Community Programs: Saint Stephen’s is privileged to be able to provide financial and volunteer assistance to many worthy social service and educational programs throughout Schenectady County. In recognition of their outstanding work, Saint Stephen’s has supported some of these programs for years. A number are located reasonably near Saint Stephen’s, and they are recommended to parishioners for volunteer service. Parishioners are encouraged to consider these programs and to contact the organizations directly to volunteer their time and talents.

SICM SICM Food Pantry Haven
Home Furnishings Damien Center Crop Walk (SICM)
Bethesda House Better Neighborhoods Inc. Habitat for Humanity
Ellis Pastoral Care Big Brothers, Big Sisters Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts
Hospice Salvation Army Soup Kitchen City Mission
YMCA Safe Inc.of Schenectady YWCA

The Schenectady Inner City Ministry
SICM is a coalition of 54 Christian congregations which pool people and resources of member churches to act as a focus for social action in the Schenectady area.

Activities: Volunteers help in office when needed with: Copying, Collating, Mailings (Especially Newsletter Mailings) and Answering telephones. Volunteers with special skills review the financial aspects/develop budgets etc.

1055 Wendell Avenue
Schenectady, NY, 12308
(518) 374-2683
(518) 382-1871 (fax)

Contact: Phil Grigsby O: 374-2683

Emergency Fo
od Pantry (a branch of SICM) gives emergency groceries to people in need. Saint Stephen's collects food each Sunday morning in baskets in the narthex (entrance way). The food is carried up to the altar as an offering to God, and is taken to the pantry later in the week.

Activities: Volunteers interview people seeking our help (2 hours training, with updating 3-4 times/year); interact at the counter with people the program serves concerning their dietary restrictions, baby food, etc.); pack food bags, repack bulk items and sort food; help load and unload food pickup and commodities; drive for food; order pickup from grocery stores. Drive to Food Bank for bread and other food, weekly, or occasionally; and help with food pickup.

Off Site volunteer opportunities include serving on the Task Force (meets 8 times a year on Thursday a.m.), scheduling volunteers (6 month rotation, 2 sets of 2 people needed), speaking to groups, gleaning (go to farms/orchards to pick produce for pantry distribution), compiling statistics and results of surveys.


Mission Statement: Haven Grief Couseling Center provides professional counseling and educational programs for people experiencing grief from bereavement, chronic or life-threatening illness or who have been impacted by other life losses.

Description: Haven provides grief counseling services to people from age 4 to 100 on a sliding fee basis. No one is ever turned away for an inability to pay. In addition to bereavement issues, Haven helps people who are in life transition - for example: job loss, divorce, termination of parental rights or the loss of a pet. Our office is located near Union College in a historic district house. Our environment is peaceful and our providers are gentle, caring people who are dedicated to helping.

703 Union St
Schenectady, NY 12305
(518) 370-1666

Home Furnishings

Web site

Schenectady Home Furnishings Program
603 State St.
Schenectady, NY, 12305

Phone: 346-2444

Schenectady Damien Center
, A program of SICM. The Albany Damien Center

The Schenectady Damien Center is a resource center for individuals and families living with and directly affected by HIV/AIDSActivities: Living Room Volunteers perform a variety of tasks, including opening and closing the Center; listening and providing comfort and support to persons infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS; engaging guests in center activities such as playing cards, board games, and jigsaw puzzles, listening to music, watching TV and movies; preparing and serving light refreshments and meals; and maintaining the center. Dinner Committee Volunteers work at the Center's monthly dinner which is offered to guests, their friends, family members, and significant partners. Damien dinners are prepared and served by a variety of faith community and human services groups. At the dinners, volunteers open and close the dinner site and assist the dinner groups with hosting the dinner and provide clean up work. SCITT Volunteers work directly with the theater directors and teenagers in the areas of program development (such as training of health issues, theater skills, stage work, etc.), attend programs, and assist with directing and facilitating the program. HIV/AIDS training is provided for all volunteers.

(a branch of SICM)

The Crop Walk raises lots of money every year to fight hunger locally and overseas. Local groups benefiting were the Sch'dy County Senior Meals Program (Catholic Charities of Schenectady County), the Community Crisis Network and pantries run by SICM and Sacred Heart/St. Columba's Church.

Activities: Volunteers recruit groups (congregations, businesses, etc.), promote the event, especially relating to the press, solicit for promotional expenses (t-shirts, etc.), enter data in the computer after the Walk, distribute various materials to walkers, help to register walkers, working with traffic/parking control, general help on the day of the walk.

