Ways You can Help


Without the generosity of our community and the support of our funders, our shelters, programs and dedicated staff would not be able to be there in times of need. Your commitment gives peace of mind and safety during times of crisis.

Our Wishlist

We accept a variety of donations: food, toiletries, new or gently used clothes for teens, diapers, formula, and more. Check out our Amazon Wishlist for more specific needs.

*Items of importance

Gift Cards

Gift Cards to area grocery stores and retailers allow us to purchase fresh fruit & vegetables, household supplies and more. Your gift of a gift card allows our team to be nimble and responsive to the needs of the youth and families we serve!

Most useful cards include:
Home Depot

Household & Cleaning Supplies

Light bulbs
Hand soap
Garbage bags
Dishwasher detergent
Laundry detergent*
Fabric softener*
Dryer sheets
Utensils, forks, spoons, knives
and serving utensils*
Dishes (preferably plastic)*
Baby wash
Lysol spray and wipes
Libby mop heads
Food Storage Containers

Food-related items

Formula of all kinds
Baby food
Baby cereal (rice and oatmeal)
Kid friendly foods (mac and cheese, fruit roll ups, granola bars, fruit cups, snacks)

Child-related items

Bed Pillows (pillow nylon washable covers)
Crib size mattress protectors
Diaper Wipes

Invite us to Present

Know of a group at work, school or church that wants to learn more about The Center? We are happy to do presentations.

Adopt a Shelf

To ensure our food cupboard is full year round, we are asking people to “Adopt a Shelf.” Each partner who wants to help will be assigned a product or products to collect and donate regularly.


Tax deductible donations are accepted year round to support our work. You can mail your donations to our office, drop off donations, or donate money via card here.

Host a Drive

Maximize impact by engaging your friends, family, co-workers, or classmates! Simply host a food, clothing, or toiletry drive, collect the items, and we’ll do the rest.

Shop Amazon smile

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to The Center for Youth on Amazon.

Attend Fashion Week

Stay connected to learn how Fashion Week Rochester runway shows benefit young people!

Become a Volunteer

Phone Counseling

Evening phone counselors assist on weeknights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Responsibilities include answering the 24-hour emergency line to support the evening triage counselor. Training is required as well as a background check and orientation.

Crisis Nursery

The Crisis Nursery is a lovely home in a residential neighborhood where we care for babies and young children for brief periods during family emergencies. This is the only program of its kind in our community. Volunteers are needed to help keep the home open 24/7. Shifts are generally two to four hours. All volunteers must complete an interview, orientation and background check and provide references.


Volunteers will assist in the after-school program at Urban Choice Charter School. Activities include homework help, recreational activities and more for K-8 students. This program runs from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily during the school year.


Tutors will help students taking GED classes or Pre-GED classes. Classes and tutoring classes are held during the day; individualized evening tutoring is arranged by appointment.

Host Homes

Host Home families are willing to house a runaway or homeless youth. Host Home stays range from one to 14 nights. Thorough background checks, a home visit and state certification must be completed in addition to ongoing training.

Special Events

The Center for Youth often needs volunteers for special events such as our Annual Gala, Fashion Week of Rochester activities, Day of Caring and other fundraising events.

Contact us

Need help now? Call our crisis line.

24 Hour Crisis Line


Use the form below if you don’t have access to a phone, or have a non-urgent message:

What are you reaching out about?


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