Community Service

The ethos of community service runs throughout the school and is formalized in the high school. Tutorial 1 and Tutorial 2 students are required to perform a minimum of 30 hours by the end of the school year. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities at UNIS; however, for students to engage in varied and meaningful service work in the greater NYC area, they are expected to complete at least 10 (if not all 30) of these volunteer hours outside of UNIS.  The Office of Student Activities publicizes opportunities and helps with placements.

Where to Find More Community Service Opportunities

The Office of Student Activities regularly broadcasts UNIS and BeyondUNIS volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Students are encouraged to check updates on Schoology, their UNIS email accounts and visit the Student Activities Corner to learn about available programs and regularly updated volunteer opportunities.

City Harvest 2016

UNIS is one of the top donating schools to City Harvest a non-profit that collects and donates food to 500 community food programs throughout New York City. This year our collection drive will run from November 7-18 where we will collect the donations early morning and then pack them in boxes which will be moved from lobby and some classrooms daily to storage area. We need volunteers to help with the collection and/or the packing. If you are able to volunteer on any of the days we do please sign up!

The UNIS City Harvest Co-Chairs:
Lorraine Lowe, TH Parent

Karen Weismann, MS Parent

Devika Gopal Agge, JS Parent

To sign up please click here.

Past Projects

Habitat For Humanity

UNIS students worked with Habitat for Humanity in Shelbourne, VT, July 5-10, 2015. View photos here.

Aaron Carnival

On June 8, 2014 United Nations International School students volunteered at the Aaron Carnival. Students facilitated arts and crafts, barbecued, served food, and helped clean up after the event. View photos here.

Carter Burden Luncheon

On Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 the T1 advisory group led by Mr. O'Keefe went on a community service trip to the Carter Burden Luncheon Club. Located on the Upper East Side, this organization provides inexpensive, nutritious lunches to senior citizens who want to socialize with others. All morning, we were in the kitchen, making and packaging various foods. We made meatloaf, packaged cold packs for the senior citizens who were there that day, and helped prepare the plates of food. One of the highlights of the trip was making ice cream sundaes, which were the dessert for that day. Once everything was prepared, we mingled with some of the senior citizens, and then served them their lunch. Everyone had a great experience helping the community and spending time with their peers. We thank Mr. O'Keefe for supervising us on the trip.

Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Our advisory took a trip to the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen to volunteer for their lunch service. We walkedthere from UNIS (1.8 miles) and arrived around 9 am. We started by listening in on the announcements andthe people running the soup kitchen briefed us on the basic rules. As we assumed the positions we weregiven, people started rushing in with their trays. We soon became experts at what we were doing (giving outbread, scooping rice, cleaning tables, giving out beverages or handing out toiletries). We came to understandand sympathize with those who needed help and by the end of the experience, we did. Our advisory groupthoroughly enjoyed the community service opportunity and we hope to go again!

NYC Parks Conservation Corps

So - it was freezing cold that day, working in nature for the NYC Parks Conservation Corps. It felt great to goout to some more distant parts of the city (Jamaica), and see the more rural aspects. It was a satisfying feelinghelping the community especially since we don't get to work much outside in the city. The entire experiencewas very good, through a combination of good instruction and hands-on work. Lots of mulch was involvedand we learned about the destructiveness of Oriental Bittersweet Vines. As well, it helped our class bond andbecome more of a group. We got to relax for a day while still helping the park out. It was great!

Metropolitan Pavilion

On April 23, 2014 Mr. Afshinnekoo's homeroom group of students walked to the Metropolitan Pavilion to helpdesigners out for the event 'Design on a Dime'. The event had designers design rooms and sell products. Themoney earned would be donated to a cause to help fight against HIV and poverty. Our group helped clean upthe area for the designers to work in and sometimes help the designers directly with organization or other thingsthey may need help in. For a good first half of the project, most of the group worked on breaking down thelarge pile of cardboard boxes, plastic, and styrofoam and throwing them out to the dumpster outside. Many ofus did various things. One designer needed help with bringing out poles to the main big room. Another neededhelp with fixing the labels on candles and organizing them, and also needed help with labeling the tags onseveral pillows as well. Overall we enjoyed the new experience and were glad to have this experience, help out designers, and see the different rooms they had set up for the evening.

