Individual Volunteer Opportunities

As a volunteer with YAI, you can choose to be a part of an ongoing volunteer opportunity or create your own. To see our ongoing volunteer opportunities, visit our Ongoing Opportunities page.

When creating a new volunteer opportunity, your creativity is the limit. Some of the programming created by volunteers have included arts and crafts, literacy education, cooking classes, martial arts, and music therapy. After completing the online volunteer application, the volunteer coordinator will discuss your ideas with you during your initial interview.

No matter how you choose to volunteer, we thank you for your passion, dedication, and community service!

Steps to Become a YAI Volunteer

Because YAI supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a protected population, all volunteers undergo background checks in compliance with state and federal requirements before they can start volunteering. Becoming a volunteer is an important responsibility and the process may take up to a month to complete.

Step 1 - stylized image of a laptop with envelope icon and applySTEP ONE: Complete and submit the application.

Step 2 - stylized picture of phone receiver and speech bubbleSTEP TWO: Someone from the Volunteer department will then review your application and call you to schedule or conduct an interview. During the interview we will ask you about your interest in volunteering and answer any questions you may have.

Step 3 - stylized image of an orange phone receiver and pencil with a formSTEP THREE: Complete the required paperwork, background checks, fingerprinting, and attend YAI’s required training.

Step 4 - stylized picture of hands shaking over calendarSTEP FOUR: Once training and all background checks and clearances are complete, you will be ready to start in-person or virtual volunteering. If volunteering in-person you will be matched with a YAI site and supervisor who will work with you to determine a start date and schedule. If you are virtually volunteering you will now be able to begin hosting your activity.

Step 5 - stylized picture of 3 people sitting around a hightop table, a briefcase is under the tableSTEP FIVE: After your initial experience volunteering, the Volunteer department will check in with you and your supervisor to see how the volunteering is proceeding. We want this to be the right opportunity for you, your supervisor, and the people we support. If that volunteer opportunity is not the right match, we will do our best to find an alternate volunteer opportunity.


For more information, contact YAI’s Volunteer department at volunteer [at] yai.org or 212.273.6551.