Giving Back for the Holidays [NYC]

Giving Back for the Holidays [NYC]

The fall semester is wrapping up, and that means many students are in the midst of finals stress. Luckily, we’ve got a solution to relieve some of that stress and make the most of your upcoming winter break: volunteering! The winter and holiday 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!

Celebrate the Holidays

The following opportunities require a one-hour Orientation with New York Cares:

Time Out New York has compiled a list of holiday volunteer opportunities in New York City. Website:

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:

Help Keep People Warm + Fed

Food insecurity in New York City is still at a historically high level since the 2008 recession, with one in six residents and one in five children in the city living in homes that can’t afford enough food, according to federal data analyzed by NYC Coalition Against Hunger (NYC Service). The winter months are often the hardest for New Yorkers experiencing hunger and homelessness, and many organizations reach their limits during this cold season. Here are a few organizations you can get involved with to help reduce hunger this holiday season!


At this time of year, clothing, food, and toys are more in demand than ever. Many organizations accept donations of both goods and funding, and both are greatly appreciated!

  • New York Common Pantry accepts food donations year round
  • New York Cares is hosting its annual coat drive until December 31st for New Yorkers who need them most in the colder months!
  • Fulfill a holiday gift wish for a child, teen, or senior with New York Cares
  • Housing Works accepts donations at any of its thrift store locations throughout the city. Proceeds benefit those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • Room to Grow is an organization that provides essentials for babies born to families in poverty. Room to Grow accepts donations of baby gear, clothing, toys, and other essentials. Donations can be dropped off at the Chelsea location.