Volunteer Opportunities

Select a dropdown menu below for more information on the volunteer opportunity:

Adult Literacy

We are looking for volunteers for Adult Literacy programs at the Potsdam Public Library. We are especially seeking students to be "conversation partners," meaning that you would be working with an individual who has already learned English as a second language, but is looking for practice and experience to gain confidence and comfort with communicating. Those interested should contact Bobby Gordon at bgordon@potsdamlibrary.org or the Library at 315-265-7230.

Best Friends Thrift Store

Volunteers are needed to help run a not-for-profit thrift store called Best Friends located  at 8 Raymond St. Potsdam. This thrift store donates 100%  profit to the local Humane Society, a non-kill shelter. It is an expensive venture and it takes a lot of donations and fund raising to keep it solvent. We are opened 6 days a week. Our biggest need in on Friday and Saturday.  If you are willing to volunteer 3 hrs/week please call Tim at (315) 212-4541 or send email to tdonahue@twcny.rr.com. For scheduling information email Bonnie at bsboyd4@hotmail.com.

Boys & Girls Club of Massena

The Boys & Girls Club of Massena offers volunteer opportunities to help change and improve the lives of children and youth in a safe and engaging environment while providing programming that inspires and prepares them for GREAT futures! Volunteer opportunities include homework help, mentoring, arts volunteers, special events volunteers and many more!

Deep Root Center for Self-Directed Learning (DRC)

Deep Root Center hosts many volunteers throughout the academic year who share their interests with our student members by mentoring our youth, becoming reading buddies, assisting with hands-on projects, and helping with behind the scenes essentials. By donating their time and knowledge, volunteers greatly benefit our members and staff, helping us realize our principles of community-based education. DRC is a 501(c)3 learning center in downtown Canton, which provides the facilities, environment, resources, and support for young people between the ages of 5-19, who have chosen to leave school and design their own learning plan based on their interests and aspirations. You can learn more about DRC at our website. You can complete a volunteer application by visiting the volunteer page. Deep Root Center staff will review your application and contact you via email to schedule a time to talk. During that conversation we will discuss what you are interested in sharing with our students and the amount of time you are available to spend each week. Based on that info, the staff will then pair you with the student(s) who is a good match. A DRC staff person will sit in on the first conversation when you meet the student to help facilitate a schedule that will work for both of you. After that, you will meet with the young person virtually on their own.


We are a locally led, nonprofit organization working to promote a local food system that ensures food security for all St. Lawrence County residents. We offer volunteer opportunities for both the academic year and summer. Our major volunteer activities include a Trivia Night, Fight Hunger 5K, Annual Dinner, and the Farmers Market! Some opportunities involve an orientation. Visit http://gardenshare.org/volunteer to learn more. Contact Carlene at info@gardenshare.org or call us at 315-261-8054 if you have any questions. 

Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways (GSNYPENN) is a regional council chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA to deliver the Girl Scout program across 24 counties in New York and 2 in Pennsylvania.  Girl Scouts is the  preeminent leadership development organization for girls. We offer girls a lifetime of leadership, adventure and success and programming that prepares them for the future! Volunteer opportunities for college students include troop leader/co-leader or lending their subject area expertise to assist troops and girls with badge work, programs, etc. There’s no limit to how you can help support the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Troop meetings and events happen throughout the calendar year. Volunteers must be 18 and have a cleared background check. For more information, contact Community Recruitment Manager Dolly LaClair at 315.782.1890 x2211 or dlaclair@gsnypenn.org. Learn more about our council at gsnypenn.org.


Reachout (Crisis Intervention & Referral 24-hour Hotline) Volunteers receive over 100 hours of training in crisis intervention, listening skills, problem-solving, & information referral before answering the phone alone. An application is required as well as a two semester commitment. A five hour weekly shift is required. To learn more about learning to be a hotline crisis counselor and to apply, go to our website: www.reachouthotline.org/apply.

