participate fully in decisions relating to breast cancer, and to promote and focus research into the causes, prevention, treatment and cure of breast cancer.
The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment, and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.
Provides cancer patients and their family and friends with support, education, and advocacy; offers health education, smoking withdrawal, professional education, and minority outreach programs; runs a day-camp for children with cancer and their siblings, men, and women.
Hope Lodge is designed to provide free or low-cost housing to patients and caregivers traveling far from home for cancer care. The house is presented in association with the American Cancer Society and is set-up to feel like a home away from home for local cancer patients and families.
Our volunteers provide a variety of important services, including working in the MCH gift shop, assisting with visitation and pastoral care, transporting residents to special programs within the building, providing musical support, or providing assistance to various departments and nursing units. Each volunteer opportunity allows people to share their unique talents and personality with others in our community.
The Rochester Ronald McDonald House believes that families are stronger when they are together, and that their presence helps a sick child heal faster and cope better. While Ronald McDonald House Charities® cannot make medicine taste better or take away painful treatments, they can, and do, help lessen the burden and ensure families have the stability and resources to keep their child healthy and happy.
Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery and their volunteers help revitalize and maintain gardens within Mount Hope Cemetery. They are responsible for planting, weeding, and watering their sites throughout the planting season.
The Friends of Washington Grove help manage Washington Grove, a park owned by the City of Rochester. They encourage its sustainable use as an old growth forest and foster scientific research to support the City’s management goals.