If you are interested and able to volunteer, please contact each organization directly to learn about their specific needs and opportunities to help.


All volunteers should exercise appropriate precautions given their individual circumstances and follow the guidance of public health officials on how to stay safe. If you would like more information, you can visit the CDC website.



United Way of Greater New Haven Volunteer Manager | Email

Does your community organization have a volunteer need? Are you an individual looking for a specific volunteer opportunity? Do you want to learn more about an opportunity listed above? Contact our Volunteer Manager, Dennis Velasquez.

New Haven Chalk Art Festival
Saturday, October 22, 2022 (rain date October 23)

12-4pm at The Shops at Yale
Artist Locations: Broadway Island & Yale University Art Gallery Patio
Artwork Theme: Fall (family friendly only)


Enjoy a day of music, art and family entertainment in celebration of the local community in the heart of downtown New Haven and Yale University. The Shops at Yale invites all professional and amateur artists, students, and artist groups to participate in the 5th New Haven Chalk Art Festival. 


Bring the whole family — stroll the Chapel and Broadway districts to view and vote on elaborate chalk art designs by more than 75 talented artists at 2 locations, enjoy a Family Fun Zone with free chalk, exclusive offers to retailers and restaurants, a raffle and more! This event is free and open to the public, with free parking available at the 150 York Street Garage from 11am-6pm with a validation stamp at The Shops at Yale tent during the event.

Artists compete for bragging rights and gift cards to The Shops at Yale

⊕ 1st Place: $1,000 to Hull’s Art Supply
⊕ 2nd Place: $500 to L.L.Bean
⊕ 3rd Place: $250 to Urban Outfitters


Winners in each People’s Choice Awards category (Teen, Adult and Group) will receive a $100 gift card to J.Crew for 1st Place and $75 gift card to Urban Outfitters for 2nd Place. Everyone who votes will automatically be entered to win a $50 gift card to Basta Trattoria, Villa Lulu and Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant.

View Chalk Art at Two Locations

Broadway Island, 56 Broadway across from Apple, L.L.Bean, J.Crew & Urban Outfitters, and in front of the Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel Street, only one block away!


The New Haven Chalk Art Festival will provide a fun-filled day with entertainment and activities for the whole family! The entertainment will feature:

♥ Roaming Magician
♥ Face Painting
♥ Lunch specials at Bulldog Hotdogs and more!
♥ Family Fun Zone with free chalk for the first 200 children, music and free drawing lessons from artist Kristy Lankford

Live Music from local musicians from 12:00 – 4:00pm at both artist locations:

  • Broadway Island (56 Broadway)
  • Outside Yale University Art Gallery (1111 Chapel Street)

  • → Location A (Artists Check-In and Artists): 56 Broadway (across from Apple, L.L.Bean, J.Crew & Urban Outfitters)
  • → Location B (Artists): 1111 Chapel Street (in front of the Yale University Art Gallery)
  • → Location C (Family Fun Zone): will be held in the courtyard behind Apple and Sherkaan Indian Street Food (65 Broadway) and will provide a FREE box of chalk for the first 200 children
  • >  Check-in is from 11:30am to noon *pre-registration is required
  • >  Artists will be given a 4’X4′ square on either brick or light grey granite pavers
  • >  Artwork Theme: Fall (G rated, family friendly only)
  • >  Artwork must be completed by 3:30pm to allow for judging
  • >  ONLY “Washable Sidewalk Chalk” sticks are permitted. No sprays or pastels of any kind. We highly suggest arriving with Crayola Washable Sidewalk chalk.
  • >  Chalk must say “washable” directly on the box in order to be approved for use.
  • >  The Grand Prize winner, as well as 2nd and 3rd place, will be chosen by a local, professional artist.
  • >  Prizes (1st, 2nd & 3rd) will be awarded in each age division by People’s Choice:
    •    Teen (ages 13 – 17)
    •   >  Adult (ages 18+)
    •   >  Adult Group (18+ *minimum of two artists)


The Shops at Yale will offer FREE parking at the 150 York Street Garage for both participants and spectators from 11am-6pm. Bring your ticket to The Shops at Yale tent on Broadway Island for a validation stamp.

