Volunteer Opportunities for Families

Family Circle Holiday Package Deliveries

DOROT’s Family Circle Program enables seniors to share their life experiences with the young, while you and your children enrich the life of an older person. By participating in Family Circle, your family joins the DOROT intergenerational community and shares the priceless gift of friendship with a homebound senior.

Families with children age 5 and up are invited to share holiday joy in the home of a DOROT senior. Together, you and your family will create a memorable and meaningful Chanukah tradition while brightening the day of an older adult at this special time of year.

What is DOROT’s Family Circle?

Started in 1998, Family Circle gives parents with young children an opportunity to visit and develop relationships with older people. While many of DOROT’s clients are frail or homebound, a large number are vigorous, active seniors who enjoy meeting and interacting with children. The people you will visit are eager to meet you and your child. Your visits help keep our older friends connected to the community. If you come to several Family Circle events, you may have the opportunity to visit the same person and get to know him or her over time.

What Happens at a Family Circle Program?

At DOROT, children make gifts for their older friends. Then, new family volunteers gather together for an age–appropriate orientation to prepare for their visit. Afterwards, each family delivers the gifts they have made and visits the older person for about 45 minutes. Families with young children should bring a favorite book or toy that they can share with their older friend. Families receive child-friendly visiting guides with additional information to help prepare them for their visit.

    button  For families with children ages 5–12

    button  Time commitment: Approximately 3 hours

    button  See Upcoming Events for a list of Family Circle volunteer opportunities.

    button  For more information and to volunteer, please call (212) 769-2850.

Family Birthday Mitzvah Project and Home Visits.

Families help mark an elder’s birthday by volunteering to deliver a birthday cake and share the joy of the occasion with a DOROT senior.

DOROT staff arrange with you the most convenient time for your birthday visit. On the day of the visit, arrive at DOROT to pick up a special birthday package to bring to the senior and receive a brief orientation to prepare you and your child for the birthday visit.

There are also opportunities to visit with a senior that do not involve picking up a birthday package. New volunteers will come to DOROT for an orientation before their first visit to a senior.

    button  Time commitment: 1.5 hours

    button  For families with children ages 5–12

    button  For more information and to volunteer, please call (212) 769-2850 or register online.

    DOROT’s Birthday Mitzvah Project is funded in part by Congregation Emanu–El of the City of New York.

Card Making Project

Our greeting card project helps bring joy and celebration to some of our frailest and most isolated seniors. DOROT sends over 3,400 birthday and holiday cards to seniors each year. Every card is designed and created by youth volunteers. Often, this card is the only recognition a senior receives on his or her birthday or for a holiday greeting.

"To be remembered on my birthday really made me smile." -Hannah T., aged 82

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