Volunteering is a rewarding way to meet new people and become a part of the community. You can use volunteer opportunities to strengthen skills you already have or learn new skills in a field that interests you. This can be particularly appealing for spouses and partners who are ineligible for employment in the U.S. due to immigration status.

Short-term and long-term volunteer positions are available on campus and at local non-profit organizations throughout the year. Whether you are interested in mentoring youth, taking care of animals, helping health workers, or building houses, you can find a meaningful way to be involved in your new community!

General Volunteering Resources

Local Non-Profit Volunteer Organizations

This list is provided for informational use only. Yale OISS does not officially endorse any of these organizations.

Dixwell-Yale University Community Learning Center

101 Ashmun Street, (203) 946-8605

Volunteers work closely with the Coordinator of the DYCLC to develop and schedule programs for the community learning center. They may also assist in the educational programs of the Center, which include tutoring, mentoring, and computer training.

Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK)

311 Temple Street, (203) 809-8770

For nearly 25 years, the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK) continues to consistently provide free direct food programs to the citizens of the New Haven Community. DESK‘s great community value is in its commitment & capacity to grow as the face of hunger grows.

Dwight Hall at Yale

143 Elm Street, (203) 432-2420

Dwight Hall coordinates volunteer efforts between the Yale community and New Haven. Visit them to obtain an excellent booklet that lists nearly 200 volunteer opportunities and resources in the New haven Community. Subscribe to the Dwight Hall “Holler”–an email list that will keep you up-to-date about volunteer opportunities. Email dwighthall@yale.edu with your request to join.

Haven's Harvest

Our mission: feeding our community and reducing food waste, one food rescue at a time.
We create relationships — with our donors, receiving partners and our volunteers. Businesses often have excess food and business owners struggle to find community partners to accept the food and find transportation for that food. That is where Haven’s Harvest comes in! Creating a robust community network is necessary to direct the food to people rather than letting the food go to waste. This network increases the resiliency of our community. 

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat works toward our vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable housing. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage

Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS)

235 Nicoll Street, (203) 562-2095

IRIS resettles approximately 200 refugees each year. IRIS also provides some services to asylees and other immigrants.Volunteers serve in their office or one-on-one directly with a refugee and commit to 3+ hours per week for a minimum of three months. Volunteer roles are filled on a rolling basis and not all roles are open at all times.

Literacy Volunteers

4 Science Park, (203) 865-3867

This group is seeking native English speakers to help provide free student-focused tutoring to speakers of English as a second language. Their mission is to change lives through literacy. You can email them at info@lvagnh.org.

New Haven Free Public Library

133 Elm St, (203) 946-8130, ext. 33

NHFPL is always looking for individuals to help with library duties and services.

New Haven Reads

45 Bristol St, (203) 752-1923

New Haven Reads, founded to “share the joy and power of reading,” increases the literacy skills of children to empower their academic success by providing individually tailored one-on-one after-school tutoring, educational family support, anda community book bank, all at no cost to participants. Tutors provide one-on-one reading instruction for students ages 6-18. Complete their volunteer form online to sign up.

New Haven Pride Center

84 Orange Street, (203) 387-2252

The New Haven Pride Center serves the needs of the GLBTQI community and its allies. NOW is the time to get involved! The Center has no paid staff and welcomes volunteers to get its work done. There are many ways you can help. You can help with programming, fundraising, grant writing, and more.

New Haven Public School Foundation

80 Hamilton Street, (203) 946-6950

Through the NHPS, you can volunteer to work in a public school in New Haven. The New Haven Board of Education, however, requires that all volunteers register and complete background screening through New Haven Public School Foundation, Inc. prior to placement in New Haven Public Schools. NHPS Foundation will serve as the central point of entry for volunteers in the New Haven Public Schools, tracking registration, monitoring criminal background screening and volunteer hours.

Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut

501 George Street, (203) 777-5683

This is a temporary “home away from home” for families of children who are being treated at nearby hospitals and health care facilities -only a 10 minute walk from the hospital. You can help prepare a meal for the families, or volunteer on a regular basis or for special events.

Sanctuary Kitchen

At Sanctuary Kitchen, we believe that sharing a meal and personal stories is a strong and meaningful gesture of welcome and acceptance, an intimate space in which simple and genuine cultural exchanges can occur. We believe in community and we hope that our programs will cultivate authentic connections between local residents and new arrivals. Food brings people to the table, enriches lives, and fosters mutual understanding across diverse cultures in the most delicious way possible.

The Children's Community Programs of Connecticut, Inc.

46A Blake Street, (203) 786-6403

The Children's Community Programs of CT, Inc. is a private, non-profit, multi-service agency. They are committed to providing diverse and creative support services to children and families throughout Connecticut to ensure that every child counts. CCPC welcomes volunteers with a passion for working with children.

The Friends of the New Haven Animal Shelter

81 Fournier Street, (203) 946-8110

The New Haven Animal Shelter is the second largest municipal animal shelter in the State of Connecticut, with over 65 dog runs, attracting over 3,200 visitors annually. The Animal Shelter takes in about 1,400 dogs and cats each year. Through its partnership with the Humane Commission, Friends of the New Haven Animal Shelter, and the North Shore Animal League, the Animal Shelter has sponsored several adoption events throughout the year, leading to an adoption rate of 75 percent, or roughly 1,500 dogs and cats. Email: fotnhas.info@gmail.com

United Way of Greater New Haven

370 James Street, Suite 403, (203) 772-2010

United Way of Greater New Haven is focused on changing the odds so that every child and family has the opportunity for a good life. They are bringing people together to create a thriving community for all of us: the kind of place where you want to live, to work, and to raise a family. To get there, they are focused on innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges in our community around education, income, health and basic needs.

Yale Center for British Art

1080 Chapel Street, (203) 432 9491

Information volunteers staff the information desk, welcoming and orienting visitors to the Center and its collections, exhibitions, facilities, and programs. Volunteers answer a wide range of questions about the Center, Yale, and the Greater New Haven area. For further information about volunteer opportunities available, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at ycba.volunteer@yale.edu.

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

170 Whitney Ave, (203) 432-3731

Volunteers provide support in all areas of the museum.Some volunteers engage the public through the Museum’s educational programs, special events, or community outreach, while others are behind the scenes supporting collections research and libraries, assisting in Museum administration, and in many other capacities. Most volunteers get involved in multiple areas. Email peabody.volunteers@yale.edu.

Yale Sustainable Food Program

301 Prospect Street, 3rd Floor, (203) 432-2084

The Sustainable Food Program is the steward of two small farms used for learning and research, one on Yale’s main campus and the other at Yale’s West Campus. They support both curricular and extra-curricular learning, and serve as a hub to connect and provide opportunities for study and practice in food, health, and the environment. For further information, email sustainablefoodproject@yale.edu.

Yale-New Haven Hospital

York Street Campus, 20 York Street, EP 1-612, (203) 688-4363
Saint Raphael Campus, 1450 Chapel Street, Main 138, (203) 789-3480

The Volunteer Services Department needs and welcomes energetic volunteers of all ages and skills on the York Street and Saint Raphael campuses. Volunteers generally give a minimum of four hours a week for at least six months. There are a variety of volunteer roles to fit individual time schedules, abilities and interests. Volunteers may work directly with patients or choose work behind the scenes.