Get Involved. Create Change.

Volunteering at Goddard Riverside is a wonderful way to get involved, learn more about our programs and connect with the community. Learn more about specific volunteer opportunities below.

If you are interested in volunteering, please complete our volunteer application form for more information.

Development Department


212-873-6600 x1021

Four Book Fair volunteers standing in a row, each holding a book

Book Fair

The Goddard Riverside Book Fair is our longest-running fund-raising event. Since 1986 the fair has raised more than $7 million to support the families, adults and children we serve.

This cherished annual event takes place the weekend before Thanksgiving, giving New Yorkers the chance to purchase brand-new books at discounts of 50 percent or more.

This is a great volunteer experience for anyone who loves books. Books are donated to us from major publishing houses over the summer and in the fall we seek volunteers to help us prepare and then sell books at the fair. 

What will you be doing?

We need volunteers to help us with preparations for the fair and the fair itself

  • Spend a Saturday morning unpacking boxes of books and sorting the books into categories (Book Sorts)
  • Assist us with setting up the fair
  • Spend a morning or afternoon helping us sell books at the fair


Book Sorts: October 16 & November 13, 2021

Book Fair Setup: November 19, 2021

Book Bash: November 19, 2021

Book Fair: November 19-21, 2021

Sign Up:

Volunteering During COVID-19

A stack of colorful letters and notes written to older adults on the Upper West Side

Letters to Older Adults

Send a handwritten card or a note to help older adults isolating at home feel connected to the community.

  • When: Any day
  • Where: Your home
  • Requirement: Send your card or note to:

Goddard Riverside
Attn: Older Adult Project
593 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10024

Calling Older Adults

Our older adult programs are seeking volunteers who speak Russian, Spanish, Cantonese, or Mandarin to call and chat with seniors.

  • When: Monday – Friday
  • Where: Your home
  • Requirements: Must be able to speak Russian, Spanish, Cantonese, or Mandarin. Contact Brianne Kilpatrick at BKilpatrick@goddard.org; please specify which language you speak. 
A volunteer in a blue Moody's t-shirt does a practice interview with a TOP Clubhouse participant

Corporate Engagement

Goddard Riverside welcomes corporate employee groups to volunteer with our programs and make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable people in our community. We have volunteer opportunities throughout the year for a few hours or all day. We will connect individuals and groups with existing volunteer programs or create a program to meet the interests and skills of the group. Corporate volunteer “impact” days are excellent ways to promote leadership skills and build teamwork while meeting a significant need of Goddard Riverside’s community.

What will you be doing?

Activities will vary, but could including working on résumé writing and interview skills with adults in our employment programs or packing backpacks full of school supplies for students in our Options program.


Contact Development Office for placement.

Sign Up:

Contact Development Office for placement.

Two longtime volunteers wearing white paper chef's toques smile while preparing food for the  Holiday Meals

Holiday Meals

Every year on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, volunteers gather at 593 Columbus Avenue to cook and serve more than a thousand holiday meals. Like last year, we will be serving to-go meals in 2021.  Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the day; meals are served from noon until 3.

Volunteers are key to the success of our holiday meals. Feeding more than 1,000 men, women and children take the support of many people willing to volunteer for a morning or afternoon on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

What will you be doing?

  • Prepare stuffing and carve turkeys with our kitchen team.
  • Serve Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinners to our guests.
  • Donate bake pies and cookies for our dessert table.

Who can volunteer?

Ages: 14 and up


Thanksgiving: Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 (prep) & Thursday, November 25, 2021 (main event)

Christmas: Friday, December 24th, 2021 (prep) & Saturday, December 25, 2021 (main event)

Sign Up

Last year with the help of our dedicated volunteers we were able to distribute over 1,500 take-out meals on both Thanksgiving and Christmas!  All volunteers must show proof of Covid vaccination upon entering.  Click here for in-person volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer from Home

Our Volunteer from Home options was a huge success last year. Click here to see how you can support Goddard Riverside’s Holiday Meals by volunteering from home.

A woman and young girl smiling while seated at a desk next to a bookshelf.

Star Learning Center

Note: Due to COVID-19, Star Learning Center is offering online tutoring throughout the 2021-22 school year.

Goddard Riverside’s Star Learning Center provides one-to-one academic tutoring for students in grades 2-12 from underserved communities.

The center’s goal is to help each child improve academically and foster a positive attitude toward school and learning.

What will you be doing?

  • One-to-one academic tutoring

Who can volunteer?

Volunteers should be able to commit two hours a week, be at least a sophomore in high school, and be comfortable using a computer.


To become a tutor, please fill out an online application. You will be contacted by Star Learning Center.

Sign up:

Older Adults

Goddard Riverside’s older adult programs are enhanced by volunteers who spend time with the men and women who come to our Senior Centers or live at our NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities).

What will you be doing?

  • Teach an art class
  • Offer computer skill support
  • Escort older adults to appointments

Who can volunteer?

Ages: 21 and up


Contact Development Office for placement.

Sign Up:

Contact Development Office for placement.