Check with your local United Way, Red Cross or Y, favorite museum, park or conservation organization for a variety of volunteer opportunities. See Teen Camps for summer volunteer programs.
Bergen County Volunteer Center
64 Passaic St., Hackensack, 201-489-9454. Search website by age and zipcode to locate volunteer opportunities at agencies that have requested help.
Volunteers deliver bagged lunches, breakfast bags, clothing, toiletries and other necessities weekly to the homeless in New York City, Newark and Irvington.
The Children’s Museum of Somerset County
Room 280 (Suite 13), 120 Finderne Ave., Bridgewater, 908-595-0001. Youth and youth organizations interested in helping with weekly programs to obtain service hours can contact Tom Davidson, 908-725-4677.
P.O. Box 1516, Morristown, NJ 07962-1516. 973-540-9222. Organization collects & distributes children's drawings to nursing homes, hospitals & meals-on-wheels programs. Volunteers needed to supply drawings.
Community FoodBank of New Jersey
31 Evans Terminal Rd., Hillside, 908-355-3663, ext. 221. Open for volunteers to help sort food or work on bulk mailings. The FoodBank's Kids Division includes Kids Closet which distributes new children's clothing and Kids in Need Resource Center which provides free school supplies to teachers and children in low-income school districts. Call for information on volunteer opportunities or to schedule a group tour.
The Connection for Women & Families
79 Maple St., Summit, 908-273-4242. Volunteers, ages 15 and up, needed to help run special needs classes or tutor newcomers to the U.S. in English as a second language.
Nationwide online recycling movement connects someone who has good items to discard with someone who has a use for them (computers, sports equipment, furniture, appliances and more). To find a local group, visit website.
Fresh Air Fund
800-367-0003. Become a host family to a New York City youngster ages 6-12 for a 2-week summer vacation.
Partners with non-profit agencies to provide volunteer opportunities for individuals, families and corporate and community groups.
Pedals for Progress
86 East Main St., High Bridge, NJ 08829, 908-638-4811. A non-profit New Jersey-based organization collects donated bicycles and ships them to developing nations and economically disadvantaged American children. Donations and collection and processing volunteers welcome.
65 Hobart Ave., Summit, 908-273-8787. The Arboretum is always looking for youth (preferably age 13 and older) to help with planting, weeding, trail maintenance and other activities.
Santa Claus Shop
Complimentary holiday shopping is provided in early December to low-income families and seniors from Summit, New Providence and Berkeley Heights referred by local social service agencies. Sponsored by the Summit Junior Fortnightly Club, Summit Women's Club and Junior League of Summit and assisted by community group volunteers. Checks for the purchase of gifts can be made payable to SHIP, with Santa Claus Shop noted on the memo line, and mailed to Santa Claus Shop, PO Box 119, Summit, NJ 07901.
Somerset County Park Commission Volunteer Opportunities
PO Box 5327, North Branch, 908-722-1200. Diverse opportunities for volunteers include work on wildlife and resource conservation projects; gardens, grounds, facilities management; instruction and special events.
Summit Recreation, 908-277-2932; Berkeley Heights Recreation, 908-464-0550 x13; New Providence Recreation, 908-464-4430. TryCan trains volunteer teen mentors to provide one-on-one supervision to children with special needs participating in sports, leisure and social development programs.
Union County Parks and Community Renewal
Individuals and groups are always needed to help maintain Union County Parks, 908-527-4231. Adopt-A-Park volunteers assist with after-school programs, summer programs and special events. Adopt-A-Trail volunteers make a two-year commitment to adopt a trail or section of a trail and monitor and maintain it at least four times a year.
Union County Office of Volunteer Services
908-353-7171 ext. 105. Part of the United Way of Greater Union County, the Office of Volunteer Services publishes a directory of ongoing volunteer projects and posts opportunities on its website under "volunteer."
Union County Rape Crisis Center
300 North Ave. E., Westfield, 908-233-7273. Volunteers needed to work on 24 hr. hotline; accompany victims to hospitals, police depts. or court; and provide presentations to schools and organizations throughout Union County. Training provided Sept.-Nov.
Enter zipcode and browse a database of local volunteer opportunites.
Volunteer Management Centers
280 W. Hanover Ave., Morristown, 973-538-7200. Provides information on volunteer opportunities in the Morris County area for youth, adults, families and groups.
Created by the National Council of Jewish Women, the volunteer network refers volunteers to non-profit organizations in Essex, Morris and Union County areas. Volunteers can search opportunities online by interest, organization and interest. Click on link at bottom for opportunities for teens.
Volunteer matching application helps volunteers ages 5 to adult, nonprofit agencies, corporations, event organizers and Volunteer Centers get connected.