Volunteering Can Make A Difference!

We often think of volunteering as helping someone else. In reality, all of us are benefiting from the efforts of volunteers who help make New Haven’s neighborhoods better. Volunteering not only gives you a chance to get to know other people who care about their community but also to learn about the diversity of our neighborhoods. When you volunteer you can see powerful, meaningful change happening with every small action you take. The sense of well-being and belonging that you get from helping your neighbors and yourself is well worth the effort!  Remember: Community starts with you!

 

Contact Stephen Cremin-Endes, Director of Community Building & Organizing to get involved in a volunteer effort!

Please call (203) 562-0598 ext. 222 or email scremin-endes@nhsofnewhaven.org

 

Check out recent volunteer events, below, that have made an incredible, positive impact in our communities!

 

NeighborWorks Week - Bike & Build + Hopkins

 

This year's NeighborWorks Week featured many large groups, and luckily we had some big projects for them! For several days, we worked with seniors from Hopkins to further develop our Sherman Parkway Urban Oasis. On the final day with Hopkins, participants in the Bike & Build program joined us. Both groups did an incredible job of cleaning up and beautifying this new park.

 

March - Common Ground at Ivy Street Garden

 

Students from Common Ground High School helped with the seasonal preparations in the Ivy Street Garden. There was lots of trimming and clean-up to do, and no shortage of leaves to rake up from in and around the plant beds. With great enthusiasm, the students made short work of the spring gardening tasks! We're looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season brings!

Monday June 1- Thursday June 4, 2015

 

At the beginning of the month of June NHS had the pleasure of hosting The Hopkins School Volunteer week.  Hopkins seniors got down and dirty with staff from our CB&O team and helped to work in various community gardens. The beginning of their volunteer week started off pretty dreary and wet with the uncharacteristically cold June weather, but this group did not allow the tedious weather to stop them! During their time with us the Hopkins students worked in NHS’s demonstration garden helping to pave out a new driveway, helped create new raised beds in the Davenport Community Garden and enthusiastically finished their week off at the Ivy Street Community Garden. We appreciate all the hard work that these students put into every task they were assigned and can’t wait for our next group of seniors next year! 

 
 
 
Thursday, May 14, 2015
 

This day was a bittersweet one for us here at NHS as we said goodbye to our friends of Solar Youth for the season. On their last day of work in the Ivy Street Community Garden, this excited bunch made sure to end their season off with a bang by helping to water plants, plant with our NHS staff and work on some composting. We are going to miss these young gardeners and look forward to teaming up again with them next year! 

 
 
Tuesday, May 12- Wednesday, May 13, 2015
 

CB&O staff, along with our gardener friends, experienced one of the busiest volunteer events to date! We hosted ten classes of Lincoln-Bassett students, ranging from Kindergarten to 7th grade. Teachers were a big help as we spent 45 minutes with each group, exploring various activities at the Ivy Street Garden. Students learned about composting, planting seeds in soil trays, and maintaining an outdoor space by raking leaves and pulling weeds. Students also took time to sit and enjoy a group reading of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Much was learned by all! We can't wait for another Day in the Garden

 
 
 
Thursday, April 23, 2015
 

To kick off the spring season, NHS was delighted to work again at Ivy Street Garden with the young gardeners of Solar Youth. The young gardeners, ages 4-8, enjoyed a quick healthy snack before getting their hands dirty working in the garden. On this productive day the gardners were able to mix compost and soil together to fill seed trays that would later be used for the greenhouse. In between raking and clearing the garden, some of our Solar Youth gardeners were able to explore the greenhouse and learn more about its purpose in the garden. Pretty soon they will be able to teach others about the greenhouse themselves! 

