Ready to volunteer, but not sure what you’d do or how much time it would take? Here’s a sample of the hundreds of opportunities available.
Focus: “FTC has grown into a well-loved community hub of arts, culture, and entertainment.”
Facts: “Our programs are presented at StageOne, our 225 seat theatre in Fairfield and the fine arts gallery at the Gallery at FTC, which adjoins the theatre. FTC also presents musical artists at the iconic 1,400 seat Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport and at Norwalk Concert Hall, a 1,036 seat historic venue with excellent acoustic properties.”
Volunteers: “Helping with events, ushering, distributing posters and fliers, working on the facilities, and fundraising or marketing assistance.”
Specific Duties: FTC has many types of volunteers. One typical volunteer ushers at a concert, helping people to their seats and doing a quick clean up once the show is over. Another volunteer might be hanging out show posters in retail stores, health clubs and various display windows around Fairfield County. Many of our volunteers fan out through the community soliciting auction donations for our two major annual fundraisers.
Time Commitment: “Show ushers usually spend between 3-4 hours at the theatre during the night of a show. These ushers are typically assigned a show 1-2x a month. Committee volunteers meet approximately 6 times a year. Fundraiser volunteers spend 2-4 hours a week leading up to an event.
Find it: 70 Sanford Street, Fairfield, 203-319-1404
Focus: “Started as an emergency overnight shelter and has evolved into an agency that provides services that meets not only basic and immediate needs, but also seeks long-term solutions like affordable housing and clinical support.”
Fact: “Last year we served over 32,000 meals through our Community Kitchen and over 122,000 meals through our Food Pantry – 64% of those we fed were children. Additionally, 162 individuals and families received needed shelter and clinical support. We helped 89 households (228 people) avoid homelessness and get back on their feet; and we provided 46 units of sale affordable housing with support to formerly homeless and at-risk community residents.”
Volunteer Duties: “…numerous opportunities for volunteers of all ages, including food collection for our Pantry, meal preparation for our Shelter, Holiday Gift Programs, administration, fundraising and countless ways to help neighbors in need.
Time Commitment: “100% flexible and variable, depending on the task and volunteer availability.”
Find It: 636 Old Post Road, Fairfield; 203-292-5588
Founded: In 1984 as Interfaith Housing Association; name changed in 2008
Focus: “Homes with Hope’s mission is to support the homeless and those at-risk of homelessness in the communities we serve by providing food, emergency shelter, permanent supportive housing, and the supportive services needed to achieve a more independent and self-sufficient life.”
Facts: “We provide over 100 hot meals to individuals every day; we provide beds to 85+ people each night; we employ the services of over 400 volunteers each year. Our case managers all have Master’s Degrees to handle the needs of our challenged populations, and our 24 staff members attend to those needs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
Volunteer Duties: Volunteering opportunities at this organization include: (1) providing meals…(2) mentoring women and young mothers…(3) seeking food donations…(4) helping with property maintenance…(5) babysitting for young families…(6) sorting and organizing the Food Pantry…fundraising mailings, fundraising events.”
Time Commitment: “Time commitments of this organization include 3 hours (on a one-off basis, or as a monthly commitment) to prepare and serve a meal at the Gillespie Center; one hour per week for a year to mentor a young woman; afternoon food drives; afternoon gardening experiences at one of our properties; up to three hours of babysitting; one four to four hours per day to help sort in the Food Pantry.
Find It: 49 Richmondville Avenue, Suite 112, Westport
Focus: “To develop and fund unique survivorship programs and research to improve the lives of cancer survivors…[who have] unique health care needs as a result of treatment, which are not addressed by current medical care standards.”
Facts: “The CT Challenge works to develop and fund programs that impact cancer survivors throughout the United States and beyond. Last year over 54,000 cancer survivors were impacted through a variety of funded programs such as The Center for Survivorship, community outreach, CT Challenge Survivorship Summit, and mobile mammography. Since it’s founding in 2005, the CT Challenge has raised over $10 million to support programs for cancer survivors.”
Volunteer Duties: “…to help manage and support” events, such as the CT Challenge bike ride, Spin-a-Thon, and annual benefit concert at FTC.
Time Commitment: “We should have volunteer opportunities that suit all schedules and levels of commitment.”
Find it: 250 Pequot Avenue, Southport; 203-292-8722
Founded: 2000 as a local affiliate of the national program (Founded in 1963)
Focus: “…to successfully change the life trajectory for academically talented youth of color via access to rigorous and prestigious educational opportunities in 9th through 12th grade.” Local: “Our primary mission is to provide academically gifted, economically disadvantaged and highly motivated young men of color (African-American, Latino, Asian-American and Native American) the opportunity to live in our community and to study in Westport’s outstanding public high schools, and to help prepare them to assume positions of responsibility in their careers, communities and families. The second mission of A Better Chance Westport is to increase diversity in our community.”
Facts: “We have 14 alumni who have graduated from Staples High School.”
Volunteer Duties: “Serve on our board of directors. Volunteering on one of our committees” Fundraising, Facilities, Marketing, Scholar Services, Special Projects. Sign-up to drive the scholars. Become a Host Family or Substitute Host Family. Help with the Dream Event (our major fundraiser)
Time Commitment: “A volunteer can give as little or as much time as he or she would like dependent upon the volunteer activity or board position. For example, you can drive once a month or a couple of times a week or volunteer on one of our committees.
Focus: “Twenty-five years after it was founded, Wildlife in Crisis remains the only facility of its kind in the region—a quiet, peaceful place where all species of injure and orphaned wildlife can be nurtured and healed before being returned to nature. Every year, WIC continues to expand its capabilities, with the ultimate goal of building a full-service wildlife hospital and education center with on-site surgical suites and diagnostic equipment to treat even more wild patients.”
Facts: “Each year WIC volunteers care for over 5,000 injured and orphaned mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, with the ultimate goal of returning these wild creatures to their natural habitat. WIC also serves as a key public information resource, with volunteers answering over 20,000 phone calls each year from citizens seeking information about wildlife issues.”
Volunteer Duties: “Fundraising animal care, facility maintenance, animal rescue and transport, education and outreach. Professionals such as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, graphic designers, tree surgeons and landscapers are also needed.”
Time Commitment: “It varies depending on time of year and role.”
Find it: P.O. Box 1246, Weston; 203-544-9913