Volunteering improves your health by strengthening your body, improving mood, and reducing stress.

Volunteer

Opportunities for Otsego recognizes the vast knowledge and talents of the community and offers volunteer opportunities in the following programs:

Building Healthy Families
The Children's Center
Emergency Housing Assistance Program
Head Start/Early Head Start
The Violence Intervention Program (VIP) 

Youth Volunteer and Service Opportunities: We encourage individuals, school clubs, and youth organizations to view our list of ideas on how they can support Opportunities for Otsego. Activities include assisting with program operations, supporting awareness campaigns, fundraising, supply drives, or making care packages for the homeless. For liability purposes, groups with youth under the age of 18 who volunteer at an agency facility must be accompanied by a responsible adult affiliated with the group.

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Building Healthy Families: Opportunities to volunteer are available on a limited basis. For more information, call Building Healthy Families at 607.433.0444 extension 112 or submit a volunteer application.  Tasks for volunteers include: 

  • Supporting community outreach and events (e.g. April child abuse prevention awareness campaign)
  • Assisting home visitors with materials and parent group planning
  • Office/Clerical tasks

 

The Children's Center: We welcome volunteer assistance at our court-based childcare program in Cooperstown.  The center provides a safe place for children to stay while their caregivers attend to legal matters and other meetings on the Otsego County Court campus.  All volunteers must be cleared by the New York State Central Registry and have a TB test.  For more information, call The Children's Center at 607.322.3139 or submit a volunteer application.  Help is needed with:

  • Drop-in day care for infants through age twelve
  • Alleviating separation issues, rocking, reading, and playing with children
  • Planning and implementing age-appropriate activities
  • Snack distribution
  • Parent education and sharing child development information

 

Emergency Housing Assistance Program: For more information, call The Emergency Housing Program at 607.433.8335 extension 1 or submit a volunteer application

 

Head Start/Early Head Start: Head Start relies on the help of volunteers to provide 20% of its annual budget through in-kind donations of time and/or resources. The success of the Head Start depends upon the active participation of parents and other family members. For more information, call the Head Start Administrative Office at 607.433.8055.  Volunteers are needed to:

  • Serve as Classroom Aides
  • Coordinate at-home projects
  • Assist during play time
  • Join us on field trips
  • Help serve lunch
  • Lead an art project
  • Read a book
  • Serve as a member of Policy Council

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In addition to parent and family volunteers, Head Start welcomes community members to volunteer their time and share their knowledge and skills with the Head Start children. Local fire departments, police officers, educators from the Farmer’s Museum, the Utica Zoo, and the Otsego County Dairy Princess are just some of the community volunteers who visit our classrooms each year.

Volunteer opportunities are available at sites in Cherry Valley, Cooperstown, Laurens, Morris, Oneonta (River Street & SUNY), Richfield Springs, Schenevus, and Unadilla.

 

Violence Intervention Program (VIP): All VIP volunteers, other than those only assisting in general office details, must complete 30-hours of classroom training and an additional 10 hours hands-on, supervised training annually. Upon completion, volunteers will receive certification as a New York State Rape Crisis Counselor. For more information, call the Violence Intervention Program Office at 607.433.8038 or submit a volunteer application.  Volunteers in this program are needed to help with the following: 

  • General office duties (i.e. answering phones, filing documentation, data entry, photocopying, assembling informational folders)
  • Community education and outreach
  • Community awareness events (i.e. Take Back the Night, Crime Victims Awareness Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, or Domestic Violence Awareness Month)
  • Accompanying clients to the emergency room, court, police departments, or the Department of Social Services
  • Answering the 24-Hour Crisis Hotline
  • Coordinating activities for residents of the safe house