 

 

Monday, March 9, 2015
 

On this Monday, NHS was delighted to have nine volunteers from Yale Chaplain Spring Break Immersion Program come to volunteer with us. Equipped with a good number of shovels, the volunteers and the NHS staff headed to NHS-owned properties at 39 and 45 County Street to shovel snow and ice in the driveways and walkways around the homes. Later on in the day at the group lunch, discussions included housing issues, socio-economic inequalities and community development in New Haven. The entire day with the Yale Chaplain group was engaging and very productive! 

 
 
Monday, January 19, 2015
 

For this MLK Day of Service 50 volunteers from Dwight Hall at Yale, Squash Haven and Public Allies came to serve at Hallah Eduatainment. With the supervision of adults, the volunteers were able to de-nail reclaimed wood for a stage, remove ceiling tiles for a video recording room, and clear out space for a student discussion area. In the middle of their hard work the volunteers enjoyed a break that consisted of tasty donated food and watched a 40-minute video of The Children’s March of 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama. This Day of Service was a success and we look forward to working with these groups again next year!

 
 
Thursday, December 4, 2014
 
The wonderful volunteers from Solar Youth joined NHS at the Ivy Street Garden this Thursday to help prepare the garden for winter. The young gardeners raked scattered leaves from around the garden before laying them across the garden beds to ensure that the plants would be protected and ready for the spring!
 
 
Thursday, November 20, 2014
 
On this Thursday the NHS staff joined the young volunteers of Solar Youth to help do a garden clean up at the Ivy Street Garden. Within the short hour that they were there, the group was able to rake and fill ten leaf bags. Great work Solar Youth!
 
Saturday, November 15, 2014
 
Squash Haven came to Stevens Street once again to help NHS build new compost bins for the garden. While at the garden the six young volunteers helped to clear out garbage in the back by raking leaves and breaking down twigs. Under the supervision of NHS staff, the volunteers were also taught how to use new tools in the garden such as a drill and saw. This was yet another great volunteer effort with Squash Haven!
 
Saturday, November 1, 2014
 
During a rainy Saturday morning the NHS team was lucky enough to have the help of thirteenYale students from Dwight Hall help set up for the first annual Fall Harvest Festival in Newhallville. The volunteers spent their Saturday helping on the Farmington Canal by clearing it of leaves and garbage. With extra help from a few students from Common Ground High School, we were also able to decorate the festival with an array of pumpkins and put up tents to keep guests of the festival dry.
 
Thursday, October 30, 2014
 
The young volunteers of Solar Youth joined the NHS staff to help spruce up the Ivy Street Community Garden. With the help of the twelve volunteers we were able to rake and bag fall leaves and clear street litter in and around the garden.
 
Saturday, October 25, 2014
 
Stevens Street Community Garden was visited by Squash Haven on this Saturday morning in efforts to help prepare the garden for the new changes it will undergo in the near future. The young volunteers eagerly helped to prepare the garden by clearing litter out of the garden, moving mulch to cover new ground and weeding garden beds.
 
Thursday, October 9,2014
 
NHS staff joined up once again with  Solar Youth members to work in the Ivy Street Community Garden. With the help of nine volunteers we were able to rake up scattered leaves around the garden and help to build and paint the shelves for the garden's new greenhouse.
 
Saturday, September 6, 2014
 
NHS was one of six organizations to host a group eighteen Yale students from Dwight Hall for Freshman Day of Service held at Lyric Hall in New Haven. To help maintain the historic building, Dwight Hall and CB&O teamed up to help combat the heavy rainwater that was disrupting the building by buildig earth berm, rubble and gravel; leveling the surroundings and painting the basement floor.
 
Monday, August 18- Thursday, August 21, 2014
 
The Yale FOCUS on New Haven week is an annual event NHS looks forward to participating in each year. For this event, our staff helps to involve a group of about 8 students in a four-day service project. This year, we expanded our boundaries and introduced the students to an elderly couple in West Haven in need of assistance with their home. The students were able to paint a front-yard fence, stain a backyard fence, paint the inside of the porch, the front stairs, the garage, the back deck and a second-unit entry staircase.
 
