Community Based Learning

Community Based Learning

Service Sites

Canisius College and Buffalo: Hope for the Future through Service

The Center for Service-Learning and your professor will help you choose a site that is relevant to your Service-Learning course. How you will contact your service site will be explained to you in class. Use public transportation, your car, or carpooling to get to your site. When calling the site speak clearly and slowly. If you need to leave a message make sure you leave your name and phone number. For further assistance contact Sr. Pat at 716-888-2177 or

Click on a letter below to browse service sites alphabetically.




ACCESS of WNY, Inc. (Arab American Community Center for Economic & Social Services)
609 Ridge Rd., Lackawanna, NY 14218 
Contact: Madeline Torke 
Phone: (716) 984-6616
to promote understanding and strengthen the bonds of faith and friendship between members of the Arab American community and people of other nationalities and cultures living within America;
to help newly arrived immigrants adapt to life in America;
to inform the American public about the traditions and customs of the Arab community;
to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of Arab culture within the American public;
to promote the common good and general welfare of the Arab American community;
to foster tolerance of Arab American people in the United States.
Days and Times: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. Open weekends for Arabic classes from 10am to 3pm. 
Service Opportunities: Students can assist in the after-school program by providing tutoring assistance in all subject areas for all grade levels. Students should be open minded and be willing to try new activities to enrich the learning processes of the youth. ACCESS needs assistance in the following areas as well:   
-English Literacy
-Assistance with the community garden upkeep
-Advertising and Marketing for the center and its programs 



Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County
85 River Rock Drive Suite 107,  Buffalo, NY 14207
Contact: Kerry Alshiemer
Phone: 716-873-5833 x240
For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country. They develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. 
Service Opportunity:
Future "Littles" Activity Program:
This program pairs members of a company or organization with children ages 6-12 to participate in planned activites in a group setting.  Each event lasts 1-2 hours which includes various games and activites.
Days and times: Weekday evenings 5pm-7pm and Saturday mornings 10am-12pm. Commitment to this program is a one year requirement.

