When was the last time you volunteered to help out a local organization in Rochester? Senior citizens provide an important resource as volunteers for a variety of organizations throughout the community.

Volunteering keeps vital organizations up and running. These organizations provide assistance to people and animals as well as spaces, places, and the arts. If you have extra time to spare to help out as a volunteer, then it’s time to get started and do something meaningful!

Below are 20 volunteer opportunities in Rochester, NY for seniors and CDPAP patients who have something important to contribute to the community!


1. Foodlink

Food banks provide an essential service to the community and volunteers are always needed for sorting, repackaging, and fundraising. We need help with our newly expanded Foodlink Kitchen.

And we need at least 100 volunteers to help us with nutrition education programs. Volunteers make the day-to-day operations of the Foodlink mobile market truck possible along with our Curbside Market. The Curbside Market visits over 80 sites each week in Rochester and the surrounding communities and we serve about 30,000 customers each year. Register online as a volunteer and check out our volunteer calendar for more information about our human resource needs.


2. Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House in Rochester is a famous organization that provides an important service as a home-away-from-home for families who are traveling to Rochester for medical care for their children.

Volunteers cook meals, clean and prepare rooms for families, and help out with office duties. We also need volunteers to drive the van and perform other services that make it possible for families to be with their kids during a challenging time. Hundreds of volunteers are needed every month to keep this organization running 24/7, every day of the year.

3. House of Mercy

This is an organization that provides services to the homeless 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. House of Mercy needs people to answer phones, do light cleaning, distribute clothes, provide kitchen support, and IT services as well as general assistance. Photography and grant writing services are also essential volunteer activities that help keep our organization up and running.


4. American Red Cross


The American Red Cross is always in need of volunteers to help with the organization’s goal of preventing and alleviating human suffering. Volunteers do a wide diversity of different jobs from driving and transporting blood to working in the warehouse. Volunteers do clerical duties and they function as medical screeners during blood drives. Disaster responders and special event support volunteers are also needed. Apply to volunteer online.


5. Willow Domestic Violence Center

This domestic violence center is always in need of support and generosity of local volunteers. Volunteers help with a variety of duties designed to empower and support victims and survivors of domestic violence and their children. Volunteers can help out at the center or assist with fundraising activities by hosting events. Some volunteers also make themselves available via cellphone to provide counseling and emotional support.


6. Open Door Mission


The Open Door Mission provides a variety of critical services to the Rochester community from addiction recovery to food services. We need volunteers to serve meals, provide kitchen services, do administrative tasks, clean, do maintenance work, sort donations, organize fundraising events, and outreach programs.

During the coldest days of winter, the Open Door Mission provides specialized services to the homeless to make sure that they are properly fed, clothed, and sheltered. During other times of the year, they provide emergency housing and food for up to 40 homeless men and 10 homeless women.


7. ComPeer


ComPeer is an organization that provides mental wellness services to the community. Senior volunteers who join the ComPeer staff get comprehensive training and personal support. This is a meaningful opportunity in which volunteers are carefully matched to provide needed support to adults, kids, and families.


8. Gilda’s Club


This organization needs mental health professionals who are willing to lead support groups for adults or supervise a warm and supportive interactive play environment for children.

We also need volunteers to maintain and improve Gilda’s Clubhouse. Volunteer support doing general maintenance, beautification, construction, gardening, seasonal decorating, and cleaning is always needed. Or be a Gilda’s Club Ambassador by advertising, informing, and promoting the Clubhouse throughout Rochester and the surrounding communities!


9. Toys for Tots

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is always in need of local volunteers in the Rochester area to assist with transportation and the storage of toys. As a nationwide organization, our mission is to “bring the joy of Christmas to America’s needy children” and over 61 years of the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, volunteers have distributed over 332.5 million toys to 158.7 million children.

We also need help with the local warehouse and assistance with meals as well as distribution of toys and fundraising activities.


10. Cameron Community Ministries

Cameron Community Ministries is an organization that offers a youth program, a kitchen, and a clothing center. We rely heavily on volunteers to help in a variety of capacities.

Be an ongoing volunteer or come and help us out just once. We need kitchen servers, clothing house volunteers, after school program and summer program volunteers, and volunteers to help out in the teen center. The After School program provides elementary aged children with a safe and supportive atmosphere where they can learn together. This program provides academic support in math, reading, and other subject areas. T

he Summer Safe Haven event is another academic learning program that strives to combat learning loss in math and reading over the summer. Weekly field trips provide enrichment and tons of hands-on activities to kids in the Rochester community. The Kid’s Cafe provides hot meals throughout the school year at 6:00 PM daily for kids of all ages. Volunteers help make these programs possible.


11. Geva Theatre Center


The Geva Theater is need of volunteers to help with preparation of the theater before performances. We also need ticket-takers and helpers to assist patrons in the lobby by guiding them to their seats. Volunteers are essential in the coat room and the gift shop and we also need assistance with light cleaning after theatrical performances and staff assistance during busy seasons. The Geva Theatre relies on more than 500 volunteers each year from the local community who donate time and energy to our various performances each season.


