Volunteer this Holiday Season! [NYC]
The Fall semester is quickly coming to an end, and as we look forward to the holiday season and winter break (2 weeks!), we are also in a mindset of giving and gratitude. The holiday and winter seasons are the busiest time of year for many non-profit organizations, and the long break makes it a wonderful time to give back to our communities, whether here in New York City or wherever we call home for the holidays. If you are looking for a way to get involved this winter, check out these great organizations!
According to Al Jazeera, anti-hunger organizations are facing a particularly drastic situation this year, as SNAP benefits decline and the need for services continues to grow. By volunteering with NYCP, the Food Bank for New York City, or your local food pantry or soup kitchen, you can help make the difference in the lives of many families at risk of going hungry this season.
- New York Common Pantry: New York Common Pantry works toward the reduction of hunger and food insecurity through an array of programs that function to establish long-term independence for those they serve. Without the dedication and tireless enthusiasm of volunteers, New York Common Pantry could not provide its services to help hungry and homeless New Yorkers. NYCP has many opportunities in their pantry and hot meal programs for volunteers (groups or individuals) Monday through Friday. Website: http://www.nycommonpantry.org
- Food Bank for NYC: Food Bank For New York City has been the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs for more than 30 years. Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank for food and other resources. Volunteers are needed for senior breakfasts, “shop & stocks,” food delivery, hot meals programs, pantry distribution, and more. Website: http://volunteer.foodbanknyc.org
- The New York City Rescue Mission: The New York City Rescue Mission provides help and hope to the hungry, homeless and hurting men and women of New York City. Volunteers can help by serving meals, providing tutoring services, doing administrative work, or assisting at special events. Website: http://nycrescue.org/volunteer-form
- New Alternatives: According to Safe Horizon, children under 18 accounted for 39% of the homeless population, and approximately 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT. New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth works to increase the self-sufficiency of homeless LGBT youth by providing case management, community organizing, life skills groups, community-building recreational activities, and, in the long-term, supported employment opportunities. Volunteers have the opportunity to participate in virtually every aspect of New Alternatives programs. Website: http://www.newalternativesnyc.org/volunteer-information
- Time Out New York has compiled a list of holiday volunteer opportunities in New York City. Website: http://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/holiday-volunteer-opportunities-in-new-york-city
- New York Cares: Volunteer with New York Cares on Christmas Eve to help provide meals to New Yorkers. A one-hour orientation session is required. Website: https://www.newyorkcares.org
- Volunteer New York!: Pleasantville students and Westchester residents can find a list of many holiday drives and service opportunities in Westchester County with Volunteer New York! Website: http://www.volunteernewyork.org/holiday
According to CNCS, “the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community service that helps empower and strengthen local communities.” This is a great way to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King while giving back to your community!
- On the official MLK Day website, you can enter your zip code to find registered events in your area.
- New York Cares will be putting together a list of opportunities for MLK Day on their website.
Find Your Own
To find an opportunity in your area or that meets your interest this winter, check out some of these great websites: