Community Service Initiatives

General Volunteering Opportunities

Want to volunteer but don’t know where to start? Would you like to explore different options for volunteering?

Getting Started

  • Visit the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs in 325 Egbert Hall and talk to a Student Leadership Consultant or Assistant Director of Community Service, Don Austin. We will help you consider volunteer programs that match your skills and interests.
  • Join the Ithaca College Volunteer listserv to follow the most up-to-date community engagement opportunities in the area by joining here.
  • United Way offers the premiere opportunity for volunteers to get connected in Tompkins County.
  • Join a Student Organization! Attend the Student Organization Fair on September 3, 2014, or visit the the student organization website portal at IC's OrgSync site. There are frequently more than thirty different service organizations available to join. 


Alternative Summer Break Trip

May 12 to May 18, 2015

OSEMA will be offering its first ever Alternative Summer Break trip to Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island, Maine. This trip will give students the opportunity to volunteer with the National Park Service. Students will assist the NPS with a variety of projects around the park, including camping site maintenance, trail stewardship, and other beautification projects. Students should expect to do outdoor work that is moderately strenuous. Students will have at least 1 day to enjoy and explore Mt. Desert Island at the end of the week. 

This trip will involve some camping at an Acadia National Park campsite. All necessary camping equipment can be furnished by Ithaca College.

The cost of this trip is $200.00 total. This will include all food, transportation, lodging, and programmatic fees.

This trip is currently full.


Fall Break Service Trips

October 16 to 19, 2014


The Rescue Mission (Syracuse, NY)

The Rescue Mission, located in the Mission District of Syracuse, is just outside of the downtown area. The RM campus has an emergency shelter, day center and serves three meals a day at their food services center. On any given night, they have over 250 men sleeping under our roof.  Each day, they serve over 725 meals to men, women and children who are hungry.  In 2012, they gave away over 70,000 pieces of clothing to those in need. This is truly an amazing resource in the Syracuse area, and we are very excited to return! This trip will admit 6 students on a first come, first served basis until the trip is full and one alternate participant has been selected. The total cost of this trip is $80.00 USD, which covers all food, lodging and transportation. 

Sky Meadows State Park (Delaplane, VA)

Sky Meadows State Park serves as a major recreation and learning center for much of Fauquier County in northern Virginia. The park is home to many nature trails and historic buildings, and the park staff needs our help this fall! Students have traditionally helped with a variety of trail maintenance and landscaping projects, and there is always something fun to do in the area. Last year the group went to Harpers Ferry National Park as a side trip. Washington DC is only an hour away, as well! This trip will admit 6 students on a first come, first served basis until the trip is full and one alternate participant has been selected. The total cost of this trip is $80.00 USD, which covers all food, lodging and transportation.  

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities:

A short list of organizations seeking regular volunteers in the Tompkins County area.

2-1-1 Tompkins - An information and referral service that connects individuals to community resources such as employment, healthcare, heat assistance, and other community services.

Alternatives Library - The Durland Alternatives Library is dedicated to providing free and open access to materials expressing viewpoints and information not readily available through mainstream publications and mass-media sources. We are committed to providing information and educational materials to under-served and incarcerated people. The need volunteers for a variety of different projects! This is a great choice for students who are committed to social, political, and/or environmental justice.

Cayuga Nature Center - help with painting, cleaning, trail blazing and office work.

Community Building Works! - Help build a house in Tompkins County! CBW will teach you everything you need to know and give you the tools to get started.

Ithaca Children's Garden - ICG holds "Volunteer Mondays" as well as a variety of events for anyone interested in helping out. No experience necessary.  ICG provides the tools and leads each project.  Bring a waterbottle and wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty!

Ithaca Free Health Clinic - The Ithaca Free Health Clinic is an excellent place for students who want to volunteer with an organization that addresses issues in the medical field. Students interested in volunteering are strongly encouraged to volunteer regularly throughout the semester.

Loaves and Fishes - Loaves and fishes provides nutritious food, as well as hospitality to community residents who have determined themselves food insecure. Loaves and fishes provides food for everyone who desires to eat together in a community setting, bar none. You can help them prepare food and provide a warm setting for their weekly meals by going to their website to learn more.

Tompkins County Public Library - For many people, libraries serve as the symbolic center for community resources, and are among the most socially just resources in a community. The Tompkins County Public Library serves as one such example. Patrons of the library have access to books, music, movies, magazines, computers, academic lectures, community reads, children's programs, and more. Support your local community library!

Wood's Earth - The Wood's Earth Living Classroom is an educational program that helps local folks learn more about sustainable gardening and farming. Students assist with a variety of farm operations and outreach efforts. 


Domestic and International Opportunities

Cross Cultural Solutions

Catholic Volunteer Network

Pro World

Institute for International Cooperation and Development

Jesuit Volunteer Corps