2022 Artists Registration – Free to participate


View Photos from the 2019 New Haven Chalk Art Festival



CT gin captures spirit of ‘Downton Abbey’s’ Highclere Castle — with help from earl and countess

reprinted from Register Citizen

With more than a decade in the spirits industry, Connecticut’s Adam von Gootkin was looking to do a little something different back in 2019. The idea came to him one night while watching the hit series “Downton Abbey” with his wife, at her urging.

“I was inspired by the show. I was looking to do a brand that had a level of history and heritage and pedigree. My wife had been telling me to watch the show and I finally did, and I was just like, ‘There it is.’ So I called the earl and countess who live in the castle.” Easy, right? And, thus, Highclere Castle Gin was in the works.

The earl and countess that von Gootkin references (as casually as he recommends a restaurant) are the Earl and Countess of Carnarvorn, owners of Highclere Castle, known around the world as the home in “Downtown Abbey.” (The latest film in the series was released earlier this summer, “Downton Abbey: A New Era.”) He reached out to the castle. After a few phone calls he was on a plane with his wife to stay there for the weekend.

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Visitors attend a 1920’s themed event at Highclere Castle, near Newbury, west of London, on September 7, 2019, ahead of the world premiere of the “Downton Abbey film.’ Highclere Castle is the main set location of the British television series “Downton Abbey.”


“The castle is imposing,” he describes. “It’s really impressive. The driveway is miles long. And then there’s this glorious piece of architecture. It was intimidating, but I’m the kind of person who rolls with things pretty quickly. What started as a concept became a great friendship and then a partnership.”

von Gootkin sits back, enjoying a fine cigar as he relays the tale, in the beautiful building he has commandeered in Essex to serve as the “face” of his brainchild, Highclere Castle Gin. Interestingly, even his cigar bears that name — branding and all. But it’s all about the gin. The road to said gin was a fairly long one. First he cofounded Onyx Spirits Co. distillery in Connecticut making premium moonshine. Then he released the book “Living Proof: Onyx Moonshine’s Journey to Revive the American Spirit.” Then, finally, he flew off to the English countryside to one of the most famous homes in the world: Highclere Castle.

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Highclere Castle Gin is based in Essex, Conn. and Highclere Castle in the United Kingdom.

Steve Becker Publicity / Contributed

“My family has been in the spirits business since the 1800s here in Connecticut,” van Gootkin says between long draws. And it’s true: his great grandfather ran a Prohibition-era speakeasy on the Connecticut River. “Long story short, I formed a partnership with the Earl and Countess…we were inspired by the gardens and the botanicals on the estate.”

The “secret bar/cigar lounge” inside what was formerly Connecticut’s famous Witch Hazel Works Building in Essex is von Gootkin’s lair, and where he plots his next move. And there are many he is plotting, to be sure.

“It took a year just to design the bottle and another year to fully develop the recipe. But we knew well ahead of time that this particular product had an opportunity to impact the spirit space…A big part of our inspiration was to of course tell the story of Highclere, and bring that beauty to life — to capture the spirit of Highclere Castle, which is known for hosting many of the world’s most famous and interesting people. But also it’s about the botanicals. The lavender we use in that gin is a thousand years old.” Indeed, said lavender was planted by the Bishops of Winchester in the 9th century.

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Highclere Castle Gin is based in Essex, Conn. and Highclere Castle in the United Kingdom.

Steve Becker Publicity / Contributed

How much does such a high-end bottle retail for? Usually around the $40 mark at liquor stores that carry it. A bottle can also be ordered at for $50 in Connecticut (including shipping).

How much prodding did it take from the Mrs. for von Gootkin to finally cave and watch the series that would inspire his latest endeavor?

“You know, I love history, and I’m a bit of an anglophile,” he concedes. “I do come from British ancestry, so she poked me a couple times and I finally watched it and just found it really beautiful. What they’re capturing there. The lifestyle at the turn of the century of the British aristocracy and how it connects to the world, and its place in history. But it was actually a PBS special on the real castle that got me to fall in love with the place and ultimately form such a wonderful partnership.”

The Huneebee Project

Register to experience free workshops hosted at garden sites in New Haven and Bridgeport. Learn about honey bee biology, the importance of pollinators, and taste our local honey. We’ll also suit you up and open a honey bee hive together!



Enjoy live music from a different local band each Saturday, while a local artist paints an eight-foot mural at 56 Broadway. 