Renewal House

Renewal House provides services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children. There are office hours available, as well as after-hours and on an on-call basis. Opportunities include advocating for clients and assisting with projects around the office. An application, interview, and 30 hours of training are required. After the training you will be certified as a Rape Crisis Counselor in the state of New York. Please reach out to Brandy Bush at renewalhouse_volunteer@verizon.net or 315-379-9845.

St. Lawrence County Arts Council

SLC Arts is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the mission of "Local Art for Everyone." We advocate for active community participation in the arts through various programs, classes, and events. As an arts organization we value freedom of expression, creativity, and the inclusion of all art forms. Volunteer opportunities include helping with events, preparing mailings, publicity, and content creation. Contact Maggie McKenna at 315-265-6860 or email at director@slcartscouncil.org.

The Child Advocacy Center of Northern NY

The Child Advocacy Center of Northern NY is a program of the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County, Inc. and is a nonprofit organization. The mission of the CAC is to strengthen and protect children, families and community through an interdisciplinary approach to cases of child sexual and physical abuse. We provide high quality, specialized services for abused children and their non-offending family members. The Child Advocacy Center is looking for dedicated volunteers to help carry out our mission. Volunteer opportunities include office management tasks and community outreach. Volunteers can also assist the agency with creating flyers for special events, assist with fundraising events as well as social media. For more information, please contact Erin at 315-755-1458 or email her at erinf@vacjc.com. The St. Lawrence County Child Advocacy Center office is located at 4 Stillman Drive, Canton, NY. Due to COVID-19, the Child Advocacy Center of Northern NY is temporarily unable to accept new volunteers.

Hospice and Palliative Care

Hospice enables people to live their last few weeks and months as fully as possible. The kinds of activities a volunteer might do include: visiting with patients, light housekeeping, running errands, or letter writing. Other volunteer opportunities include things like: clerical tasks, helping with computer projects or delivering medications. Volunteer training provided. Contact Linda Caamaño at 315-265-3105 or lcaamano@hospiceslv.org. Due to COVID-19, Hospice is temporarily unable to accept new volunteers.

ICE Mentor

As an Integrated Clarkson Experience (ICE) mentor in the NYS grant funded IMPETUS program, you can mentor 10th - 12th grade students from local area schools throughout the county. This year we will be taking a "mentoring network" approach and hosting regular virtual meetings with local students and mentors. As an ICE mentor, you will have discussions with students about college coursework, college life, and preparing to go to college in an effort to help increase students' interest in college and confidence in being ready for college. If you "click" with a particular student, we will support individualized mentoring. In addition, you have the opportunity to mentor 10th - 12th graders who are doing a research project. Please contact Dr. Jen Knack at jknack@clarkson.edu for more information and to request an application. 


K-Kids (part of the Kiwanis family) is an international student-led organization providing members with opportunities to perform service, build character and develop leadership skills.  A volunteer can help support K-Kids meetings at the Lawrence Avenue Elementary school with team building exercises and community service event planning on Wednesdays weekly from 3:15-4:30.  Volunteers can also support local service projects when available. To volunteer email kkids@potsdam.k12.ny.us or call Marc at 315-265-2000 x259 or Nicole at 914-500-3637.

Lawrence Avenue Elementary

Lawrence Avenue is Potsdam’s elementary school, housing grades Pre-Kindergarten – 4th grade. Volunteers are needed for after school small group mentoring sessions from 3 until 4:30 on Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Contact Marc Porcaro at 315-265-2000 x144 or email mporcaro@potsdam.k12.ny.us.

North Country Children's Museum

The North Country Children's Museum promotes STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education for children 12 and under and their families. Volunteers can support the museum through teaching and/or developing interactive programs including family science, after school classes, and vacation camps. Volunteers can also help the museum with social media, marketing, and fundraising efforts. The museum is located at 10 Raymond Street in downtown Potsdam and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. To volunteer email info@northcountrychildrensmuseum.org.

