by Rachel Neuburger
You’d be surprised how many incredible opportunities there are in New Castle to “give back.” Whether you’re a student, retiree or member of the work force, there are places to lend a hand and gain experience. Here are just a few opportunities out of the many choices volunteers have in and around Chappaqua.
Horace Greeley House, the former home of our most famous resident, is run by the New Castle Historical Society, which is always looking for volunteers to help out with the great events they host in honor of our town’s history. Opportunities include working at the Antique Show, Horace Greeley’s History Hunt, and the Holiday Tree Lighting. Volunteers assist in research and organize programs in conjunction with Chappaqua schools and the library. There are also opportunities for writers at the Society–high school volunteers have written a book about Horace Greeley, and writers of all ages contribute to the quarterly newsletter. Some volunteer work is done during office hours (Monday to Thursday from 10a.m. to 4p.m.), and some with independent scheduling. New Castle Historical Society: email NewCastleHS@aol.com.
The New Castle Media Center is a newly expanded venture with the purpose of using new technology to record important events in Chappaqua. The Media Center is always looking for volunteers to help generate content for the website and television channels. Although there is a minimal annual membership fee- $25 for students, $35 for adults- volunteers get their money’s worth with access to great technology, monthly editing and producing classes, and use of cameras and filming studios. Volunteers are asked to film community events, charity promotions, and other content for the Media Center’s website. Above all, volunteers are rewarded with knowledge and experience that only a hands-on opportunity like this can offer. New Castle Media Center, visit www.ncctv.org, and choose “Get Involved!”
Chappaqua Library volunteers can help with Community Group Liaisons, Hold Lists, and electronic tagging. These programs are limited to adult volunteers willing to make a weekly commitment for several months.
Teens also have opportunities to help out. With the “Volunteen” program, 5th through 12th graders can, for example, plan and implement library teen programs, work on displays in the Young Adult section, and pull books for the hold list. To apply, visit www.chappaqualibrary.org, choose the Teens tab, then click on “Be a Volunteen.” Return completed applications to “Z,” the Head of Teen Services at the Library.
Like to Play?
For those who like to work with youth, the Mount Kisco Child Care Center is the place to go! Over 200 Westchester residents, including many Chappaqua teens, have volunteered at MKCCC over the past year, and most have chosen the “six consecutive week block”; assigned to a certain classroom for six weeks, volunteers assist with activities for the children (infants through school-age) in the classroom. Most activities involve arts and crafts, reading, or simply playing. “Homework Buddy” volunteers offer homework help. Volunteers with special interests have taught photography, scrapbooking and many other fun skills. Adults also volunteer, and can assist in the classrooms or with administrative and reception tasks. Visit Mount Kisco Child Care Center’s website at www.mkccc.org For information and guidelines about the volunteering program, and contact Pam Moskowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Helping Our Older Residents
The New Castle Senior Center also offers many opportunities to give back to our community. Volunteers often help with home meal delivery Monday through Friday: they drive to the Community Center to pick up meals for seniors, then drop them off at the homes of participating residents. Volunteers use their own cars, and can decide on timing based on their schedule. In addition, the Telephone Reassurance program always needs volunteers on weekends. Through “Friendly Visits,” volunteers visit and spend time with homebound seniors. Volunteers are also needed to drive seniors to medical appointments on days when transportation is not provided by the town. Volunteers for any of these programs must be age 21 or older.
These opportunities are just a small sampling of what is available in and around New Castle. Other town and county groups, as well as multiple private entities and religious organizations, offer great options for anyone with a little time and a desire to “give back.” Sometimes all it takes is a little looking, and the results are infinitely rewarding. Senior Center: 914-238-2093 to schedule an appointment.