The Hot List

APR 3 2020

Browse these volunteer needs.

Please note that you should contact the volunteer coordinators directly if interested.

Mutual Aid Tompkins County Resource Site

Cayuga Health System - How to Help Site

WNY Council for Ocupational Safety & Health COVID-19 Worker Benefits Guidebook

Adopt a Grandparent - International Opportunity

Tools to Enage with Isolated Seniors

Support Catholic Charities without leaving home!

Catholic Charities is looking for one or more dedicated volunteers to do data entry of contact information for our ongoing legislative advocacy efforts. We are committed to speaking out for poor and vulnerable people and this short-term project will help expand that network. This work requires commitment to confidentiality and accuracy in typing in order to properly transfer data into our system. Any help would be most appreciated!

Email Laurie Konwinski at for more information.

Shopping Angels

Assist members of our community who need to aggressively self-isolate due to age or compromised immune systems. Shopping Angels connects volunteers to those for whom running errands and shopping is particularly challenging.

Email to sign up to help!

Send a Smile

Help keep isolated residents psychologically and emotionally engaged with their community. Connect with residents through video/phone calls, video clips, or sending letters/artwork (through email or mail). Email or fill out this form to learn more.

Are you an older adult in self-isolation interested in connecting with a local young person? Click here.

Crisisline is Open

Counselors are waiting for your call.

1-800-273-TALK or 607-272-1616

Urgent help needed at 'The Jungle'

Volunteers needed for 3-4 hours of work putting together a storage shed for folks who are being displaced from where they live. Ideally looking for people who are handy with tools and this type of construction - but we won't refuse any help we can get.

The work will take place in an area commonly referred to as 'The Jungle'. The area is littered with sharps (i.e. hypodermic needles, etc.), garbage, and other debris, however the place where we will be working is relatively clean and safe. We ask that all volunteers wear proper attire, including heavy boots (muck boots preferred), long pants, long sleeved shirts, etc. We will provide Personal Protective Equipment and arrange the work to comply with social distancing practices.

This need is urgent and serves our most vulnerable community. Please consider helping out in whatever way possible. Funds are also being accepted to purchase one more storage shed - the cost is $300. Please email Richard Rivera at or call 607-351-7462 to learn more or to volunteer.

Spring Cleaning Help at IC3

Ithaca Community Childcare Center (IC3) is a non-profit childcare center that has been serving the community since 1976.  Hours are flexible and every effort will be made to ensure social distancing while you are working.

If you are interested in getting outside and helping out a local non-profit with some light cleaning, raking, window washing, etc email Sherri Koski at

Looking for Donations of iPads or other tablets

Help members of the local community stay connected to their loved ones should they require hospitalization during the COVID-19 crisis. When patients are admitted to the hospital, they are effectively cut off from their families and friends - in particular those who do not have the means or skills to connect electronically.

We are asking the community to donate spare iPads and tablets that will be made available to patients, at their bedside. Additionally, we are working on a remote access point with stable internet for families and friends who do not have access to a computer or high speed internet.

For more information email Henriette Lundgren at henriette.lundgren@gmail or visit Cayuga Health System- How to Help (click on Other Donations to find out about drop off times and locations).
On campus drop off is at Bartels Hall (554 Campus Road) Monday-Friday 8:00am-3:00pm

Dig in the Dirt, Grow Food, Feed the Hungry

Esty Street Garden, a GreenStar Community Project, is looking for volunteers to help prep beds and plant vegetables this spring. Help is needed as soon as possible to prep the garden that grows fresh vegetables for the food program at Loaves and Fishes. Work is physical and requires some bending, kneeling, and lifting. If you are looking for a way to get away from your screens, get outside, and garden for a cause - contact Scott Nissenson at or call 607-229-2300 to learn more.

Note about social distancing: The garden is usually a quiet and open place to work without other people around. Hours for volunteering are flexible. Please keep your distance from other gardeners when you are in the garden.

Not much of a gardener? The Esty Street Garden has a few special projects that you may be able to help with!
Any mechanically minded folks out there that can help us repair a donated Rototiller?
Are you savvy on social media?
Do you have other skills that could help serve this hyper-local community food effort?

Contact Scott Nissenson at or call 607-229-2300 to brainstorm what might be possible!

