How You Can Help

While COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on our way of life, the spirit of the Columbia community has remained unchanged. Many Columbia researchers, health care workers, staffers, students, and our neighbors have given their time, energy and resources to those in need and on the front lines confronting this novel coronavirus. Inspired by their efforts, below are ways that you too can join the fight.

Anyone can lend a hand. The skills required during these times vary from project management to checking in on elderly adults. Nonprofits that provide food services are experiencing unusually high demand. A number of volunteer opportunities available throughout Upper Manhattan can be found below:

  • Columbia Community Service maintains an up-to-date listing of volunteer opportunities in Harlem and Morningside Heights. 
  • Community Impact provides volunteer opportunities for over 900 Columbia University and Barnard College students each year to serve low-income and unemployed residents in the Harlem, Washington Heights, and Morningside Heights communities.
  • New York Cares connects volunteers with over 1100 non-profits in the NYC area. 
  • NYC Service, under the Office of the Mayor, focuses on volunteerism and service in NYC. The office builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through hundreds of volunteer and service programs. 
  • Idealist, an NYC based non-profit with the mission to connect people and organizations, has an extensive database of volunteer opportunities in NYC and beyond.

The University fundraises for local organizations through two primary initiatives:

  • Columbia Community Service (CCS), supported by Columbia, Barnard College, and Teachers College, engages the University's communities to strengthen organizations that are serving the needs of individuals and families living in Harlem and Morningside Heights. Donations support organizations that fight hunger and provide health and education services promoting literacy, STEM, and nutrition. Fundraising through CCS is ongoing. Donate Now!
  • Medical Center Neighborhood Fund, established by the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, encourages donations by employees of the three institutions to support the Washington Heights and Inwood community.  The fund distributes critical grants to local nonprofit organizations that work, day-in and day-out, to provide food, shelter, clothing, day care, after-school programs, and recreational opportunities for people who would otherwise lack these essentials and services. Donate Now!