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
 
NHS was asked to host a second group of students involved in Explo at Yale program. For this event, a group of 15 volunteers learned a little about Newhallville while helping to stake tomato plants, weed, remove street litter, rake and mulch at and around the Ivy Street Community Garden.
 
Friday, July 25, 2014
 
Another collaboration was held with Dwight Hall at Yale to introduce 60 community college students from New Jersey, involved in the PTK Student Group. Following a Yale Campus and downtown tour, the students met our CB&O staff on Stevens Street in the Hill neighborhood. Here, the large group split up to accomplish a number of projects along the street. This included street tree planting, fence staining, porch painting, grass cutting, raking, litter removal, and garden work at the community garden.
 
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
 
NHS had the privilage of taking part in a more unique volunteer event where we hosted a group of 30 bicyclists traveling from Maine to New York. Along the way this Bike and Build- Costal Drift group made 5 various stops to participate in a build day with an organization involved in affordable housing. While here in New Haven, the volunteers spent a 7-hour day helping with the multi-unit home renovation of an elderly couple. The work achieved involved fence staining, exterior foundation painting, exterior ramp staining, interior wall and ceiling painting in multiple rooms, kitchen cabinent staining and ceiling drywall repairs.
 
Thursday, July 17, 2014
 
NHS staff collaborated with New Haven resident, Doreen Abubakar, and URI to work with volunteers to develop efforts along the Farmington Canal Trail. In working toward establishing a Learning Corridor in the section of the trail near Shelton Avenue and Starr Street, 15 volunteers helped to remove litter and debris, add new plantings, lay out mulch and water nearby plants and trees.
 
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
 
The Stevens Street Community Garden was a bustling place this afternoon, with 17 volunteers from the Explo at Yale program. These out-of-state student participants learned about the New Haven community while contributing help with raking, weeding, watering, mulching and grass mowing in the garden.
 
Monday, July 7, 2014
 
With a group of 24 employees from the Vivint Home Security company we were able to show support to residents on Blake Street, the gardeners of the Ivy Street Garden and the future class participants of NHS home improvement classes. This was done by removing litter and debris from sidewalks, laying out mulch for street trees, trimming trees and shrubs and moving and gathering materials needed at the NHS Demonstration Garden.  
 
Sunday, June 29, 2014
 
NHS took part in City Church's "I Heart NHV" campaign by hosting 22 volunteer church members at the Davenport Children's Community Garden in the Hill neighborhood. Ours was just one of several service projects taking place today around New Haven. This event worked wonders in rejuvenating the efforts that have been taking place in this community space for years. Fresh paint was applied to a couple raised beds, a bench and an entry trellis structure. Weeds were pulled, branches and shrubs were trimmed, soil was trimmed and debris and litter were removed. 
 
Friday, June 27, 2014
 
Squash Haven students joined us and two young residents on Stevens Street to work at the street's community garden. Having just recently planted sunflowers, the young volunteers were a tremendous help with gathering and laying out mulch and newspaper around the plants, along with turning over soil in the five garden beds to help prepare them for new crops. 
 
Saturday, June 21, 2014
 
A new group of volunteers were introduced to the greenhouse and community garden efforts taking place in Newhallville. Our staff had an enjoyable time working with six members of the Varick Memorial AME Zion Church for two hours, performing general gardening tasks and organizing reclaimed materials. 
 
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
 
Another successful Day of Caring event, with Wells Fargo managers and supervisors. A group of 13 staff dedicated six hours to contribute labor at the Ivy Street Garden. The help was crucial to getting the garden and greenhouse ready for its big opening day! 
 
Friday, June 13, 2014
 
The NHS Demonstration Garden, where hands-on landscaping classes and other outdoor teachings will be held, received some much needed assistance today with help from Central CT AHEC (Area Health Education Center) AmeriCorps members. This group of four put in five solid hours of work to help prepare the formerly vacant lot for the first upcoming class. 
 