Potsdam Humane Society

The compassionate, humane care you help provide also makes our community better, as the kindness we extend to animals reflects back into our own lives. The shelter is open Mon. – Fri., 1 – 5 p.m. and Sat., 11 a.m.– 3 p.m. Volunteers are needed to visit and walk pets, conduct fund raising and assist with cleaning and building maintenance. All volunteers must attend training before volunteering. For more information please visit http://www.potsdamhumanesociety.org, and contact us at shelter@potsdamhumanesociety.org or by calling (315) 265-3199. Due to COVID-19, the Potsdam Humane Society is temporarily unable to accept new volunteers.

Potsdam Neighborhood Center

The mission of the Neighborhood Center is to help the poor and at-risk population in our area, to help them maintain a decent standard of living, and to help them set goals and priorities for an improved living standard. Volunteers are needed for filing,organization, program development, fundraising, client outreach, and basic center operation. Email potsdamnc@slccdp.org to volunteer. Due to COVID-19, the Potsdam Neighborhood Center is temporarily unable to accept new volunteers.

Potsdam Public Library

Volunteers are needed to help with book sales, organize shelves, assist with programming and to give tech help to seniors. Minimal training involved. Contact Sarah Sachs, Public Service Manager (ssachs@potsdamlibrary.org) if interested. For a list of ongoing activities check our calendar at potsdamlibrary.org.

Potsdam Snack Pack Program (PSPP)

PSPP's goal is to provide healthy snacks to eligible school children on weekends and holidays. Food insecurity is a major problem in St. Lawrence County,; currently more than 40% of potsdam students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. This program relies on volunteers to prepare snack packs for more than 300 students each week. The program is also dependent on the generosity and involvement of community members and organizations to donate funds and food items for the snack packs. Volunteers normally meet on Thursday mornings at 9 a.m. to prepare the bags with at least eight food items, but opportunities also exist for small groups of 5-6 people to schedule a ‘packing party’ at an agreed upon time. Volunteers can also sponsor a food drive, create flyers for special events, and help promote the organization on social media. Due to the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the packing and distribution dates are subject to change. For more information or to volunteer please email pdamsnacks@gmail.com or visit their website, www.potsdamsnackpack.org.

The Local Living Venture

The Local Living Venture shares resourceful living skills on a community basis in the areas of food (growing, cooking, nutrition, preserving), renewable energy and green building, sustainable forestry and 'clean' wood burning, natural world (beekeeping, pollinators, invasives, etc.) and homesteading skills in the town and country. Many projects can use student energy and participation, from an annual roadside clean-up in October to helping with year-round skills-building workshops and community events, outreach booths at festivals, and specialized programming (Renewable Energy Home Tours, Pollinator Protection and more). Check out www.locallivingventure.org and contact Volunteer Organizer Chelle Lindahl at LocalLivingVenture@gmail.com or 315-347-4223.

Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY)

TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York): The TAUNY Center, which includes exhibit galleries, program spaces, and a retail shop carrying regional hand-crafted items, is located at 53 Main Street in Canton, NY. TAUNY is a nonprofit organization that showcases the folk culture and living traditions of New York's North Country, offering opportunities to experience, learn about, and reflect on issues related to life in our rural region. We are especially interested in volunteers to work on programs and projects related to our demonstration kitchen, to help develop videos and social media features about cultural activity in our Adirondack North Country region, and/or to get involved in research projects as citizen folklorists (training would be provided). At this time, our in-person programming and projects are limited or adjusted to social distancing protocols in light of the pandemic, but a mix of both in-person and remote opportunities remain available. More information about the organization at tauny.org or @thetaunycenter on Facebook and Instagram. If you are interested, please contact TAUNY Executive Director Jill Breit, jill@tauny.org, with a letter of interest and summary of experience.