Volunteer Opportunities

Adult Literacy: We are looking for volunteers to become a literacy tutor in the LIFE (Literacy is for Everyone) program at the Potsdam Public Library. Secondly, we are seeking anyone who'd like to be a "conversation partner".  This would mean meeting with someone who speaks English well, but who wants to have informal conversation to improve their confidence and comfort in using the language.   No training is required for conversation partners. Those interested should contact Bobby Gordon at bgordon@potsdamlibrary.org or Library at 315-265-7230 or direct line at 315-201-4059.

Best Friends Thrift Store: Best Friends: Volunteers are needed to help run a not-for-profit thrift store called Best Friends located  at 8 Raymond St. Potsdam. This thrift store donates 100%  profit to the local Humane Society, a non-kill shelter. It is an expensive venture and it takes a lot of donations and fund raising to keep it solvent. We are opened 6 days a week. Our biggest need in on Friday and Saturday.  If you are willing to volunteer 3 hrs/week please call  Tim at (315) 212-4541 or send email to tdonahue@twcny.rr.com   For scheduling information email Bonnie at bsboyd4@hotmail.com.

Boys & Girls Club of Massena: The Boys & Girls Club of Massena offers volunteer opportunities to help change and improve the lives of children and youth in a safe and engaging environment while providing programming that inspires and prepares them for GREAT futures! Volunteer opportunities include homework help, mentoring, arts volunteers, special events volunteers and many more!

Canton-Potsdam Hospital: Volunteers from all walks of life brighten our patients' days. They work in our Gift Shop, greet patients, support our nursing staff and much more. We love our committed, dedicated volunteers. To become a volunteer you must successfully complete the online volunteer application, interview, background check, drug screening, physical exam, immunizations if needed, and volunteer orientation. The background check, drug screening, physical exam and immunizations are provided at no cost to volunteers. For more information and to learn about the benefits of volunteering here,  visit https://www.cphospital.org/volunteer or contact Katie at knmclaughlin@cphospital.org.

Deep Root Center for Self-Directed Learning (DRC): Deep Root Center for Self-Directed Learning is seeking volunteer mentors during the academic year to share their interests and talents with our students. DRC is a 501(c)3 learning center in downtown Canton, which provides the facilities, environment, resources, and support for young people between the ages of 5-19, who have chosen to leave school and design their own learning plan based on their interests and aspirations. You can learn more about DRC at our website. You can complete a volunteer application by visiting the volunteer page. You can also contact maria@deeprootcenter.org. 

GardenShare: We are a locally led, nonprofit organization seeking to end hunger and strengthen food security in northern New York. We offer volunteer opportunities for both the academic year and summer. Our major volunteer activities include a Trivia Night, Fight Hunger 5K, Annual Dinner, and the Farmers Market! Some opportunities involve an orientation. Visit http://gardenshare.org/content/volunteer-gardenshare to learn more! Please contact Carlene at info@gardenshare.org or call us at 315-261-8054.

Girl Scouts: Volunteer with Girl Scouts: Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways (GSNYPENN) is a regional council chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA to deliver the Girl Scout program across 24 counties in New York and 2 in Pennsylvania.  Girl Scouts is the  preeminent leadership development organization for girls. We offer girls a lifetime of leadership, adventure and success and programming that prepares them for the future! Volunteer opportunities for college students include troop leader/co-leader or lending their subject area expertise to assist troops and girls with badge work, programs, etc. There’s no limit to how you can help support the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Troop meetings and events happen throughout the calendar year. Volunteers must be 18 and have a cleared background check. For more information, contact Community Recruitment Manager Dolly LaClair at 315.782.1890 x2211 or dlaclair@gsnypenn.org. Learn more about our council at gsnypenn.org.

Hospice and Palliative Care: Hospice enables people to live their last few weeks and months as fully as possible. The kinds of activities a volunteer might do include: visiting with patients, light housekeeping, running errands, or letter writing. Other volunteer opportunities include things like: clerical tasks, helping with computer projects or delivering medications. Volunteer training provided. Contact Linda Caamaño at 315-265-3105 or lcaamano@hospiceslv.org.

ICE Mentor: As an Integrated Clarkson Experience (ICE) mentor in the NYS grant funded IMPETUS program, you can mentor local 10th - 12th grade students from local area schools throughout the county in a couple of ways. First, you could be individually matched with a 10th - 12th grade student at one of the area schools. Second, you could be involved in the monthly campus visits as a volunteer in a group setting. Third, you could help with building interactions on social media. Please contact Dr. Jen Knack at jknack@clarkson.edu for more information and to request an application.

K-Kids: K-Kids (part of the Kiwanis family) is an international student-led organization providing members with opportunities to perform service, build character and develop leadership skills.  A volunteer can help support K-Kids meetings at the Lawrence Avenue Elementary school with team building exercises and community service event planning on Wednesdays weekly from 3:15-4:30.  Volunteers can also support local service projects when available. To volunteer email kkids@potsdam.k12.ny.us or call Marc at 315-265-2000 x259 or Nicole at 914-500-3637.

