Volunteer at the Buffalo Urban League

I just started volunteering for the Buffalo Urban League in downtown Buffalo. The BUL has various programs aimed at helping members of the community that might be struggling with various issues in their lives. They work with families, students/youth, senior citizens and others in the community. They run foreclosure prevention and financial literacy courses, a food pantry, after school and tutoring programs, health awareness programs and free check up clinics, a senior citizens center, foster care and adoptions services, and employment and career development services. Check out the programs they offer on their website: http://buffalourbanleague.org.

The Buffalo Urban League was founded in 1927 to help former African-American slaves and other immigrants find jobs and housing in the city of Buffalo. Today, the BUL helps any member of the community who might need help and could benefit from their programs, regardless of race.

Vice President of Resource and Organization Development, Karen Christie, currently oversees volunteers and is in need of additional help.  The need is great as many of the people they serve come from the most-disadvantaged and at-risk parts of our society. Your help and talents would be greatly valued.

Why volunteer?

  • Gain new skills and learn new things
  • Looks great on a resume, especially if you are looking to gain experience
  • Meet new people and network
  • Get a great feeling from giving back

Volunteer Opportunities at the Buffalo Urban League

Volunteer and Member Recruitment and Marketing Assistant

Main tasks:

  • Define volunteer opportunities to enhance the Buffalo Urban League Programs
  • Design and implement member and volunteer recruitment and education programs
  • Represent Buffalo Urban League at volunteer recruitment fairs and programs
  • Develop the use of online communication tools such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. to recruit and manage volunteer and member communication
  • Train and Manage volunteers

Research and Database Assistant

Main Tasks:

  • Create and manage databases including members, volunteers and program participants
  • Develop and implement a customer satisfaction program and track results
  • Provide needs data and statistics for grants and presentations
  • Develop an online library of relevant data and research
  • Create online tools to survey constituents, members and the general public

Public Relations and Special Events Assistant

Main Tasks:

  • Write articles, press releases, newsletters and design brochures
  • Participate in community events and activities to promote Buffalo Urban League programs
  • Take photographs and manage the photo library of the agency
  • Provide staff support to Urban League events and fundraisers
  • Track and document Urban League publicity

Volunteer support to Urban League events and fundraisers

  • Sell Gala raffle tickets to benefit the scholarship program
  • Serve on the Gala Auction Committee to collect silent auction items
  • Assist with the Annual Gala set up on November 20, 2010.
  • Volunteer to take photos at events for use in publications and on the website.
  • Become a part of the Speakers Bureau to make presentations and represent Buffalo Urban League at information fairs and community events

Program Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Tutor youth in the Afterschool program (Sept. – May) and assist in the summer program (June-August)
  • Make friendly phone calls to homebound senior citizens (all year)
  • Speak to youth about your industry and career opportunities
  • Collect toys, clothing and food for our families in need all year round and especially at the holidays
  • Interview scholarship applicants (April/May)

To volunteer e-mail Karen Christie, Vice President of Resource and Organization Development at

kchristie {at} buffalourbanleague{dot} org

Buffalo Urban League, 15 Genesee Street, Buffalo, N.Y. Phone: 854-7625