The Ride for Missing Children, and the mission of the NCMEC–NY/Mohawk Valley office does not happen without the efforts of countless volunteers.
Participation opportunities abound both on the day of The Ride, and throughout the year. Day-of-the-Ride volunteers provide logistical support to Riders all along the route, and in particular at school rest stops. While the Riders are the most visible part of the Ride, volunteers are equal members of the team. The Ride for Missing Children does not happen without the support, assistance, and efforts of the volunteers. volunteers are needed not just on the day of The Ride but throughout the year helping with planning for the annual Ride event, and assisting in the mission of the NCMEC-NY/Mohawk Valley center.
Want to Volunteer? First, evaluate your availability and time constraints.
We have monthly Rider and Volunteer meetings January – May leading up to the Ride. It is important to attend those to learn more about the Ride, your commitment as a volunteer, and the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children.
We also have planning committees that work on organization of the Ride year round. You’ll want to decide if you can be available for the entire day. We usually begin around 5:00 a.m. and end around 8:00 in the evening. We travel by bus as a group. If your personal obligations don’t permit you to be free for the full day, perhaps you can help out at our closing ceremony and reception. This takes place at the New Hartford Rec Center where our long day ends. The closing ceremony volunteer hours run between 3:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and can be flexible.
We are a traveling restaurant! We serve coffee first thing in the morning at the Opening Ceremonies in Oneida, then breakfast at our first School stop, lunch at our lunch stop and have snack and drink stops along the way. At all of these stops, we arrive before the Riders to set up, and be ready for their arrival. We serve them, and then tear down quickly and head to our next stop to do it again.
Rider Gear Bags
It is a long day and the weather can be unpredictable. Riders each bring along a gear bag (limited to 20 lbs.) to accommodate for this with different layers of clothing, sunscreen, etc. They can’t take these items with them on their bike so they are loaded into a gear truck which gets unloaded and reloaded by our volunteers at each stop. If you have a strong back and are organized, this is a great job for you.
Riders bring their bikes to MVCC’s parking lot the Thursday afternoon before Ride Day between 4-7 p.m. We load the bikes into trailers for them to be transported and ready at Troop D in Oneida. We also get to Troop D very early on Ride Day, to unload the bikes. Unloading can begin as early as 3:00 or 4:00 a.m.
The Opening Ceremony takes place at NYS Troop D in Oneida. You will help direct the Riders, other Volunteers, Families on where to go, what to do, where the bathrooms are, etc. You’ll have coffee ready and be a calming point of reference to get our day started in an organized manner.
Full Stop Location Guides
This group is affectionately called ‘Kyle’s Krew’. Their job is to direct the incoming and outgoing Riders at each full stop we have. They coordinate the Rider’s arrival and departure to maximize space and time efficiency at each stop. Rider’s need as much time as they can to eat, use the restroom and interact with the kids, so this job is very important.
Besides those pedaling, we are a caravan of many official vehicles along the ride route. We need volunteers that are patient people with a good sense of direction to help transport gear, provisions and people. Our vehicles do not require a special license.
This is the perfect job for those who want to help and are not available for the entire day. As we end our Ride at the New Hartford Rec Center, these volunteers have been organizing and setting up for our arrival. They also help with food service.