Volunteer Opportunities

CazCares welcomes volunteers of all ages and abilities. Volunteers work in all areas of our organization and help with a myriad of tasks. CazCares volunteers must attend an orientation and training session before starting. If you are interested in volunteering, please familiarize yourself with the information on this page, then call the CazCares office at (315) 655-3174.

Clothing Closet

Pantry & Clothing Area Volunteers

Volunteers assist clients with food selections, restock food shelves, sort clothing donations, and straighten up the clothing area. Most volunteers are scheduled to work one day a month. Training is required.

Mon, Tues, & Thurs: 9:15AM - 12PM
Monday afternoons: 4PM - 5:30PM
Wednesday (sorting clothes): 10AM - 12PM

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Delivery Assistants

Volunteers must be able to lift 30 lbs easily in order to help unload food deliveries. Food is purchased by the case and delivered from the Food bank of CNY on Monday mornings scheduled approximately twice a month.

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Fresh Food Volunteers

On the second Tuesday of each month CazCares hosts a Food Bank program called Fresh Foods, in which we rescue fresh food from local grocery stores. Volunteers may help unload the delivery, unpack the food items, assist families with their choices and carry food boxes. Set up begins at 2:30 PM and we are usually done by 5 PM. This is a good volunteer opportunity for teenagers. No prior training required.

story-room

Story Room Volunteers

Story Room volunteers will actively engage children in activities that promote reading and reading readiness while their parents are using the services at CazCares. During the school year the majority of the children are pre-school age. In the summer the numbers increase and older children visit the Story Room. Training is required.

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Garden Volunteers

Volunteers work in our garden planting, watering, weeding and harvesting helping grow vegetables for the food pantry. This is a seasonal opportunity from June to October each year.

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Organize a Food Drive

Groups are welcome to host a food drive or collect clothing, toys, or funds at their business, school, church, club meeting, or special event. Contact the office for suggestions at (315) 655-3174.

Volunteer FAQ

Volunteer Policies

The following policies have been developed to ensure both a safe, rewarding experience for our volunteers and a positive, caring experience for the families using our services.

Required Training

Before volunteering you will be required to schedule an interview and orientation. Please contact our Client Services Director at 315-655-3174 if you are interested in volunteering.

Appropriate Behavior

CazCares strives to create a welcoming atmosphere for everyone. Our expectation is that all clients will be treated with respect. Confidentiality is vital. It is not appropriate for volunteers to share names, details of personal situations or stories with anyone.

Please bring to our attention any issues with volunteers or clients that fall short of this expectation.

Childcare

Childcare is not provided for volunteers during volunteer service. Parents wishing to have their school-age children volunteer alongside them must receive prior permission.

Clothing

It is a good idea to dress in layers and be aware that clothes may get dirty during your shift. Wear sensible closed toe shoes such as sneakers or boots. Open-toed shoes or sandals are not appropriate when working in the food pantry. Canned food when dropped can be very painful to unprotected toes.

Clothing Donations and Food Items

All the food and clothing is for distribution to our clients. Volunteers are not permitted to take items home for their own use.

Food Safety

Proper handling of food and food safety and storage will be reviewed at the orientation training.

Volunteers working with food should wash their hands before starting their volunteer task, after using the bathroom, after taking a break, or after coming into contact with cleaning products.

Inclement Weather

CazCares is closed when the Cazenovia School District has a snow day. However, if the school only has a one or two hour delay, CazCares is open. Please use your best judgment in the event of inclement weather and only travel if you feel safe doing so.

Parking

Volunteers are asked to park in the parking area facing McDonald's. Please do not park near the door so those spaces are available for our clients. When volunteering for Fresh Foods, please park in the Rite Aid parking lot and walk over to CazCares. This will help accommodate the large numbers of cars at Fresh Foods.

Substitutes

If you know in advance that you are unable to work your scheduled shift you may check with the office to arrange for a substitute.

If you are sick and unable to volunteer with short notice, call the office and leave a message at (315) 655-3174.