Saturday, June 7, 2014
 
PAVE New Haven VISTA members joined NHS staff and Newhallville neighborhood residents in the NeighborWorks Week kick-off event. This group of nearly about 35 volunteers worked in a few mixed groups to continue the efforts at the Ivy Street Community Garden and Greenhouse, start a new project on Shelton Avenue near Starr Street which involved installing Lincoln-Bassett student artwork on an unused wall facade, and help with raking and cleaning up on the sidewalks and lawn spaces in this area of Newhallville. 
 
Monday, June 2- Thursday, June 5, 2014
 
CB&O staff spent the week working with nearly 100 students from Hopkins School, completing 24 hours of volunteer work! As a way to give back to New Haven before potentially moving away to puruse future endeavors, these students in their senior year spent four days working with local community organizations on various service projects, in groups of 22-30. Our groups took turns taking on a slew of tasks at and around the Ivy Street Community Garden. A major project that was completed in thanks to these volunteers was a stone and gravel pathway for the newly installed greenhouse, which required a trench to be dug and reclaimed rubble to be sorted through for use. Reclaimed stone was used by others to build a sitting wall along the fence on Shelton Avenue. Students also partook in working with the gardeners and leaders of Solar Youth to plant new crops. Others were responsible for litter pick-up, raking and weeding, while some worked with the garden's elderly neighbor, Ida Felder, to help clear out and refresh various parts of her  yard space. Finally, during the one rainy day that occured, students were tasked to get creative and put together sculptures made of scrap metal and old pieces of gardening tools. Add spray paint as desired, these art pieces were then installed in the sitting section of the garden.
 
Monday, May 19, 2014
 
NHS partnered with Dwight Hall at Yale to host a group of students and a couple teachers from Woodhall School, located in Bethlehem, CT. This group had an interest in visiting New Haven to gain some perspective on the wealth gap and inequality that is evident here. Half of the day was spent on a walking tour in and around the city, with the later half spent performing community service. This part was achieved by introducing the group to the Ivy Street Community Garden, centrally located in Newhallville. While performing various laborious garden tasks, the students also utilized the opportunity to ask the resident gardeners and our staff questions about neighborhood and city dynamics. 
 
Friday, April 11, 2014
 
The Ivy Street Community Garden in Newhallville has started its sprucing up process today with the help of a few Yale University students, brought to us by the Chaplain's Office. They worked with three of the gardeners invested in this community space to rake leaves, remove trash and debris, and start to prepare the garden beds for new growing. 
 
Saturday, April 5, 2014
 
More Yale University students, organized by a McDougal Service Fellow, were introduced to The Hill Museum of Arts, along with the vision Krikko has for its continued development. The seven volunteers worked for three hours and contributed to another haul of debris from the vacant house on West Street, along with some sidewalk and street raking, and general street cleaning. 
  
Monday, March 10-Wednesday, March 12, 2014
 
The CB&O team hosted a group of 12 Yale University volunteers who were spending their spring break immersing themselves in the New Haven community by volunteering. The group helped to collectively brainstorm ideas and dreams for a “community wall” in Newhallville. They then kickstarted the project by removing graffiti from the wall, creating a community chalkboard, and cutting wood panels to be used on the project.
 
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
 
On a chilly day in February, twelve volunteers from Wells Fargo joined the CB&O team and local artist Krikko Obbott at the Hill Museum of Arts to continue the work done by volunteers on MLK Day of Service. The day was spent carrying items from the vacant garage to the dumpster beside it, clearing the space for future use.
 
Monday, January 20, 2014
 
In commemoration of MLK Day of Service, NHS went big and hosted three volunteer groups at the Hill Museum of Arts: Dwight Hall at Yale, Squash Haven, and Public Allies. A total of 40 volunteers participated to pick-up, organize, and remove leftover waste from the abandoned, former auto-repair shop located next to the museum, filling a 30 cubic yard dumpster! Volunteers also took part in some landscape work on the property, as well as a drawing activity led by owner of the museum, artist Krikko Obbott.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Volunteers from Squash Haven partnered with NHS and some Newhallville residents to rake and collect leaves throughout the area surrounding St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Lincoln-Bassett School.