Boys and Girls Club of Buffalo Northtowns
54 Riverdale Avenue Buffalo, NY 14207
Kris Hochulski
Phone: 716-873-3244
About: Since 1926, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo has been in the forefront of youth development, working with young people from disadvantaged economic, social, and family circumstances. They have actively sought to enrich the lives of girls and boys whom other youth agencies failed to reach and are dedicated to ensuring that our community's disadvantaged youngsters have greater access to quality programs and services that will enhance their lives and shape their futures. Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo serves 4,000 youth between the ages of 5-21. It is not only a place where youth can come and hang out after school, but a safe haven that allows them to develop into young adults with the necessary skills and sense of self to succeed in the real world.
Service Opportunities: Work with the youth ages 5-17 in educational, social, and athletic activities. Participate and supervise arts and crafts, video games, and various sporting activities. Provide group supervision and interaction to youth as they interact with one another during various activities.
Boys and Girls Club of Buffalo(Butler Mitchell Clubhouse)
370 Massachusetts Avenue Buffalo, NY 14213
Shaquille Alexander
Phone: 716-884-4964
About: Since 1926, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo has been in the forefront of youth development, working with young people from disadvantaged economic, social, and family circumstances. They have actively sought to enrich the lives of girls and boys whom other youth agencies failed to reach and are dedicated to ensuring that our community's disadvantaged youngsters have greater access to quality programs and services that will enhance their lives and shape their futures. Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo serves 4,000 youth between the ages of 5-21. It is not only a place where youth can come and hang out after school, but a safe haven that allows them to develop into young adults with the necessary skills and sense of self to succeed in the real world.
Service Opportunities: Work with the youth ages 5-17 in educational, social, and athletic activities. Participate and supervise arts and crafts, video games, and various sporting activities. Provide group supervision and interaction to youth as they interact with one another during various activities.
The Bristol Home for Elderly Women
1500 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14209 out volunteer form)
Contact: Beth Mack
Phone: 716-884-4371 
Days and Times: M-F, 8:00am to 4:00pm, evenings and weekends limited
About: Since 1868, The Bristol Home has cared exclusively for older women in Western New York. Their main goals have always been to maintain good health and improve the quality of life for the residents. 
Service Opportunities: Provide assistance to elderly residents in and around the Bristol Home. Here you can take place in the 200+ organized daily activities and provide comfort and assistance in any other areas needed.
Musicians: to come in as available to entertain our residents. There is a piano available in the facility for use, or bring your own instrument. May lead sing along as well. Evenings or weekends preferred but morning and afternoon times are acceptable as well.
Gardening: to assist in keeping facility grounds looking their best. May include raking, weeding, watering flowers, picking up litter, etc. Also may assist in planting in spring and fall. Supplies provided by residence.
Cleaning : to assist in keeping the residence look its best. This may include washing windows, sweeping, mopping or cleaning and polishing furniture.
Activities Assistant : to assist activities staff during group programs. Activities include assisting the residents on projects such as crafts, gross motor games, or bingo.
Special Community Projects: to assist and partner with Bristol Home residents in community-based projects. Past projects include working with the SPCA, Buffalo Animal Shelter, United Way and Canisius College.
Friendly Dog Visitor: to visit with our residents on a regular basis. Dog must be under supervision of owner at all times, have experience in socializing with people and be kind, quiet, calm and friendly. Animal must have up to date vaccination information on file with us.
Knitting/Crochet or Ceramic Instructor: for small group instruction on simple projects. Meet weekly or twice a month with residents to instruct and guide projects. Materials will be provided by the residence.
Dining Room Server: assist the kitchen staff with beverage and meal service during meal times. 
*Training will be provided, contact Beth Mack for details.
Buffalo Center for Art and Technology
1221 Main St Buffalo, NY 14209
Contact: Eric Crittenden
Phone: 716-259-1680
Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT) Youth Arts Programming is an expeditionary learning program designed to provide a safe environment for teens to express themselves freely and engage youth in the production of multimedia arts and design. Our arts programming helps prepare Buffalo teens for real-life after high school. Together with strategic partnerships, dedicated staff and talented arts faculty at the top of their profession, our program embraces art as a means to stimulate community engagement and individual achievement. Multiple pathways await our students after high school and their graduation is our #1 priority. 
Service Opportunities: Work alongside the Youth Arts staff to support various aspects of the after school program.
-Assist the teaching artists in cutting edge music, media, and design instruction
-Assist in light snack preparation/service
-Assist in coordinating field trips
-Provide administrative support including making copies, creating Word, Excel, and Powerpoint  documents
Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center
(Fall semester)
950 Amherst St., Buffalo NY 14216
Contact: Carlisle Lipke, Volunteer Coordinator
E-mail: e-mail first, then leave phone message if no response. The Director, Susie, may respond to you if Carlise is not working)
Phone: 716-877-9295, ask for Carlisle
Days and Times: 2:00-7:30 PM on Mondays
Volunteer Application: Click Here 
The Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center is the only indoor riding facility uniquely located in the heart of the city of Buffalo, and has been the site of a therapeutic riding program for 10 years. The BTRC currently offers programs for mentally and emotionally impaired, learning disabled and developmentally challenged children ages 6 to 16. The classes are limited to four students to enforce a safe and fun experience. Each class is designed to achieve special goals that meet the requirements of the group and the individual. Programs are designed and taught by a member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH).
Service Opportunites 
Work with students with disablities helping to provide thereputic care through interactions with horses.  Vounteers will be trained and will work on grooming and tracking horses, leading horses, and walk along-side participants, helping to support and stabilize them. Volunteers also participate in caring for and schooling horses; maintaining our facility; helping with numerous administrative tasks; and assisting with special events and fundraisers.
The Burrito Project(a campus ministry program)
Contact: Hetal Petal
Phone: 716-531-3012
The Burrito Project provides fresh home-made burritos to the hungry poor and homeless population in downtown Buffalo. The project is a ministry to some of the most vulnerable and forgotten of our society. 
Service Opportunity: On the fourth Tuesday of each month students prepare burritos in the kitchen of the Undercroft of Christ the King chapel from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Transportation is provided and the students walk the 4 mile route in Downtown Buffalo from 7:15 – 8:30 p.m

