Volunteer and Intern Opportunities
Help yourself – help others
Utilize your abilities, sharpen your skills and grow in new areas. Learn while helping others.
Help fulfill the Hearts and Minds Mission, using creativity and innovation to encourage public service.
You can help from anywhere on Earth (and elsewhere if you can manage a phone or e-mail connection :).
Below is important information on volunteering and what you can gain here. Please read it completely before your info session. Then feel free to Contact Us with any questions you’d like answered before your info session.
Skills and experience
For many activities, we require at least a year of experience. There are some exceptions. For example, you can do office work with good, basic PC skills. We may provide additional training.
Except for those with high level, professional skills, we ask most volunteers to average at least 15 hours a week. Some exceptions are possible.
Build on your experience with your choice from a wide range of hands-on activities in our Working Groups.
Volunteers are always welcome to suggest how we can improve their experience and our work.
You can schedule flexible times, convenient for you. Start and end any time.
We’re officially open for volunteers 10 AM – 6 PM Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 1 – 6 PM Saturdays. Additional hours during evenings and on Saturdays are available.
We are in an interesting, pleasant neighborhood in New York City, near Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. Some activities can also be done from outside our office, anywhere in the world.
Small is good
Our virtually all-volunteer organization is fairly small but growing. We typically have two to five volunteers in our office at a time.
This smaller size offers you opportunities to directly learn from our president and others. We get plenty done for our size and are very responsive to new ideas. Our offices are not luxurious, but we’re friendly and welcoming.
Unpaid internships, co-ops and more
To get our title of intern, you must complete at least 250 hours. Extended internships are at least 400 hours. Advanced internships of 700 hours and co-ops of 1,000 hours are also available.
Students may fulfill community service or internship requirements and gain valuable experience. Course credit and independent study are possible in collaboration with your school.
Volunteers 14 – 18 can do most of the same activities as our older volunteers. They need a parent or legal guardian to co-sign our Volunteer Policies. We work with volunteers age 14 or older.
Relatives and friends are also welcome to attend our info session and meet our president.
We often have volunteers from many nations. To the best of our knowledge, no special visa is required, since there is no pay, and you are not replacing an employee. Federal government visa policies are subject to change. We suggest you check for updates from your school, exchange program or other experts.
If your English is limited, your activities with us may be limited. We can arrange an assessment by phone or online before you decide whether to visit our office.
Volunteering provides excellent opportunities to improve your English. We have many recommendations how to advance your skills with any language.
You can speak directly with our president, Bill Blackman, at 212-280-0333 or communicate with him by email. Your conversation will be kept confidential. Bill can help you decide if this organization is good for you. If not, we offer advice how to find volunteer experience elsewhere.
We gladly consider additional software or equipment to make your experience here more comfortable, effective and fulfilling.
For hearing impaired individuals, we usually communicate by typing on a computer. This works well with us.
For visually impaired, there still may be extensive things you can do on our computers.
For physically challenged individuals, this may include regular meetings in a fully accessible part of the building that houses our offices. We may also set you up with a wireless connection to our internet and computer network.
Please note: Our main office is on a second floor accessible only by steps. We regret that we cannot afford to install an elevator.
Mentally and psychologically challenged individuals: Please talk with Bill first, so we can decide what opportunities are best for you.
Required community service
We appreciate these volunteers, and they often make a valuable contribution. We also welcome court-ordered volunteering, but not for all alleged crimes. A few other special conditions also apply. Please see service.
Pay, expenses, costs and fees
We have a limited budget, so there’s no pay, stipends, living expenses or transportation reimbursements available. We pay some other expenses when specifically approved in advance.
For most volunteers, there are no application charges.
You may be asked to make donations, but there is no pressure or requirement to do so. There are no other charges.
We guarantee that all ongoing volunteers will gain experience of lasting value for their lives.