Enjoy live music from local bands & mural painting demonstrations on Saturdays July 23 – August 27 from 12:00-3:00pm on Broadway Island, across from lululemon, L.L.Bean and J.Crew. GPS 56 Broadway, New Haven. A different band will play their latest hits each Saturday, while a local artist paints an 8′ mural wall using a “New Haven” theme. The mural walls will be on display this fall in windows throughout downtown.


Relax at a bistro table on Broadway Island during the performances with takeout from your choice of more than 35 local restaurants — explore menus at Free & open to the public. Rain dates are the following day.


The first 50 people to visit The Shops at Yale tent on Broadway Island beginning at noon on August 20, and August 27 will receive a voucher for one free cup or cone at Ashley’s Ice Cream (280 York Street). Ice cream voucher is valid on the date that it is issued only. Limit, one per household. 


Saturday, August 20, 12-3pm
Band Caribbean Vibe Steel Drum Band (steel drum duo)
Muralist Ana Paula Martins


S&SPlayground @ The Shops at Yale
Friday, August 26, 4-8pm
Mingle, connect, play games and enjoy DJ music on Broadway Island. Music by Connecticut DJs, Games, Photo Booth, Giveaways, Specials at Bulldog Hotdogs & more. DJs include; KaseyChvardaSonia SolDave Phoenix and AR. Plus FREE parking at 150 York Street Garage from 4-10pm. Bring your ticket from the garage to The Shops at Yale tent during the event for a validation stamp. 


Saturday, August 27, 12-3pm
Band Furious George (music from the ’60s to today)
Muralist Raheem Nelson
+ United Way Back-to-School Supplies Drive


On Saturday, August 27, The Shops at Yale will be hosting a Back-to-School Supplies Drive with United Way of Greater New Haven! Drop off your NEW school supplies (new only please) to the United Way Tent on Broadway Island from 12-3pm. The first 250 donors will receive a voucher for one free cup or cone at Ashley’s Ice Cream (280 York Street) or Arethusa Farm Dairy (1020 Chapel Street). Ice cream voucher is valid on Saturday, August 27, 2022 only (or rain date). Limit, one per household.

✅ Backpacks

✅ Notebooks

✅ Pencils

✅ Erasers

✅ Pencil sharpeners

✅ Rulers

✅ Two pocket folders

✅ Personal toiletries for students



Elm Shakespeare Company logo


Join us in Edgerton Park to celebrate the magic of FREE live theatre!
Click Here for the Google Maps Location

6:00 – Best seats & parking available. Bring a picnic and enjoy the park!
7:30 – Live music by members of the cast
8:00 – Performance begins (2 hrs., no intermission)

Plan Your Visit
If you can’t join us tonight, The Tempest runs from now until
Sunday, September 4 (No Monday Performances).

Shell & Bones Oyster Bar and Grill has partnered with Tito’s Handmade Vodka to launch a new cocktail and app benefitting the James Beard Foundation.  The foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity, and sustainability.  Shell & Bones is connected with the organization through its “Smart Catch” seal, highlighting the restaurant for its serving of seafood fished or farmed in environmentally-responsible ways (it is currently the only restaurant in the state holding this seal).

The two items are:

Sippin’ Shelly ($13) features Tito’s infused with Rhubarb, Berry Aloe Syrup and Lemon (photo below)

Squid ink blini ($19) features Gravlax, Tito’s infused creme fraiche, macerated berries 

Both the cocktail and app will be available through the end of August. 

Shell & Bones Oyster Bar and Grill, located on the waterfront in the historic City Point area of New Haven, Connecticut (100 S. Water Street), offers the finest in seafood and steak, receiving accolades from Yankee Magazine (Best Waterfront Dining), Connecticut Magazine, New Haven Living Magazine and a “Very Good” review from The New York Times since opening in July 2015.  Acclaimed Executive Chef Arturo Franco-Camacho incorporates fresh and sustainable ingredients to present new takes on classic dishes, including his award-winning New England Clam Chowder, with all soups, stocks, sauces and desserts made in-house.  In addition to its cuisine, Shell & Bones offers an extensive wine and beer list and creative cocktail menu, with several beers, liquors and wines sourced locally in Connecticut.

The restaurant features both indoor and outdoor waterfront dining with an indoor fireplace and outdoor fire pits, complimentary parking, takeout and private event space.  For more information, visit  The restaurant can also be found on Facebook (ShellandBones) and Instagram (shellandbonesoysterbarandgrill).