Catholic Charities: Immigration and Refugee Assistance Program
20 Herkimer St., Buffalo NY 14213
Contact: Becky Mischler, Volunteer Coordinator
: 716-842-0270x211 
Notes: Monday through Friday
Open 8:45 am-4:45 pm
Catholic Charities of Buffalo has provided services to the immigrant and refugee populations in Western New York since Catholic Charities was established in 1923. The scope and size of the program grows and adapts to changes in United States immigration policy and the needs of the foreign-born who come to this area.Since 1980, Catholic Charities has provided employment and support services through federal and state contracts with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Department of State (DOS), and the Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance (BRIA). These services are available to all refugees in this area, regardless of the voluntary agency through which they were resettled. Clients receive employability assessments, job counseling and referral, placement and follow-up services at no cost to them. We also provide nine levels of ESL instruction daily with a curriculum designed to meet the needs of the refugee/immigrant population, emphasizing life skills and employment.
Service Opportunities:
 Refugee and Immigration Assistance Services 
-ESL classes for adults
-helping people prepare for employment searches
-teaching simple computer programs to staff
-basic adult computer classes
-help get apartments ready for clients
Community Action Organization (CAO) / The Green Entrepreneurial Center
70 Harvard Place, Buffalo, NY 14209
Contact: Mike Lee, Director and Horticulturist 
Phone: 716-881-5150 x4505 
Time Commitment: Days and times will vary
CAO helps families improve the quality of their lives and achieve self-sufficiency. It provides comprehensive services to families, children, and individuals throughout Erie County. Its mission is to provide programs and services that support the emotional and financial well-being of our community.
Service Opportunities:
-Advertising and promotional materials for CAO 
-Assistance with maintenance of greenhouses and open gardening beds
-Composting upkeep
-Fundraising events
-Nutritional education curriculum working with children in grades K-8
-Plant pruning and harvesting to sell to local restaurants   
-Urban farming/landscaping following all organic, chemical-free guidelines (training provided)
-Website assistance





Gerard Place: Transitional Housing Program For Homeless Single Parent Families 
2515 Bailey Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14215
Contact: Karen Kasperek, MS, MPA
Phone: (716) 897-9948 x112
Times: Tuesday through Thursday 8:30am-4:30pm
Gerard Place provides support and transitional housing for single-parent families that have experienced the pain of poverty, homelessness, and/or domestic/substance abuse. The agency provides individuals with a number of services designed to empower individuals through education, employment, vocational training, life skill classes and counseling. Residents are not given a "hand out" but are earning a "hand up."
Service Opportunities: Students will assist with direct supervision of infants and small children during the after-school youth program.  Students have the opportunity to assist Gerard Place staff with any client related needs. Students will work with Gerard Place staff to create programming for the children and assist with events such as parties or trips into the community. Each student will have to attend a 3-4 hour required training “Protecting God’s Children” so as to meet babies’ needs effectively and safely. This 3-4 hour requirment will be a part of the students total service-learning hour requirement.
Gloria J. Parks Community Center
3242 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14214
Contact: Aislinn Sexton
Phone: 716-832-1010x210
Service Opportunities: 
-Homework help/tutoring- assist students in completing their homework afterschool
-Academic Instruction- assist instructors in 1-2 hours of academic instruction to students
-Enrichment- Participate and lead enrichment activities including recreation, arts and crafts, dance, and science/technology.
-The youth programs include the 4-H after school program and full day summer camp that provides youth participants with academic assistance, life skills enhancement, artistic endeavors, field trips, recreation and socialization. The community center has a science program that follows the model of the Science Firsthand Learning inquiry based learning. Students learn to explore the natural world around them and are encouraged to be inquisitive. Students are an essential part of developing the program based on their interests and questions about their environment. 


