Frequently Asked Questions

  • What type of volunteer opportunity do you offer?

The Carter Burden Center for the Aging offers a range of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups, including a one-time service day or a long-term commitment. A list and description of our volunteer opportunities are available on our website in three sections; “Individuals”, “Community Groups” and “Corporate Groups”. If you have questions about our volunteer opportunities, please e-mail us at: volunteer@carterburdencenter.org

  • How can I become involved in your programs?

We regularly post and update our volunteer opportunities on volunteer websites such as Idealist, VolunteerMatch or NYC Service. If you are interested in a specific volunteer opportunity, you can contact us through these websites or simply e-mail us at: volunteer@carterburdencenter.org

  • Where are you located?

Our volunteer opportunities take place at different locations. The location of each volunteer opportunity is stated on our volunteer website page. The most common locations for our volunteer opportunities are: the Carter Burden Luncheon Club & Senior Program (351 East 74th Street), the Carter Burden/Leonard Covello Senior Program (312 East 109th Street) and off-site locations (seniors’ homes). Our Volunteer Services Department is located at the Carter Burden/Leonard Covello Senior Program located in East Harlem.

  • How does the application process work?

Our Volunteer Services department is in charge of the application process. We receive, review and coordinate volunteers’ placement to provide you the most meaningful experience.

The application process is based on the type of volunteer opportunity.

  • Do you do a background check?

In order to ensure the seniors’ safety, volunteers may be subject to a background check.

  • How long is my commitment?

Our opportunities can range from one-time service day (Meal Service, Meal Delivery, Service Projects and Special Events & Holidays) to a long-term volunteer commitment (Friendly Visiting, Grocery Shopping Assistance, Telefriend, Class Instruction & Assistance, Interns).  These programs require a six-month commitment.

  • Do I need to commit to specific hours every week? Do you offer flexible volunteer opportunities?

Our volunteer website page states the hours and location for each program. Some of them require a specific shift during the day and the week. All volunteers are placed depending on the seniors and the organization’s needs, but we always try to accommodate your request.

  • Do you provide training for new volunteers?

An orientation/training is provided on site the day of the volunteer opportunity by a Volunteer Coordinator. This orientation/training includes a presentation of the Carter Burden Center for the Aging, a tour of the facility and the description of the tasks and guidelines along with any special instructions.

In addition, for the volunteers interested in the Friendly Visiting, Grocery Shopping Assistance and Telefriend, an orientation is provided over the phone and a training manual is also provided.

  • Why do you ask for a photography release form?

To promote volunteerism on social media, we do ask groups and individuals to fill out a photography release form every time we want to post a photo on our various social media accounts. You always have the opportunity to decline.

  • Do I have to track my volunteer hours?

It is very important that the Carter Burden Center for the Aging has accurate and timely records of volunteer hours. Having this information helps us obtain and retain funding for our programs.

We ask you to submit your hours every time you volunteer with us. We do provide an online and friendly link. For volunteers on-site, tablets are available to complete the form. For volunteers off-site, the link is provided and a reminder email is sent every month.

  • What is the age requirement to volunteer?

We provide volunteer opportunities for individuals of all ages. Individuals or groups with children under 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult or chaperone. Please inform the Volunteer Services Department in advance if you have children in your group.

  • What can I wear to volunteer?

There is no “dress code” to volunteer with us, just wear clothes you are comfortable in and wouldn’t mind getting a little dirty! Volunteers involved in Meal Service are required to put on hairnets, gloves and aprons provided by the organization.

  • Do you have an emergency protocol?

Some of our volunteer opportunities take place off-site (Friendly Visiting, Grocery Shopping Assistance, Telefriend, and Meal Delivery) and you interact directly with seniors. In the case of a medical emergency, call 911. Once you’ve called 911, call your Volunteer Coordinator or the Director of Volunteer Services (212- 423-9665 ext. 423). On the weekend or after hours, leave a message with the Carter Burden Center for the Aging at 212-879-7400. The social worker on call will receive the message and take action. If a senior falls in your presence, do not help him or her up. Call 911 and allow the EMTs to come to his or her rescue.

  • Do you have guidelines for volunteers? What can I do when I have concerns about a senior’s behavior?

To ensure a successful and rewarding time together, it is important to understand and follow our guidelines. These guidelines are in place to ensure you fully understand the volunteer assignment and assist you in situations that may occur during your volunteer experience such as, if a client expresses a need for a service that you cannot provide and explains how to set limits with your senior.  If a senior asks you to do any of the tasks that are not mentioned by your Volunteer Coordinator, explain that this is not part of the volunteer assignment or refer them to your Volunteer Coordinator. If you do not feel comfortable with a certain activity, feel free to tell the senior that it is against the volunteer policy of the Carter Burden Center for the Aging. Specific guidelines for Friendly Visiting, Grocery Shopping Assistance and Telefriend can be found in the Volunteer Handbook.