Friday, January 18, 2013 — In a city of more than eight million people, there are plenty who have need of help - be it food, a place to stay, or counseling. Superstorm Sandy has only added to the pressure on resources and staff at the city’s charities, and the ongoing recovery efforts are set to continue for years New York City is a busy place for those working here, but even with all the time constraints – the commuting, the work, the rush of daily life – many New Yorkers will take time to volunteer on a regular basis. Why should you volunteer? NYC volunteering is a great way to give back to the city and the people in it, but for new New Yorkers and internationals it’s also a way to meet people, to understand the underlying infrastructure of the city, and to see a different side of New York than you might be used to. The opportunities are here, so it’s up to you to get involved. Volunteering in NYC goes far beyond food drives. There are so many areas you can get involved in: education, sports, environmental issues, emergency preparation ... the list goes on. A great centralized source is NYC Service. Providing year-round volunteer opportunities in a whole range of locations and programs, NYC Service makes it easier than ever before to find a way to use your particular skills to make a difference. The Parks Department, the Mayor’s Office, and the Office of Emergency Management all need eager New Yorkers to offer their time and services. From acting as a judge for the NYC Debate League to helping with the Boys’ Club of New York Culinary Program, to snow removal when needed, nycservice.org has tons of opportunity You can also find information on the NYC.gov website about becoming a mentor, supporting NYC’s youth, joining the auxiliary police – acting as trained eyes and ears on the ground, aiding the police department - and a range of other official programs where you can make a difference in others’ lives.Helping out in your community matters just as much in New York City as it does in small town USA.