 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Six wonderful volunteers from Squash Haven came to the NHS campus over the weekend and did work outside to improve the campus. They did some work in the Demonstration Lot on Hudson Street and also helped mulch the front lawn of the NHS Campus.

 

Friday, November 8, 2013

New Haven Education Project VISTAs, VISTA Leaders, and their supervisor all joined us at a home in the Dwight neighborhood of New Haven. The group, totaling 17 volunteers, were able to complete many tasks, including: preparing and staining a ramp to make the home accessible to one of its residents, preparing and staining both sides of the neighboring fence, painting multiple rooms upstairs for future rental use, and staining the kitchen cabinets upstairs as well.

 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Students and faculty members at Yale University joined us on a beautiful fall day at the Church of Macedonia in the Newhallville neighborhood. There, with the guidance of Mother Bordeaux, we painted the panels lining the sides of the church, as well as their bulletin board out front.

 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fifteen employees spent seven hours volunteering with us at a blighted property on Orchard Street and the Ivy Street Community Garden, totaling 105 volunteer hours! Thank you Wells Fargo for helping to clean litter and trash from a blighted property, as well as raking, weeding, and other general landscaping. The group was also able to repair and stain the next door neighbor’s fence!

 

Friday, September 7, 2013

A group of first year students at Yale University accompanied by VISTAs serving at Dwight Hall at Yale, spent their day of service at the Church of Macedonia in the Newhallville neighborhood. Together they worked with church and community members to paint the foundation of the church.

 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Six students from the Yale Divinity School participated in their Day of Engagement by volunteering at the Ivy Street Community Garden in Newhallville. The students prepared and stained a picnic table and some benches in the garden and also assisted with minor landscaping and cleanup. The students also assisted the Ms. Ida Felder next door by arranging and repairing parts of her fence.

 

Monday, August 19- Thursday, August 22, 2013

What a week! CB&O staffers spent four days with five students involved in the Yale FOCUS Program which promotes student involvement in the New Haven community, beyond the campus. Projects included landscaping and litter removal with residents on W. Division St, Harding Pl and Sherman Pkwy, surveying along Lilac St, Newhall Ave and Ivy St, and weeding and fence staining at the Stevens St garden in the Hill neighborhood. 

 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A new group of students from the Yale University Explo Program came out to visit a local community garden in Newhallville. Volunteers, along with the Ivy St gardeners and NHS staff set to work together, weeding, mowing and watering the many vibrant vegetables that can be found on the large corner lot.

 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ten students from the Yale University Explo Program joined NHS staff at West River Park to spread the word about an upcoming community festival. Students and staff canvassed the West River neighborhood to pass out flyers about the West River Water Festival and to connect with local residents.

 

Monday, June 3- Thursday, June 6, 2013

A perfect situation occured during this time, where NeighborWorks Week and the Hopkins School Week of Service coincided. All day volunteer projects were planned, and groups of 30-40 students came each day to participate. Projects included landscaping labor on a garden lot, exterior stair and porch wood staining, street cleaning and litter removal, and door-to-door flyering to inform residents about the URI street tree program. 

 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

NHS staff members volunteered a morning, as is done annually on this weekend, to contribute to some neighborhood project. This year we invited all residents on W. Division Street to join us in some street cleaning and major landscaping. Litter was removed, soil turned, mulch layed and both trees and bushes planted. 

 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A group of Yale President’s Public Service Fellows spent a half day contributing to the beautification of Blake Street. This involved litter removal, mulch laying and tree/brush trimming.

 

Tuesday, April 16, Wednesday, April 17, 2013

18 branch and assistant managers from Wells Fargo spent two days gutting and painting both interior and exterior surfaces of a home on Orchard Street.