Habitat for Humanity
Contact: Joe Van Volkenburg, Campus Ministry
Phone: 716-888-2857
Days and Times: Saturdays
Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. The Canisius Chapter of Habitat for Humanity partners with Habitat for Humanity Buffalo most Saturdays of the school year.
Service Opportunities:The Canisius Chapter of Habitat for Humanity partners with Habitat for Humanity Buffalo most Saturdays of the school year. *Transportation provided*

Harvest House
175 Jefferson Ave, Buffalo, NY 14206
Contact: Linda Tatu
Phone: 716-825-0929
Harvest House provides retreat space to over 120 teenage, adult and family groups per year.  Harvest House is home to the Buffalo Diocese program, Young Christians at Work, and the national service experience, Young Neighbors in Action.  Sleeping arrangements are made in carpeted rooms, on one of the many couches, or on the floor.  Groups prepare their own meals in the fully-equipped kitchen.  The second floor chapel provides an intimate setting for small group services or private meditation and houses a spiritual library.  The Harvest House facilities are available to any Christian denomination for prayer services, bible study, pro-life activities and other spiritual programs. 
Service Opportunites:
-Assist at the Baby and Children's Ministry- sorting clothing, helping clients,
 serving as the face of Harvest House.
-Assist at New Hope Education Center- provide general tutoring in all subjects to the teenage  students present
-Assist at the Retreat Center- help with promotions and advertising of Harvest House, work with  staff to create new advertising ideas and work on the newsletters
 Tuesday and Saturday- 9am-12pm, Monday and Thursday 1pm-4pm


Jewish Family Services: Refugee Resettlement Program
70 Barker Street, Buffalo, NY 14209
Contact: Lauren Calofino
Phone:  716-883-1915 ext. 337
Days and Times: Monday through Tuesday 8:30am - 8pm; Wednesday through Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm 
Today, the Refugee Resettlement department case-manages approximately 45 people each month. Jewish Family Services helps them adjust to their new lives here in the U.S. They help them learn English and find jobs. They teach them how to navigate the medical system, banks, and public transportation. They provide: a fully furnished apartment, airport pick up, acculturation services, translation/ESL services, employment services, advocacy, and more.
Service Opportunities: Students can assist by setting up apartments for arrival (as needed), providing financial literacy workshops, organizing presentations as an orientation to America, organizing and coordinating the donation room, assisting the social workers by creating case files for new clients, and greeting/checking new clients into the program upon arrival. 


Literacy Center at Canisius
2001 Main Street Canisius College
Health Science Building, room 113A Buffalo, NY 14208
Contact: Sunnie Tobias, Graduate Assistant
Phone: 716-364-9284
Days and Times:  Wednesday 3-4:30
Service Opportunities: 
-Tutors will work one-on-one with a child under the direct supervision of a teacher with expertise in  reading.
-Assisting students from Nativity Miguel school with reading and writing in an after school setting
-Assist students with English homework and assigments
-Assist students with English projects and writing papers



Matt Urban Hope Center
385 Paderewski Drive, Buffalo, NY 14212
Contact: Tara Murray
Phone: 716-893-7222 x306
The Matt Urban Hope Center assists individuals who are homeless, families suffering from domestic violence, loss of income, no utilities, and eviction.  Additionally the center seves dinner five times per week which is open and free to the community.
Service Opportunities: 
-Food Pantry- 1st, 2nd, 3rd Tuesday(1pm-5pm), last Saturday(10am-2pm)
-Serve dinner- Monday-Friday(5pm-7pm)

Meals on Wheels:
Trey Loomis
Phone: (716) 913-7838
Meals on Wheels for Western New York, Inc. is an independent nonprofit agency supporting the dignity, well-being and independence of the homebound elderly and disabled through home delivered nutrition programs.
Meals on Wheels of WNY and Canisius College Campus Ministry partner together at the Delores Nelson Site on Brunswick Boulevard in the Hamlin Park section of Buffalo.
Service Opportunties: 
Saturday Mornings

The MOCHA Center
1092 Main street Buffalo, NY 14209
Contact: Yaritza Pineiro
Phone: 716-852-1142x223
The MOCHA Center is a Western New York 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Buffalo and Rochester. Our mission is to improve the health and wellness of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Communities of Color.
Service Opportunities:
-Assist with the facilitating of recreational activities such as movie nights and  game nights
-Assist in the food pantry, stocking and sorting
-Assist in community outreach and prevention
-Assist in special event advertising, marketing, flyer distribution, set up, greeting of attendees,  break down, etc..


