Caring is the first step. Lending a hand is the next.

At The Floating Hospital, volunteerism is the lifeblood that sets us apart as a healthcare organization with heart. Since 1866, compassionate individuals like you have stepped up to empower New York City’s most vulnerable families, demonstrating our shared commitment and care each day.

Our rich history of volunteerism

It all began with a group of volunteer physicians who sailed and served with us, providing medical care and respite to kids and families aboard our clinic ship. Through the decades, countless volunteers have enriched our mission with invaluable resources, enthusiasm, expertise and community connections. From entertainers who brought joy to sea-bound passengers to college students guiding patients through our medical care system, our volunteers have amplified our impact and significantly contributed to the wellbeing of the families we serve.

Giving out food on the Helen Juilliard 2

Diverse volunteer opportunities

The Floating Hospital offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities, tailoring experiences to fit both individual and group needs:

Health education workshops

Be part of our health education programs, helping families and their children gain essential socio-emotional skills, from compassion and critical thinking to healthy nutrition and wellbeing. Collaborate with our health educators to create impactful sessions and come away with unexpected learnings.

Project Sunshine volunteer painting with toddler
Teenager holding paddles by the lake at Camp Rise Up

Camp Rise Up

Support homeless teens in our summer sleepaway camp, engaging them throughout the year and empowering them for counselor and employment roles. Volunteer to organize supply drives, stage campers’ departure and set up at Camp Ramapo in Rhinebeck, New York.

A call for necessities

Join us in collecting, organizing, and distributing necessities for homeless families, providing everyday items they may otherwise lack. Organize specific product drives and assist with cataloging and distribution efforts.

Young girl at a desk doing art project.

Help in the Classroom

Help ensure the children of our patient families have back-to-school supplies, Halloween costumes, and prom dresses. Participate in organizing drives, stuffing backpacks and providing support for teens on their big night.

Women’s Wellness

Play a central role in our Women’s Wellness events, offering critical health screenings and self-care activities to mothers living in family homeless shelters. Volunteer to organize drives, distribute women’s clothing and conduct workshops on various topics based on your expertise.

Volunteer giving out bags at Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane

Join us for our marquee end-of-year event, Candy Cane Lane, a holiday-themed wonderland. At the heart of the event is a toy and gift boutique that creates a dignified and super fun “shopping” experience for moms. Assist with toy and gift drives, host games and activities and provide support to moms during their dignified shopping experience.

Corporate relationship building

Help us build valuable corporate relationships to continue our impactful relief work. Our corporate partners assist with essential items that change families’ lives for the better.


Contribute to our non-profit organization as a board member, providing strategic guidance, opening doors to corporate funding and advocating passionately for our mission.

Loukoumi kid volunteers

Join our volunteer family today!

To explore and embrace these (and other) rewarding volunteer opportunities, get in touch with Svetlana Stanarevic at sstanarevic@thefloatinghospital.org. Be a part of our 158+ years of making a difference in the lives of New York City’s underserved families. Together, we can create a stronger and more caring community.

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