 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

17 students from Dwight Hall came to assist with three different community projects. One group of students got involved with painting, sanding, and staining the interior of a homeowner's house on Orchard Street. Another group set to work in the Hill neighborhood, helping an Arch Street homeowner to organize and clear out a large backyard space. The third group made its way to Newhallville to help one resident on Lilac Street, and another close by on Winchester Avenue. Here they worked together to dig out trenches in the residents' front yards, so that lamp posts could be installed.

 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A group of the Yale University Chaplaincy Fellows participated in painting and street-cleaning to support existing homeowners and long-term residents of a row of brick houses at Portsea Street in the Hill.

Tuesday, October 16,  2012

24 branch and assistant managers from Wells Fargo spent two days cleaning and painting the interior and exterior of a home in West Haven.

 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

30 high school seniors and chaperons from the British School of Boston participated in a street beautification project on Blake Street, raking leaves, picking up litter, trimming trees, and laying mulch.

 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tabor Youth Camp, a group of about 500 young people accompanied by adults from Lutheran Churches located across the country, painted two houses at 329 and 331 W. Division Street in Newhallville. They also bought new outdoor porch furniture and hanging flower baskets for the residents.

 

NeighborWorks Week, June, 2012

Residents of West Division Street in Newhallville worked with community leaders and NHS staff to install footings for new lamp posts to help improve the image of the block of 14 houses, and to improve the safety and ability of residents to interact outside their homes.

 

May, 2012

A group of the Yale President’s Public Service Fellows participated in painting and street-cleaning to support existing homeowners and long-term residents of a row of brick houses at Portsea Street in the Hill.

 

January, 2012

Yale students helped to paint a basement with water-resilient paint in one of NHS’ recently renovated houses prior to its being sold to a new homebuyer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Managers from various branches of Wells Fargo came-together for a full day of raking and planting. They set a new record with 56 full leaf bags and almost a dozen new shrubs and trees planted! 

 

Thursday, November 3, 2011
The folks from Seward and Monde helped out in a big way by doing some street cleanup on Winchester and West Division Streets.

 

Friday, November 11, 2011
The Yale Chaplain's Office put-together another great group of volunteers to help out at Lyric Hall. There was a desperate need to clean out a basement following a flood.

 

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Faculty and staff from the University of New Haven finished the painting job in the basement of 653 Winchester, and there was much rejoicing.

 

Saturday, September 24, 2011
The guys and gals from Walsh/PCL made tremendous contributions to the community garden on Stevens Street.

 

Saturday, September 10, 2011
A large group of high schoolers from the Hammonasset Youth Gathering finished up a painting project, cleaned up garbage, and helped out in many other ways on West Division Street.

 

Thursday, August 25, 2011
Students from the Yale Divinity School helped clear out a recently acquired property on Frank Street.

 

August 22-25, 2011
Yale FOCUS on New Haven returned for another week of high-impact volunteering.

 

Monday, July 18, 2011
A small group of "pencil-pushers" from Sikorsky came over to Portsea Street to do a quick clean-up and paint job.

 

NeighborWorks Week 2011 (Jun 6-11)
Every day featured some sort of activity, from street clean-ups to classes on home energy tune-ups. Thank you, everyone, for making this such a successful NeighborWorks Week.

 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Students from Hopkins High School came to our campus and pitched in everywhere to beautify the campus and help us get organized for a long summer of community gardening. They also created signboards for us to post on our properties.

 

Saturday, May 14, 2011
Two volunteer photographers captured the charm and beauty of our two houses for sale on Winchester Ave.

 

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Members of the Yale Secular Student Alliance demolished an old garage on Carmel St.

 

Friday, February 25, 2011
Students from the Yale Divinity School completed the waterproofing job on W Division St.

 

Friday, February 18, 2011
Yale Students from the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity applied a waterproof paint to the basement walls of our house on W Division St.