The Nativity Miguel Jesuit Middle Schools of Buffalo
St. Monica Campus for Young Women
26 Wright Ave Buffalo, NY 14215
Contact: Nancy Langer, President
Phone: 716-984-5146(cell) or 716-852-6854(office)    
Nativity Miguel Middle School of Buffalo is dedicated to providing middle school students at risk of academic failure with the character, strength and skills they need to graduate from high school, attend college and become successful members of our community. Their mission is to provide motivated, low-income students with the opportunity to graduate from high school in a setting that will prepare them for college. This is accomplished through a strong middle-school program that includes skilled and dedicated teachers, extended school days and school year, small, single-gender classes and ongoing support through high school graduation.
Service Opportunities:
After school program
- tutoring includes reading, writing, basic math, phonics, decoding and comprehension 
- take turns reading a book located in the school's library; Combine reading a book with a lesson     on vocabulary
- recreational activities such as sports, music, art
Science Firsthand
- partner with 2-3 students to engage in hands on science exploration
- A Science Firsthand manager supervises the program and meetings, and helps mentors develop   the investigations 

None Like You and the We Care Community Outreach Non-Profit Organization
595 Sycamore St., Buffalo, NY 14212
Contact: Mrs. Elizabeth Triggs 
Phone: 716-533-9753
Days and Times: days and times will vary, extremely flexible hours 
Service Opportunities:
-Helping with social media and Facebook page
-Working to help start the Thanksgiving and Christmas drives
-Tutors for the afterschool program work with school age children and adults helping with  literacy(Saturdays and Thursdays)



Our Lady of Hope Home School
(St. Luke's Mission of Mercy)
325 Walden ave., Buffalo, NY 14211
Contact: Pamela Krzanowicz or Mike Taheri
Phone: (716) 560-3695(Pam)  (716)-807-8733(Mike)
St. Luke's Mission of Mercy served its first meal on Buffalo's East Side in August 1994, and in 2004 they opened a new school in order to provide a quality, Christ-centered education for the children that live in the community. The school provides numerous opportunities for its K-5 students through its after school programs, field trips, and other initiatives, and is open to anyone in the community. 
Service Opportunities: Beginning October 6th
-Work with students grades K-5
-Provide classroom assistance and tutoring in all subjects
-Help to teach art based classes to various grade levels
-Homework help and academic assistance one on one with students
-Assist with math and reading clubs
-Planning activities including: arts and crafts,and recreational activities


Precious Paws
291 Oliver Street North Tonawanda 
Contact:Diane Ham
Phone: 716-694-3446
Service Opportunities:
-Socializing with kittens
-work with kittens
-general kitten care
-Monday-Friday 4pm-9pm

P.S. 74: Hamlin Park
126 Donaldson Rd., Buffalo, NY 14208
Contact: Mary Beth Zanghi
Phone: (716) 816-3490 x 1608
PS 74 serves a population of underrepresented students in Buffalo, and is at risk for becoming a low-achieving school. The school strives to best serve its students to make them prepared, productive, and positive in order to become college and career ready.
Service Opportunities: 
-Tutor grades 1-8 in all subjects including English Language Arts.  
-Students would be assisting in the classroom helping teachers by working one on one  with  students.
-Extended Day program funs from 3:30 to 5:30 Monday-Friday
P.S. 89: Lydia T Wright Elementary
106 Appenheimer Ave Buffalo, NY 14214
Contact: Dr. Tonya Chavers
Phone:716-816-4110(office) 716-803-2098(cell)
The Mission of the Dr. Lydia T. Wright School of Excellence is to develop self-motivated, reflective learners capable of reading on grade level. The students will be exposed to a back-to-basics, data driven curriculum based on the New York State standards. All students will graduate from the eighth grade fully prepared to successfully master a rigorous high school curriculum.
Service Opportunities:
-Classroom academic assistance working with the teachers to help students in English Language Arts and Math
-After school assistance working with students one on one in ELA and Math
-After school program runs Monday-Friday 2:30-4:30
P.S. 301: Burgard High School
400 Kensington Ave, Buffalo, NY 14214
Contact: Mary E. Ross, School Counselor
Phone: 716-816-4450
Burgard High School was designated a low-achieving school in 2010, and has remained so ever since. The school is undergoing a transformation process mandated by the City of Buffalo that is injecting funding into the school in order to better serve the students there through the creation of a career and technical institute for the students and through the partnering with area businesses and colleges. 
Service Opportunities: Tutor grades 9-12 in all subjects 