12. Dmitri House


The Dmitri House provides services to the homeless. We need drop-in volunteers to provide food service, dishwashing, and dining room cleaning and stocking assistance. Food pantry volunteers are needed as well as Men’s Shelter volunteers. Ongoing volunteers are also needed to sit and chat with guests or play cards or chess with them as Ministers of Hospitality.


13. Rochester Museum and Science Center

Volunteers are essential members of the staff at the Rochester Museum and Science Center! We rely on over 450 volunteers annually to keep the center running. All RMSC volunteers receive guidance on how to create a welcoming environment for visitors.

Volunteers who provide 100 hours of volunteer service each year get a complimentary individual membership to the center. We offer a wide range of opportunities for volunteers from all walks of life. Special expertise in science isn’t needed, but volunteers who have a background in the sciences may enjoy specialized opportunities that highlight their talents and skills. There are short-term and long-term opportunities available to prospective volunteers.


14. Sojourner House

Sojourner House provides safe, affordable housing and special services to women. Volunteers are needed to teach elective classes and provide one-on-one tutoring and mentoring to children of all ages. Volunteers are needed to help with childcare and assistance with special activities organized by the activities coordinator on weekday afternoons and evenings.

Maintenance of the property including indoor and outdoor cleanup of the yard, garden, basement, garage, and kitchen as well as picking up and delivering furniture donations and doing food preparation and food service for our program celebrations are all vital tasks that are performed by our volunteers.


15. Memorial Art Gallery

We rely on over 1,000 volunteers to help us accomplish our mission at the Memorial Art Gallery. There are a number of volunteer opportunities available from welcoming visitors to the gallery to helping out with the Clothesline Festival. Docents are volunteers who provide education opportunities to thousands of children who do tours of the collection and exhibition.

Volunteers provide welcoming services for docents while other Memorial Art Gallery volunteers work in the store assisting with all aspects of daily operations. Retail volunteers in the store perform all the necessary tasks required to make it run from showing items to patrons and ringing up the cash register to putting price tags on items. Store volunteers get to make their own schedule and they also receive a volunteer discount in exchange for their services.

16. Meals on Wheels


Meals on Wheels is a vital organization in the community that’s always in need of volunteers. Drivers/Servers are responsible for delivering and serving hot, nutritious meals to those who are homebound including the elderly or the very ill. Volunteers are paired together as a driver and a delivery volunteer to deliver meals for each route. It takes only a few hours of time for drop-in or ongoing volunteers to really make a difference in the community.


17. Rochester Broadway Theater League


Sign up online to volunteer for the Rochester Theater League. We’re always looking for energetic and enthusiastic volunteers to work as part of our team! Volunteers perform an array of different tasks from clerical duties to assisting with special events. We always need ushers at performances and volunteers to assist with special projects.

After we receive the volunteer’s application, we contact the volunteer to let them know about special events. All volunteers must attend one or two orientation sessions at the Auditorium Theatre as part of the experience.



18. Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

Volunteers for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra experience a unique opportunity to work and learn about various behind-the-scenes environments that enrich the community’s cultural life. This is not just an opportunity to support an important cultural fixture in Rochester, but to also meet other volunteers and make new friends.

Volunteers plan and execute exciting special events and they serve as educational ambassadors for the local youth. We rely on our volunteers to accomplish our mission and our volunteers have fun working with us! We provide a variety of work opportunities from education to special events and patron services.

19. EquiCenter

The EquiCenter is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization. We rely on volunteers to work with horses and participants as well as help with horticulture, barn and facility support, and fundraising. Volunteers do administrative work and help organize and execute special events for the center as well.

We feel confident that there’s a place for almost every volunteer! Our programs are enriched by the different talents and interests of volunteers who help us accomplish our day-to-day activities. Volunteer activities include: riding lesson volunteers, organic farming volunteers, barn volunteers, the gardening crew and maintenance volunteers, as well as marketing, administrative, and special events volunteers. Some volunteer positions require a training session prior to participation as a member of our team.


20. Verona Street Animal Services


If you love working with animals, why not volunteer for Verona Street Animal Services? We have an active volunteer program that allows senior citizens to provide hands-on support in various aspects of our programs. We need dog-walkers, pet-bathers, and animal trainers and socializers.

Volunteers make it possible for us to provide excellent care to stray, disowned, or aggressive animals by cleaning cages and helping with the spay and neuter clinic. Proper care includes feeding and nutrition, disease control, exercise and socialization, and enrichment. Verona Street Animal Services is a vital resource in the community for locating lost pets and the adoption of new family members.

The Foster Care Program is an in-home volunteer opportunity that provides temporary housing for animals in need of specialized care who are waiting for placement in their forever homes or transfer to a new organization.




Seniors have a lot to contribute to their surrounding communities. If you’re a senior citizen with some extra time on your hands that you can donate to organizations-in-need in the Rochester area, your help would be greatly appreciated!