City Harvest

On Wednesday the April 17, 2014 we went on a community service trip to Astoria, Queens. We decided to help the fellow citizens of NYC in an initiative of City Harvest; we were handing out food that we packed personally and fortunately enough our directors were very interactive therefore we got to know them quite well. Each group had a different job. For example, one group was packing carrots in 5, 8, and 10 pound plastic bags. Each group had a supervisor. They showed us how we could help, supported us and helped us with any issues we had. During this trip, we got the chance to socialize with new people. This trip was a new experience for us. While we had lots of fun helping out the community, we also feel that it was a learning experience. We were able to discover what it means to worry about your next meal through the people we helped. We met many elderly, adults, young children, and even some people my age. This opened our eyes to the fact that people who are the same age as us are living such drastically different lives. Although we often overlook it, being in that environment made us realize how privileged and fortunate we are. Overall, we are very happy that we were able to help many people that day, and take part in such a great cause!

Solar One

On April 28, 2014 local community. We were instructed to pull out unnecessary weeds out of the ground as well as fill in areas withoutdirt, with mulch. We also planted new plants, butterfly weeds, and threw away rosebush branches into the dumpster. Wehelped others by helping the garden grow and prosper. The garden is also an important habitat for some birds and helpsthe environment.We learned a lot about gardening and landscaping in general. Prior to this, we were inexperienced in these fields.We also realized that it takes a lot of patience to differentiate plants from weeds, as they both look very similar. Werealized that active volunteering at gardens like this is very important, because the process takes a long time and requires asizable magnitude of a working force.We found the high level of focus required in order to separate the weeds from plants and the physical strain. Toovercome this challenge, we were able to slow ourselves down and patiently work our way around all these areas with thehelp of our partners who were also working with us. The weather was also very hot and sunny, making the work long andtiresome. Our solution was to take short rests and talk while working to make the process easier and more fun.This was a helpful experience to our personal development as it allowed us to understand the importance ofgardening and landscaping to the New York City and the benefit for its community. It was also fun to be outside workingwith each other and simultaneously learning new skills. Although this landscaping opportunity was one of our firstexperiences in this area, we certainly hope it will not be our last. Academically it was enriching, as we had to use ourcommunication skills in order to complete certain tasks, which required teamwork. Identifying the parts where mulchingwas needed was definitely one place where communication played a huge role. It also helped in scenarios where we had todifferentiate weeds from plants. Overall this experience was extremely useful for us and taught us a lot about life outsideof school and sports, which occupy most of our lives. we also learned that by volunteering a few hours, residents andother volunteers can improve parks and recreational areas of New York City to make the promenade more colorful.

Soup Kitchen

On April 30th 2014 Mr.Richards’ homeroom went to a Soup Kitchen and helped out for around 5 hours. To prepare for the arrival of our guests, we cleaned and sanitized the tables, chairs and the kitchen, restocked on juice and other food and drink. We set up the tables with three dozen or so cups filled with apple juice and another three dozen filled with fruit. We also unpacked a dozen or so Vita Coco bottles to give out to the people when they were done, and some peanut butter snickers as a snack. We also set out a big bowl of apples on the table. After everything was ready the group was split up so some would serve the food, some would bring the food into the dining area, and some would put the food onto the plates to be brought out into the dining area. First the people in the kitchen would put chicken, pasta, vegetables and a slice of bread on the plates. Next two people will stock all the plates onto a carte and roll it out into the dining room, they will put them onto the tables and go back into the kitchen. There are people in the dining room helping pass out the plates and assist other volunteers.

Day of Service 2015