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De Blasio Administration Launches Ad Campaign to Spur Volunteering Across the Five Boroughs

October 20, 2014

City to New Yorkers: ‘Volunteering. Good for you. Good for your city.’

Volunteer promotion campaign aims to boost the number of New Yorkers who volunteer by raising awareness about service opportunities

Search for NYC Service volunteer opportunities by borough, skills or interest at

NEW YORK—Spearheaded by NYC Service, the de Blasio administration today launched a volunteer promotion campaign—a series of targeted ads in 1,000 subwaycars and 75 bus shelters—to encourage more New Yorkers across the five boroughs to volunteer. The campaign underscores the two-fold advantage of volunteering: individual benefits like increased personal health, happiness and career success; in addition to the valuable social contribution of helping those around you. This promotion campaign also highlights three areas NYC Service has determined are in high need of volunteers:

  • Supporting Youth Development | NYC Service recruits volunteers to provide programming that helps students navigate middle school and high school years. Working with youth-focused nonprofits, the Department of Education, and the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), NYC Service’s Middle School After School Volunteer and High School Mentor initiatives help foster academic success and life skills.
  • Reducing Hunger | Thousands of New Yorkers qualify but do not currently have access to food assistance programs like SNAP and WIC. In partnership with the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, NYC Service mobilizes a volunteer corps to reach these eligible New Yorkers. 
  • Engaging Seniors | Older adults constitute nearly 20 percent of New York City’s adult population and are a critical source of volunteers. NYC Service supports the Department For the Aging (DFTA) by stimulating, leveraging and recognizing senior volunteers.

This volunteer promotion campaign was crafted pro-bono by the team at the New York office of creative agency Sid Lee, in support of the efforts of NYC Service, which include raising the percentage of New Yorkers who volunteer from 18 to 50 percent. The subway ads unveiled today will be followed by bus shelter ads across the city next week.

“New York City’s greatest strength is in our people, and NYC Service has done a tremendous job in leveraging our most valuable resource and connecting more New Yorkers to service opportunities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With today’s launch of this volunteer promotion campaign, we urge more of our fellow New Yorkers to make a difference in their neighborhoods and impact the lives of others through service. From increasing personal health and supporting our young people, to reducing hunger and engaging more of our seniors, volunteering can be a game-changer in communities throughout the five boroughs.”

“Volunteering is good for you, good for your fellow New Yorkers, and most of all, good for the city. This campaign encompasses the spirit of NYC which is bright, bold and caring. New Yorkers have many opportunities to connect to and elevate one another through service, and this campaign aims to empower New Yorkers to rise together,” said Chief Service Officer, Paula Gavin.

“From running DFTA to Safe Space, I know first-hand the critical importance of volunteers. They are the lifeblood of so many different efforts and initiatives—and it’s their time and dedication that enables us to reach more New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Lilliam Barrios-Paoli. “I’m proud to join NYC Service’s volunteer promotion campaign to help motivate and mobilize more volunteers across the five boroughs. Together, we can support more of our young learners, make more New Yorkers food secure, and involve more seniors in service opportunities.”  

“As someone who helped start and run an organization that recruited volunteers to serve as mentors to New York City kids, I know that volunteering isn’t just great for New York, it is great for New Yorkers. Whether you assist in an after-school program or volunteer with senior citizens, you will make a difference of the lives of your neighbors and community members, while helping your City as a whole. I’m thrilled and excited to join NYC Service to celebrate and promote volunteerism in New York City,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery.

“With the launch of 271 new after-school programs for middle schoolers this year, DYCD is excited to partner with NYC Service, the Department of Education, and our community-based organizations on the Middle School After School volunteer initiative,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong. “This is an exciting opportunity to tap into the special skills and talents of New Yorkers who want to serve our youth and help them transition from early adolescence to becoming responsible young adults.”

“Finding New Yorkers who qualify for food assistance, but are not receiving it, is a great way for people in the City to help their neighbors. You can literally help put more food on your neighbors’ tables,” said HRA Commissioner Steven Banks. “I’m proud to support NYC Service and Mayor de Blasio in this volunteer promotion campaign by mobilizing more volunteers to reach eligible New Yorkers.”

“The Department for the Aging is proud to support Mayor de Blasio’s NYC Service Volunteer Promotion Campaign. A recent study on volunteerism and older adults by the University of Pittsburgh concluded that older adults are able to find purpose, satisfaction, and good health later in life at the same time that they give back to society. Volunteering is a ‘win-win’ for all involved,” said DFTA Commissioner Donna Corrado.

About NYC Service

NYC Service promotes volunteerism, engages New Yorkers in service, builds volunteer capacity, and mobilizes the power of volunteers to impact New York City’s greatest needs. Launched in April 2009 in response to President Obama’s national call for volunteerism, NYC Service focuses on 12 strategic programs and 20 volunteer impact initiatives that expand outreach to individuals, government, organizations and corporations to help all New Yorkers to volunteer. Learn more and search for service opportunities at, a comprehensive resource with more than 1,000 active volunteer activities.

About Sid Lee

Sid Lee is a creative services firm with 550 professionals working globally from offices in New York, Montreal, Toronto, Paris and Amsterdam. Our company creates transformative consumer experiences for brands – across all contact points – leveraging true interdisciplinary collaboration. Rooted in strategic thinking, we offer what we call commercial creativity services in the fields of branding, digital and social marketing, advertising, analytics, architecture and retail design, branded content and entertainment. Named “Agency of the Year” four times in the past five years, our company has earned a global reputation for its progressive work and the solid results it achieved for top-tier clients. Sid Lee is owned by a close-kit collective of 25+ partners and global creative powerhouse Cirque du Soleil. (

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