Ithaca Generator 3D Printing

The Ithaca Generator Makerspace is using its 3D printers to make plastic shield masks for health care workers. They are looking for people to train on the machines and donations.

Ithaca Bakery Adopt-A-Nurse

Ithaca Bakery adopt a doc or nurse: Needing a way to say thank you to our local medical workers? Offer a meal to your local staff at Cayuga Medical Center. Send breakfast or lunch to the department of your choice and Ithaca Bakery will deliver it in your name. Call 607-273-7110.

Cayuga Medical Center Hours Change

Starting Monday, March 30th, Urgent Care Centers in both Ithaca and Cortland will have adjusted hours.

New Hours: 8:00am-8:00pm.

Outpatient Laboratory at the Cortland location hour are adjusted
Monday-Friday: 7:30am-3:30pm
Saturday: 7:30am-12:00pm

Surgical Masks

SewGreen is offering one free yard of cotton to anyone making at-home masks. Before use, the cotton should be washed in hot water and put in a dryer on the hottest setting. One yard of cotton is enough to make 10 masks. Send your name and email address to Wendy at to reserve your cotton.

Sewing surgical masks at Bartels Hall.

Cayuga Health System - How to Help Site

Please be patient -- there is an outpouring of help. Be aware that you will need to bring a sewing machine with no. 90 needles.
Ithaca Voice Article

The CMC is also accepting homemade masks. Be aware that elastic is hard to find so they are accepting cloth ties. The collection point for these maks are Bartels Hall, Tops in Watkins Glen, The Glen Motor Inn in Watkins Glen, and the Dandy Mini Mart in Odessa.

How to Make a Face Mask

What you will need:

  • cotton fabric- double layer, 400 count cotton or 140 count muslin
  • rope elastic, beading cord elastic, 1/8 or 1/4" elastic (There is a shortage now - cutting spandex yoga pants into strips makes comfortable masks! Plain fabric ties are also fine.)
  • Cut the elastic 7" long and tie knot at each end (Do not knot the ends of the flat elastic.)

You can make two sizes: Adult or Child

  1. Put right sides of cotton fabric together. Cut 9 x 6" (Adult) or 7.5 x 5" (Child)
  2. Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew to the first corner, stop. Sew the elastic with the edge out into the corner. A few stitches forward and back will hold this
  3. Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of the same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back
  4. Now sew across the top of the mask to the next corner. Again, put an elastic with the edge out
  5. Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic
  6. Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5" to 2" open. Stop, cut the thread. Turn inside out
  7. Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are the same direction
  8. Sew around the edge of the mask twice

3D Masks

If you have access to a 3D printer that can print PLA, we desperately need your help. Each mask takes 3.5 hours to print and we'd like to scale up production as fast as possible. If you have a PLA printer and would like to assist please let us know at If you have technical expertise that can help us with filtering validation or design improvements, we welcome your input.

COVID-19 Response Fund Launched for Gifts to be Used to Support Essential Nonprofit Services

Community Foundation supports the many and varied ongoing local efforts in the nonprofit sector to address challenges brought forth by COVID-19. We are engaging in collaborative efforts with other local funders to deliver a coordinated philanthropic response.

Our COVID-19 Response Fund will provide flexible resources to basic needs nonprofit organizations in our region working with our communities to address how they and their participants are impacted by this crisis.

This fund was not created to be the only vehicle resourcing critical community activities during this outbreak. Requests to Community Foundation will be shared with other local funders. Together our local philanthropic community is meeting regularly to facilitate getting more targeted resources into the community where they are needed most.

Loaves & Fishes of Tompkins County
Serving Free Meals To-Go

Where: 210 North Cayuga St. at the front door
Lunch: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:00pm-1:00pm
Dinner: Tuesday & Thursday from 5:30pm-6:30pm

All are welcome.

Our staff and volunteers are committed to safely working together to continue our ministry to provide free meals to all Tompkins County residents during the Coronavirus situation.

Interested in volunteering? Please see our website for information and to register.

Phone: 607-272-5457

Caroline Food Pantry

The Caroline Food Pantry is in need of volunteers that can lift 50 pounds.

Call John at 607.539.6810 or 800.862.7846.