During this national emergency, the New Jersey Governor’s Office of Volunteerism and its partner organizations understand that those who are not suffering from the virus may want to help. However, all volunteer activities should adhere to critical health and safety protocols in order to protect volunteers, protect residents, protect clients and protect service agencies.
Download the Volunteer and Volunteer Organization Guidelines
Fondly referred to as the “Domestic Peace Corps”, AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that connects over 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, health, and homeland security. AmeriCorps’ members serve with more than 2,000 non-profits, public agencies, and community organizations.
More than 8,100 people of all ages and backgrounds are helping to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and increase civic engagement through national service in New Jersey. Serving at more than 630 locations throughout the state, these citizens tutor and mentor children, support veterans and military families, provide health services, restore the environment, respond to disasters, increase economic opportunity, and recruit and manage volunteers.
Benefits include the following:
The Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) began nationally in 1965 with 800 volunteers in more than 45 institutions serving children and youth with exceptional needs. Today, under the umbrella of AmeriCorps Seniors, nearly 30,000 volunteers serve more than 280,000 children through its national network of community based organizations. FGP is a federally funded project that empowers older adults, age 55 or older, to contribute to their communities through volunteer service. Volunteers’ skills and passions are matched with opportunities to support the goal of improving educational and behavioral outcomes. In addition to meeting community needs, the program enriches intergenerational bonds and promotes health benefits through social engagement and a sense of purpose to the lives of volunteers.
The focus of the NJ Foster Grandparent Program is school readiness and K-12 education. This may include serving children and youth with exceptional needs and/or multiple disabilities and supporting after school programming. Volunteers are hands-on in the classroom. Placed in outcome-based assignments, they mentor, tutor, and nurture toddlers through school-aged youth. Volunteers assist with literacy, basic math, conversation, recreational activities, encourage student engagement in classroom learning experiences, and provide guidance in appropriate behavior and social development. The special child-grandparent relationship helps children feel secure, gain self-esteem and enjoy learning, leading to healthy minds and bodies that foster future educational success.
Join the AmeriCorps Seniors/NJ Foster Grandparents Program today!
The Volunteer Generation Fund “Jersey Strong: I am a Volunteer”, is designed to strengthen the state's ability to engage more citizens in meaningful volunteer service and build capacity in more nonprofit organizations. The program design addresses the following
New Jersey AmeriCorps members must meet all of the following qualifications:
To determine which program is right for you, ask yourself a few questions:
When asked why they serve, members responded as follows:
Paige: "I serve to reach out to our neighbors in need, I serve for kindness, I serve to better my community. I help to bring others together so we all can see the bigger picture in life that we often miss when living our daily lives."
Westin: "Why do I serve? I serve to give back. In this world, it's give and take. Everyone wants to take but then they don't want to give back. I look at the world differently than a lot of people and believe in the saying, you reap what you sow."
Zaquan: "I serve because it gives me a chance to give back, play my part and allows me to be a part of something positive in my city."
Simply fill out the AmeriCorps Application and send it to the program you are most interested in.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Other Ways to Volunteer:
For other ways to volunteer without joining AmeriCorps or to search for a volunteer opportunity near you visit the statewide volunteer website www.volunteernewjersey.org
In order to participate in AmeriCorps/SeniorCorps programing and receive grant funds, all members, and covered personnel who are in the budget – either as funded by the grant or as a match, must undergo background screening. While federal regulations require different checks under various circumstances, the state commission has streamlined the process to make it easier for member organizations and ensure compliance. As such, all relevant individuals should proceed through the below step by step criminal history check list by following the instructions given.Mandatory National Service Criminal History Check