Image via New York Cares
While giving thanks and exchanging gifts this holiday season, share the wealth and give a little extra to fellow New Yorkers in need. From coats and turkeys to MetroCards and toys, the list below is a good place to start. Yes, financial donations are always welcome–but there are plenty of much-needed, much-appreciated items you can give that don’t require spending an extra penny.
Image via New York Cares.
1. New York Cares Coat Drive and Winter Wishes
Since 1987, New York Cares has been partnering with nonprofits and schools throughout the five boroughs to plan and manage 1,600 volunteer-led projects each month and serve 400,000 New Yorkers in need each year. Their best-known initiative may be the city’s largest winter coat drive, which collects and distributes over 100,000 coats each winter. Donate gently used winter coats from November 17 through the month of December. Dropoff locations are at the New York Cares Coat Drive warehouse or at one of 280 local collection sites. You can even buy a coat on Amazon have it shipped straight to the warehouse. Find out more here. The organization’s Winter Wishes program is another way you can help provide gifts for disadvantaged children, teens, and families.
2. Coalition for the Homeless Toy Drive
Coalition for the Homeless is the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping the homeless. Through December 14th, you can participate in their annual Toy Drive for homeless children. Purchase a toy from their Amazon Wishlist, drop off a new, unwrapped toy at the coalition office, or host a drive at your school or workplace.
Image via Only Make Believe.
3. Only Make Believe
Only Make Believe is a New York City organization that creates costumes for special theater performances for children staying in hospitals and care facilities. You can gather up your excess crafts, ribbons or other festive decorations along with any old CDs, fabric or craft items, and drop them off directly. It’s a great way to give back to the community, reduce holiday clutter and spread the love well into the new year. Find out more here.
Image via The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest.
4. The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest MetroCause
The Church of the Heavenly Rest on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is a name that has long been synonymous with community outreach and helping those less fortunate; they’ve thought of even the smallest ways to lend a hand: CHR’s MetroCard program provides the gift of free public transportation, recognizing how transformative it can be for someone in need. New and partly used MetroCards can be placed into donation boxes located at the 5th Avenue entrance of Heavenly Rest (90th Street and 5th Avenue). The church’s outreach partners will be distributing the MetroCards. You can also donate dollars and cents to the MetroCause program here.
Image via Pajama Program.
5. Pajama Program
Founded in 2001, Pajama Program is a nonprofit organization that believes every child has the right to a loving good night, complete with the comforting bedtime ritual of changing into new pajamas and enjoying an enchanting story. Pajama Program offers children affected by instability the unconditional, magical gifts of new pajamas and new books so that they can enjoy the greatest benefit of a loving bedtime and peaceful good night: a fulfilling good day. You can do your part by donating new pajamas and/or books.
6. St. Joe’s Soup Kitchen Used Clothing Distribution
St. Joe’s Soup Kitchen is an independent organization run by volunteers; they serve 400-500 meals every Saturday to New York City’s homeless community. But it’s not all about food: St. Joe’s also manages a used clothing drop-off and distribution center located in the basement of The Church of St. Joseph in Greenwich Village. St. Joe’s will accept donations of used clothing from community members, and the clothing will be made available, free of charge or donation, to Soup Kitchen attendees. The Used Clothing Distribution is open to the public at the same time as the weekly food service–Saturdays from 1:30 to 3:00 P.M.
Image via WSCAH.
7. The 2018 Thousand Turkey Challenge
Help the West Side Campaign Against Hunger provide low-income families with turkeys and other food for Thanksgiving dinner. Make a financial contribution ($18 per turkey) or donate a frozen turkey. You can contribute online or bring checks and turkeys to the donation site at the lower level of the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew, 263 West 86th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue on Monday, November 19 from 9 A.M. – 8 P.M., Tuesday, November 20 from 9 A.M. – 8 P.M. and Wednesday, November 21 from 9 A.M. – 8 P.M. You can even Text a Turkey (text TURKEY to 56512).
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