A volunteer reader reading to elementary school students

Get engaged in our community by volunteering with United Way, using the Bloomerang registration platform!

Thank you for your interest to support United Way of Southeastern Connecticut by volunteering. You will be joining 2.8 million people who are giving back so others can get ahead. You can use your time and talent to create social change where you work or live with United Way.

Be the eyes and ears of United Way donors by serving as an Allocations volunteer. This process provides wise stewardship of funds and ensures accountability of donor investments. Allocations Volunteer Roles Include:

  • Allocations Review. Volunteers visit our partner programs and ensure contributions are wisely invested into programs that provide results. 
  • Allocations Financial Review. Volunteers assess partner agency financial records on an annual basis. Expertise and knowledge of financial reports is required.
  • Special Funding Review Panel. Volunteers assist throughout the year as needed for special allocations of funds to ensure contributions are used in the most efficient and impactful way possible.

Join us by volunteering with the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center. Since 1988, the Food Center has played a key role in providing one of the building blocks to a good quality of life by feeding families and individuals facing hunger and food insecurity all across our community. Last year, our Food Center distributed the equivalent of 1.8 million meals through72 members such as food pantries, shelters, childcare centers, community meal sites, programs for the elderly, and our Mobile Food Pantry, at no cost to those in need.

  • Warehouse volunteers. You can sort food, check expiration dates, and pack food for agency orders at the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in New London.
    • Volunteer shifts are typically Monday-Friday from 9am-Noon.
    • Additional times for groups can be arranged.
  • The Mobile Food Pantry. The program consists of delivering perishable and non-perishable food items for direct distribution to people in need, some of which live in remote locations and may not have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • We host numerous mobile distributions each month throughout New London County.
    • Volunteers assist with the loading of pre-packed food boxes into client’s cars, manage traffic flow, registration, site set-up, and distribute food program resource information onsite.
    • Volunteers can participate in groups or as individuals.
  • Seasonal gardening. Support the operations at one of three local giving gardens. Volunteers help maintain the garden beds, prepare the land for growing season, and harvest the fresh produce grown:
    • The Farmer Craig Giving Garden at Coogan Farm, part of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, located in Mystic;
    • The East Lyme Giving Garden; or
    • The Lyme/Old Lyme Food Share Giving Garden.
  • General administrative support. Volunteers at the Food Center in New London are often needed for front desk reception, writing thank you notes, and document management tasks.
  • Please note that children ages 12-17 are welcome to volunteer with United Way Food Center programs but MUST be accompanied by a parent or caregiver at all times.
  • Young Leaders United. Join a group of community philanthropists and leaders of tomorrow. Young Leaders United is an affinity group for young professionals ages 21-40 who want to Connect, Serve, and Lead in New London County. Young Leaders is a great opportunity for young professionals to meet others who want to give back to the community through United Way! It offers social and professional opportunities as well as the experience of fundraising and volunteering for a cause.

  • Women United. Women United inspires, educates, and encourages women to affect positive change in our community, with a focus on food security in New London County through philanthropy, volunteering, and leadership. The group focuses on raising funds for The Gemma Legacy Fund to provide long-term sustainability of the Food Center program named after food banking pioneer Gemma Moran.

    Volunteer reading to families in a park

  • Day of Caring. This is a group volunteer opportunity that can be used for employee team building and will allow for you and your coworkers to help one of our partner programs with projects at their facility. Not only does this create a positive connection to the community but it also helps our partners keep their costs low. Projects can range from one hour to a full day and can be indoor or outdoor activities.
  • Partner Programs. Many United Way partner programs can use the help of volunteers for office assistance, painting, landscaping, and gardening. Many opportunities are available throughout the year and are based on volunteer skills in certain expertise areas.
  • Volunteer Reader. Help support the importance of building early literacy and language skills for EVERY child. We host virtual and in-person reading days each year in partnership with our community schools and libraries.
  • Tommy Toy Fund. Run a toy collection drive in November or volunteer on-site in December to sort, set-up, and distribute toys to families at Norwich and New London locations.
  • UCAN Training. Become a resource to your coworkers and the community! UCAN (Union Community Activist Network) is a training course about human services available in our community.
  • Family Volunteering. Get the whole family involved in volunteering and model the importance of giving back. Some activities do allow children such as helping to collect food at a food drive, gardening and landscaping at an agency, and reading together as virtual Volunteer Readers.


  • Run a supply drive. Help students and educators receive the material supplies needed for academic success. We will connect you with a local school or nonprofit agency that works with children so you can collect specific supply needs for each program.
  • Run a winter garment drive. Collect items for families in need. Items can include coats, gloves, mittens, hats, socks, and scarfs. We will ensure items go to local agencies.
  • Run a food drive. Collect the items that are most in need at our Food Center. You can also run a virtual food drive through our new web platform.

Email volunteer@uwsect.org with questions.