Bethesda House
(originated under SICM, is now independent) is a non-judgmental hospitality center serving the homeless and others in need of a safe haven or referral services.

Activities: Volunteers greet guests, listen while spending time with our guests, prepare and serve food, socialize with our guests (scrabble, cards, puzzles, chess, etc.), assist guests in placing phone calls, read with guests. Volunteers can work one on one to assist a guest with reading or writing skills, assist with referrals to other social service agencies, assist guest in filling out forms, applications, etc., and conduct a workshop or presentation talk. If volunteers cannot give of their time at the center they can donate food (especially nutritious snack items like sandwiches or soup) donate juice (especially citrus), coffee, tea, creamer, or sugar, make food pick-ups at BJ's or Price Chopper, organize a drive to collect personal hygiene products for our guests.

Kimarie Sheppard is Executive Director; Danny Payne is Program Director.

Bethesda House of Schenectady, Inc
834 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12307

518-374-7873 - Web site

Safe, Inc. of Schenectady

Our vision is to end youth homelessness and exploitation and provide a safe community where youth can grow into healthy, self-sufficient adults.

 We contribute toiletries and other items regularly.

Better Neighborhoods
, Inc
. rehabilitates homes in the inner-city of Schenectady for rent or sale to low to moderate-incomed families. Counseling in home ownership is also provided.

Activities: Volunteers assist directly with the rehabilitation of homes. They are involved in painting, carpentry and construction of all sorts.

Better Neighborhoods, Inc
986 Albany Street
Schenectady NY 12307
Telephone: (518) 372-6469 Fax: (518) 372-6460

See their web site

Habitat for Humanity
is an ecumenical Christian ministry whose mission is to build simple decent, affordable houses for those unable to pursue home ownership in the conventional manner.

Activities: Volunteers work at housing sites rehabilitating homes and in the office as volunteer coordinator or with computer assistance.

Habitat for Humanity of
Schenectady County, Inc.
P.O. Box 9043
Schenectady, NY 12309
(518) 395-3412


Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Schenectady provides children from single parent homes with adult companionship, friendship and guidance from community volunteers. Children are also given a crime prevention program and their parents are given parenting skills training.

Activities: Volunteers spend 4-6 hours each week with their assigned youth for an average of two years.

Contact: See their web site

518-862-1250 or email for more information.

Boy Scouts of America & Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York
provides youth activities, travel and camping for boys and girls, to instill values in young people and prepare them to make ethical choices. Scouting promotes in young people leadership skills, team work and independence.

Activities: Volunteers are trained to lead a scout troup. Troups meet once a week for 1 or 1 1/2 hours each week. Camping trip and travel time commitments vary with each troup. Volunteers can also be co-leaders in a troup.

Contact: Boy Scouts at 374-7733

Girl Scouts at 374-3345
Web site for the area Girl Scouts

Albany office is 8 Mountain View Ave., Albany, NY 12205;
Halfmoon office is 23 Executive Park Dr., Halfmoon, NY 12065.

The Girl Scouts no longer have an office in Schenectady.   But a troop meets at St. Stephen’s, as well as a service unit. 

Ellis Hospital Pastoral Care Department
is an ecumenical group of trained volunteers who call on those in the hospital. They are trained in listening skills, confidentiality, how to make proper visits and in issues that they will meet in a hospital or nursing home setting.

The Ellis Hospital www page.

Activities: Each chaplain aide receives 15 hours of special training at Ellis Hospital before being assigned to call on patients.

Ellis Hospital Pastoral Care Office is 518-243-4158.

City Mission of Schenectady (click for their WEB site) of Schenectady serves hot meals Monday - Friday at 6:00 pm and bag lunches from 3:15 - 4:15 pm. The Mission provides an opportunity for a man to work for his food and lodging in an established residence including structured living, counseling and spiritual guidance.

Activities: Volunteers can assist the cook in preparing and serving food.

City Mission of Schenectady
P.O. Box 760
Schenectady, NY 12301
Phone: (518) 346-2275
Fax: (518) 346-2470

Hospice of Schenectady provides health care and support services for terminally ill persons and their families.
Activities: Volunteers serve by listening, providing respite, running errands, helping with chores, providing emotional support and as a link to the Hospice staff.

Website at

Community Hospice of Schenectady
1411 Union St.
Schenectady, NY 12308
(518) 377-8846
Fax: (518) 377-8868

The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Church whose message is based on the Bible, its ministry is motivated by the word of God, its mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name without discrimination.

Activities: Volunteers can assist the cook in preparing and serving breakfast to 60 to 100 people.

222 Lafayette St, Schenectady
(518) 346-0222