GIVING. There is nothing more fulfilling than giving to others and helping those in need. Whether it be providing a meal to a person who is hungry, to spending time with an elder who feels isolated and lonely, to providing blankets and clothing to keep someone warm in the colder months – these are just a few of the ways we can show we care and want to share the love in our hearts with those around us. For those of us who find it difficult to make time for volunteering, donations (both monetary or goods) can make an important impact in someone’s life. After all, in this exceptionally ugly election race, we should all open our hearts and share a little more love, sensitivity and generosity. It can be contagious! Let’s all get involved and ask our friends to join us. Make it a family outing and teach our children the importance of giving. Here are a few ways we can volunteer and give back in NYC, both around the holidays and year-round.
NY Cares: Help mentor students, serve meals in soup kitchens, clean up parks, collect winter coats and help the homeless. NY Cares offers one-time volunteer opportunities to weekly opportunities. Volunteer as an individual, group or with your company. https://www.newyorkcares.org/volunteer?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=DesktopBannerTest
City Meals on Wheels: If you have a car, you can get involved with this organization that helps feed 18k elderly folks in the NYC area. This Thanksgiving they’re looking for people to go to a senior center in Bushwick, Brooklyn and deliver food. Here is a link the volunteer form, where you can sign up to volunteer for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years programs. http://www.citymeals.org/volunteer-with-us/individual-volunteers/volunteer-application-form
NY Common Pantry: Choice Pantry volunteers help provide free grocery packages for families and hot meal volunteers help prepare and serve meals to guests at the NY Common Pantry location on 8 East 109th St. in Manhattan. http://nycommonpantry.org/how-to-help/volunteer/ They also offer off-site opportunities like a Thanksgiving Food Drive, making sandwiches for the Brown Bag Program, and collecting new clothing and toys. http://nycommonpantry.org/how-to-help/off-site-opportunities/
BARC Shelter: Are you an animal lover? Here’s a way you can help our furry friends. Come take a dog for a walk, keep a cat company or bring in your old towels and blankets as a donation. http://www.barcshelter.org/
Gobble, Gobble, Give: This organization meets in Harlem to assemble takeout meals for 200+ families in low income housing and shelters. You can help put meals together or drop off the food. Donations of food, clothing, toiletries, toys and books are also welcome. Check out their Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/gobblegobblegivenyc
God’s Love We Deliver: Help bring food to those who are sick and unable to shop and cook for themselves. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve over 1k volunteers help in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens. https://www.glwd.org/volunteers/holiday.jsp;jsessionid=1394DCC88DACD66D864DB9F0427B108C
City Harvest: Help fight hunger by distributing fresh food and collecting any excess food donations from farmers at the end of local farmer markets. How about getting your company involved and work as a team to fight hunger? https://www.cityharvest.org/volunteer
Good+ Foundation: Donate that baby gear and those diapers, coats and toys that your children have grown out of or organize your own children’s coat or holiday toy drive. http://goodplusfoundation.org/how-to-help/organize-a-drive/
Room to Grow: Dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born into poverty, Room to Grow assists low-income families by accepting donations of baby items, funds and volunteering. Learn how to get involved here: http://roomtogrow.org/index.php/get-involved/how-to-help-in-new-york
Posted by Jen Valu
Photograph Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Harvest Festival
There is no shortage of family activities this October in and around Brooklyn. We have harvest festivals, Halloween parades and pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins!!! Need a pumpkin break? How about a creativity lab session or a drop-off art class for your little one. Read up below on the festive calendar of things to do with your family this month!
Posted by Jen Valu