Volunteer

How Can You Help?

Volunteering has been the cornerstone of GMHC’s mission since our very beginning in 1981, when a group of volunteers saw the need to educate the public about a fast-growing epidemic and to support those affected by HIV and AIDS. Volunteers continue to be an essential part of our ability to provide life-saving services and you can be a part of the vital volunteer community at GMHC. GMHC offers both individual and group volunteer opportunities.

Individual Volunteer Opportunities

GMHC’s volunteers contribute to our mission in a variety of ways, providing compassionate, dedicated and effective responses to communities impacted by HIV and AIDS. Some of the individual volunteer opportunities that may be available are listed below:

A Buddy’s primary responsibility is to provide emotional support to a GMHC client, whether newly diagnosed or a long-term survivor. By making regular visits to the client in their home, the Buddy works as a liaison to connect the client with services at GMHC or other social service agencies, as needed. Responsibilities include assisting the client with light errands and socialization through various activities, while reporting back to the agency on a regular basis. A Buddy must be able to commit to the program for one year and be able to visit their client for 1-4 hours per week at a mutually agreed time.

Licensed and certified professionals such as massage therapists, haircutters, fitness instructors, yoga teachers, chiropractors, reflexologists and acupuncturists can volunteer with our Wellness Program to provide services that address our clients’ overall well-being.

We also have a need for volunteers who have special creative talents and the credentials to teach workshops in art, music, dance, acting and creative writing.

Our volunteers at the front desk greet all clients and guests and direct them to the appropriate programs and services. Responsibilities include answering the phone and directing calls, addressing questions, assisting with walk-ins for our Intake department, and providing a welcoming experience for all clients and guests. Bilingual in English and Spanish is a plus.

Administrative volunteers can assist departments in all areas of the agency by providing support through performing duties such as fielding phone calls, responding to department emails, word processing, filing, data entry, direct mail projects, and creating presentations and spreadsheets.

Our Hotline was GMHC’s first service and it continues to provide support and information to callers in need of someone to talk to. Hotline volunteers provide information and referral services regarding HIV and AIDS and our programs to the general public who contact the Hotline by phone and by email. Volunteers need to be able to respond to a diverse group of callers with diverse needs, and to stay informed about the latest developments in HIV and AIDS as well as GMHC’s policies and protocols. An in-depth training program is provided twice a year and volunteers are expected to make a 1-year commitment to the Hotline. Bilingual in English and Spanish is a plus. For more information about the GMHC Hotline, visit the webpage here. Please note that all volunteer Hotline Counselor positions are filled at this time. After attending the Volunteer Orientation, we can add you to the waiting list for this opportunity.

The Support Corps is a group of on-call volunteers who are ready to help out with a variety of short-term projects in all areas of the agency. Projects may include data entry, stuffing envelopes, space beautification, taking inventory, assisting with special events, and more.

Our staff and volunteers at the GMHC Testing Center provide free testing for HIV and other STIs, counseling, health information, education, risk-reduction strategies, referrals and partner notification services. Please note that all volunteer Testing Center Counselor positions are filled at this time. After attending the Volunteer Orientation, we can add you to the waiting list for this opportunity. For more information about the Testing Center, visit the webpage here.

We serve lunch Monday through Thursday and dinner on Friday evening, providing our clients with a warm, friendly atmosphere where they can receive nutritious meals and have an opportunity for social interaction. Volunteers are an essential part of our dining room, helping us serve meals to 350 clients each day. Please note – There are no volunteer openings in Meal Service at this time.

If you have a special skill that you think would be an asset to GMHC, please contact The Volunteer Center to discuss the possibility of creating a new role.

Application Process

To volunteer at GMHC, please complete the following steps:

Step 1:

Print out the Volunteer Application and bring a completed copy of it with you our Volunteer Orientation (see Step 2).

Step 2:

Attend a virtual Volunteer Orientation session at our offices. [Please note that these sessions are not currently being held due to COVID-19.] The session will last about 90 minutes and covers the history and mission of our organization, the services we provide, the volunteer roles that are currently available, and our volunteer policies. No reservation is required. Please check back on this page prior to attending a session to take note of any schedule changes.

Step 3:

At the end of the Volunteer Orientation, the Coordinator of The Volunteer Center will meet with you individually to identify the position that interests you and will assist you with placing you in that role. Most volunteer positions require availability during our regular hours of operation, Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.

Group Volunteer Opportunities

For corporations and community groups that would like to volunteer with their colleagues and peers for the day, we offer a number of group opportunities including meal service, assisting with community outreach, and special projects throughout the year.

We serve lunch Monday through Thursday and dinner on Friday evening, providing our
clients with a warm, friendly atmosphere where they can receive nutritious meals and have an opportunity for social interaction. Volunteers are an essential part of our dining room, helping us serve meals to 350 clients each day. We can host up to 12 volunteers.

For our clients who are actively seeking employment, we provide them with valuable job search skills including resume and interview preparation. This is a great opportunity for groups with some experience in hiring and recruiting.

GMHC has a number of special events during the Holiday Season, including a Thanksgiving Dinner, a Holiday Dinner, and a Gift Wrapping Party. These volunteer opportunities are a great way for your group to give back in the spirit of the season.

Special projects come up throughout the year, and we are often looking for large groups to come in and help. Whether we have a mailing to go out or a space that needs to be freshly painted, we need volunteers to get the job done! If your organization has a unique idea of how you can use your talents, please contact The Volunteer Center and let us know.

Contact

For questions about our volunteer program, please contact:

Shelley Levine, M.Ed.
Director, Training & The Volunteer Center
Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)
Pronouns: she, her, hers

ShelleyL@gmhc.org
212-367-1327