Lawrence Avenue Elementary: Lawrence Avenue is Potsdam’s elementary school, housing grades Pre-Kindergarten – 4th grade. Volunteers are needed for after school small group mentoring sessions from 3 until 4:30 on Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Contact Marc Porcaro at 315-265-2000 x144 or email mporcaro@potsdam.k12.ny.us.

Potsdam Humane Society: The compassionate, humane care you help provide also makes our community better, as the kindness we extend to animals reflects back into our own lives. The shelter is open Mon. – Fri., 1 – 5 p.m. and Sat., 11 a.m.– 3 p.m. Volunteers are needed to visit and walk pets, conduct fund raising and assist with cleaning and building maintenance. All volunteers must attend training before volunteering. For more information please visit http://www.potsdamhumanesociety.org, and contact us at shelter@potsdamhumanesociety.org or by calling (315) 265-3199.

Potsdam Neighborhood Center: The mission of the Neighborhood Center is to help the poor and at-risk population in our area, to help them maintain a decent standard of living, and to help them set goals and priorities for an improved living standard. Volunteers are needed for filing,organization, program development, fundraising, client outreach, and basic center operation.

Potsdam Public Library: Volunteers are needed to help with book sales, organize shelves, assist with programming and to give tech help to seniors. Minimal training involved. Contact Sarah Sachs, Public Service Manager (ssachs@potsdamlibrary.org) if interested. For a list of ongoing activities check our calendar at potsdamlibrary.org.

Potsdam Snack Pack Program (PSPP): PSPP's goal is to provide healthy snacks to eligible school children on weekends and holidays. Food insecurity is a major problem in St. Lawrence County, and in Potsdam, 47% of the elementary school students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. This program relies on volunteers to prepare snack packs for more than 300 students each week. The program is also dependent on the generosity and involvement of community members and organizations to donate funds and food items for the snack packs. Volunteers normally meet on Thursday mornings at 9 a.m. to prepare the bags with at least eight food items, but opportunities also exist for small groups of 5-6 people to schedule a ‘packing party’ at an agreed upon time. Volunteers can also sponsor a food drive, create flyers for special events, and help promote the organization on social media. 

Reachout: Reachout (Crisis Intervention & Referral 24-hour Hotline) Volunteers receive over 100 hours of training in crisis intervention, listening skills, problem-solving, & information referral before answering the phone alone. An application is required as well as a two semester commitment. A five hour weekly shift is required. To learn more about learning to be a hotline crisis counselor and to apply, go to our website: www.reachouthotline.org/apply.

Renewal House: Renewal House provides services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children. There are office hours available, as well as after-hours and on an on-call basis. Opportunities include advocating for clients and assisting with projects around the office. An application, interview, and 30 hours of training are required. After the training you will be certified as a Rape Crisis Counselor in the state of New York. Please reach out to Brandy Bush at renewalhouse_volunteer@verizon.net or 315-379-9845.

St. Lawrence County Arts Council: SLC Arts is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the mission of "Local Art for Everyone." We advocate for active community participation in the arts through various programs, classes, and events. As an arts organization we value freedom of expression, creativity, and the inclusion of all art forms. Volunteer opportunities include helping with events, preparing mailings, publicity, and content creation. Contact Maggie McKenna at 315-265-6860 or email at director@slcartscouncil.org.

The Child Advocacy Center of Northern NY: The Child Advocacy Center of Northern NY is a program of the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County, Inc. and is a nonprofit organization.  The mission of the CAC is to strengthen and protect children, families and community through an interdisciplinary approach to cases of child sexual and physical abuse.  We provide high quality, specialized services for abused children and their non-offending family members. The Child Advocacy Center is looking for dedicated volunteers to help carry out our mission. Volunteer opportunities include office management tasks and community outreach.  Volunteers can also assist the agency with creating flyers for special events, assist with fundraising events as well as social media.  For more information, please contact Erin at 315-755-1458 or email her at erinf@vacjc.com.   The St. Lawrence County Child Advocacy Center office is located at 4 Stillman Drive, Canton, NY.

The Local Living Venture: The Local Living Venture shares resourceful living skills on a community basis in the areas of food (growing, cooking, nutrition, preserving), renewable energy and green building, sustainable forestry and 'clean' wood burning, natural world (beekeeping, pollinators, invasives, etc.) and homesteading skills in the town and country. Many projects can use student energy and participation, from an annual roadside clean-up in October to helping with year-round skills-building workshops and community events, outreach booths at festivals, and specialized programming (Renewable Energy Home Tours, Pollinator Protection and more). Check out www.locallivingventure.org and contact Volunteer Organizer Chelle Lindahl at LocalLivingVenture@gmail.com or 315-347-4223.

Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY): Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY): The TAUNY Center, which includes exhibit galleries, program spaces, and a retail shop carrying regional hand-crafted items,  is located at 53 Main Street. TAUNY is a nonprofit organization that showcases the folk culture and living traditions of New York's North Country, offering opportunities to experience, learn about, and reflect on issues related to life in our rural region. We are especially interested in volunteers to work on programs in our demonstration kitchen, to perform music at open houses and other events, and to develop videos about cultural activity in our Adirondack North Country region. More information about the organization at tauny.org or @thetaunycenter at Facebook and Instagram. If you are interested, please contact TAUNY Executive Director Jill Breit, jill@tauny.org, with a letter of interest and summary of experience.