Saint Luke's Mission of Mercy
325 Walden Ave Buffalo, NY 14211
Contact: Joe Van Volkenburg
E-mail: Joe Van Volkenburg( 
Phone: 716-888-2875 
Opened in 1994, St. Luke's Mission of Mercy is a Mission with a Roman Catholic tradition in the inner city of Buffalo, New York. Through its full-time lay missionaries and volunteers, it works to provide corporal and spiritual works of mercy for the impoverished and homeless population in the community. It operates as a dining room, a homeless shelter, provides clothing, visits the sick and imprisoned, and provides numerous spiritual services. 
Service Opportunities: Campus Ministry goes to St. Luke’s, and students help to prepare and serve a meal in the dining room. St. Luke’s serves between 400-600 meals a day.
-Thursday from 3:45 – 5:30pm
-Friday from 3:30-5:30pm
-Saturday mornings 
*To sign up please contact The Campus Ministry office*
SPCA of Erie County
205 Ensminger Road, Tonawanda, NY 14150
Contact: Kim Zolnowski
Phone: 716-875-7360 x3503
Days and Times: Tuesday-Sunday, 9:00am-8:00pm
As the second-oldest humane society in the United States, the SPCA Serving Erie County continues to set the standard in animal adoption and rescue, exceeding the expectations and guidelines for shelter operations. The SPCA cares for approximately 14,000 animals each year through programs that include adoptions; admissions; animal rescues; animal emergency transports; stray lost and found services; animal cruelty investigations and seizures; care for wildlife, reptiles, exotics, and farm animals; and much more. The SPCA is a local humane society, not financially supported by, or a part of, any other local or national animal welfare group. They are not a branch of the ASPCA.
Service Opportunities: Short-term (minimum of 10 hours a semester) - cleaning cages, restocking food, walk dogs, shave animals for surgical procedures.
Long-term (minimum of 40 hours a semester) - Socializing with animals, interviewing prospective adopters, training animals.
-Paws for Love-(SPCA program) bring pets to nursing homes and hospitals, contact Debbie Braun at 716-681-0744

The Somali Bantu Association
83 Grant St. Buffalo NY 14213
Contact: Saladi Shebule
Phone: 716-228-0581
Service Opportunites:
-Assist in teaching English to children in a classroom style learning environment after school.
-Students can also work with the children assisting in other recreational activities.
-Monday-Thursday 3pm-6pm

Sunday Sandwich and Spirituality Ministries(a campus ministry program)
Contact: Caressa Trueman
Phone: 716-238-4550
This is a Street Ministry to the marginalized and homeless population in Downtown Buffalo.  
Service Opportunity: Each week Canisius students prepare and serve sandwiches, hot chocolate, and cookies. Students develop a friendship and kinship with those they meet.  There is usually a group of 10-15 students each week.   Participants work in teams and serve as a group.




50 Wyoming Ave, Buffalo, NY 14215
Contact: Sister Mary
Phone: 716-892-4354
Vive (Vive La Casa) is the largest refuge shelter in the US; an organization whose primary mission is to assist those seeking asylum in the US and Canada.
Service Opportunities: 
-Help teach english to adult and children refugees in classes and one one one setting. 
-Work with young children teaching english through songs, games, and general instruction
-Work with the youth in recreational activities including organizing youth soccer program.