October 2016 - NYC Family Volunteer Opportunities

October 2016 New York Family Volunteer Opportunities


October 2016 - New York 

Halloween Candy Buy Back
Operation Gratitude
Date/Time: At your convenience, after Halloween. If you are shipping your candy, it must be shipped no later than November 15.
Location: Check Halloween Candy Buy Back website for buy back locations. Donations can also be shipped to:
Operation Gratitude
21100 Lassen Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Attn: Angel Cuevas/Receiving
Plan ahead for all of that "leftover" Halloween candy! On November 1st, the piles of leftover Halloween candy may be overwhelming. You can allow your children to keep a few favorites, and consider donating the rest to a very good cause. Through the Halloween Candy Buy Back program, local dentists promise to "buy back" left over Halloween candy with prizes, toothbrushes, coupons, etc. The candy is donated to Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that sends over 100,000 care packages annually to service members stationed in hostile regions, to their children at home, and to Veterans. Their mission is simple: to put a smile on soldiers' faces and to show the appreciation and support of the American people. If you cannot find a local dentist who is participating in the Halloween Buy Back program, Operation Gratitude will accept donations of unopened packages directly. Check the Operation Gratitude website for important packaging and shipping information. Consider asking your children to write a letter or draw a picture to include with your donation, as Operation Gratitude likes to include these personal notes in every care package they send.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Lunch Program
Manhattan Church Community of Hope
Date/Time: Saturday, October 8 and October 22, 10am - 2pm. Starting in November, the Lunch Program will run every Saturday.
Location: Manhattan Church Community of Hope, 48 East 80th Street between Park and Madison

The Community of Hope is an outreach ministry to the homeless and marginal at the Manhattan Church of Christ. The Lunch Program provides hot meals to the homeless with dignity and compassion. Volunteer responsibilities include setting up, preparing and serving meals, breakdown and cleanup.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Flexible
6th Annual Tie-Dye Cupcake Bake-off
She's the First
Date/Time: Between  October 11 - November 1
Location: Your location

She's the First provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries with the goal of creating first generation graduates and our next generation of global leaders. This fall, She's The First is expecting hundreds of bake sales to happen between October 11 - November 1 during their 6th Annual Tie-Dye Cupcake Bake-Off. First, sign up here to add yourself to the map of people who plan to have bake sales at their school, office, club or girl/boy scout troop, fundraising to send girls to school with She's the First. Then, share all over social media to recruit your friends and family. Visit their website for a tie-dye cupcake recipe and more information.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Host a Birthday Party for Kids
Date/Time: Thursday, October 27, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
Location: The Jewish Board of Family and Children Services at the Ittleson Center, 505 Iselin Avenue, Bronx

Founded in 2014 in New York by two 15 year old girls, Talia Eskenazi and Chase Kauder, The Celebrate U Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to spread happiness by throwing birthday parties for children in New York City area shelters, or who can't afford to celebrate their birthday. The effect of these celebrations goes way beyond cake and party favors. Celebrate U believes that by showing children that their community truly cares about them, it can raise self-esteem, provide hope for a brighter future and empower children. And every child deserves a birthday party!

Ages: Fifth grade and up
Time Commitment: Two hours
Urban Farm Upkeep
Concrete Safaris
Date/Time: Saturday, October 15 and October 22, 10am - 1pm
  • October 15: Meet at Mad Fun Farm, 98th Street and Third Avenue, just south of the flag pole in the gated gardens.
  • October 22: Meet at Jefferson Gardens, 300 East 115th Street, just east of Second Avenue. Gardens span from 113-115 between 2nd and 1st Avenues.
Join Concrete Safaris for our Garden Volunteer Session to spruce up our gardens! We will be doing a variety of garden maintenance activities that consist of repairing raised beds, shoveling topsoil, planting herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers, spreading mulch, picking up trash, weeding, and more. Dress in layers and bring a water bottle. Activities will vary and events will take place rain or shine. Wear outdoor clothes that you are willing to get dirty.

 Families are welcome to volunteer. An adult must accompany children under 18.
Time Commitment: Three hours
Soup Kitchen and Pantry

Date/Time: Sunday - Thursday, times dependent on availability

Location: 372 Coney Island Avenue or 98-08 Queens Blvd

Masbia is a nonprofit soup kitchen network and food pantry, providing hot, nutritious meals for hundreds of New Yorkers in desperate need of food. Along with the hot-meal program, Masbia also gives out bags of much needed groceries every week through the weekend take-home package program. Masbia works to not only feed the hungry, but to provide free, wholesome, and delicious meals for people in a restaurant-style environment, with volunteer waiters serving each person with respect and dignity. Volunteer activities may include:
  • Peeling, chopping, dicing, and storage of vegetables
  • Greeting customers warmly
  • Assisting them with signing in and choosing a table
  • Serving hot kosher dinner plates
  • Assisting with busing tables and trays, wiping tables if needed
  • Serving our community with dignity and respect
  • Assisting crew with pantry bag assembly and distribution
Ages: Volunteers should be 14 or older

Time Commitment: Varies

Contact: Laura Allen or Brizaldis Veras, 718.972.4446 x 209. Registration is available online.    
Tootsie Pop Collection (A great idea for Halloween!)
Operation Goody Bag
Date/Time: At your convenience
Location: Drop off or ship Tootsie Pops to OGB Headquarters at 545 Rt 17S Paramus, New Jersey.

Operation Goody Bag was founded right after 9/11 to remember those who were lost, and to express support and appreciation to our military, veterans, and first responders who sacrifice so much to us safe and free. OGB sends more than 50,000 Goody Bags each year to troops and first responders. Each Goody Bag is filled with candy treats, personal letters, and printed messages of thanks. Operation Goody Bag sponsors goody bag creation events in the region, collects tootsie pops, and sponsors  "thank you note" and "goody bag coloring" projects. Tootsie Pops are the only candy OGB collects. If you live in the NY area, consider holding a Tootsie Pop collection this Halloween! OGB only accepts full/unopened bags and boxes of pops.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: for more information

Making Strides of Central Park
American Cancer Society
Date/Time: Sunday, October 16. Registration starts at 7am and the walk begins at 8am.
Location: Central Park, 72nd Street Bandshell, East 72nd Street and 5th Avenue

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Every family has been touched by cancer in some way, and many have been touched by breast cancer. Teach your kids about the importance of fundraising for cures and support programs, and enjoy a fun, celebratory day of walking in the park.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Marlene Medina,, 212.492.8417. Registration is available online.
Donate Used Halloween Costumes
Halloween Helpers
Date/Time: Collections should take place in early October. Contact Halloween Helpers for further details.
Location: Check their website for collection sites

Halloween is one of the most important events in a young child's life. It provides lifelong memories, develops self-worth, and allows kids to play an active role in their community.  Unfortunately, many children are unable to participate in this fun, annual experience because they do not have a costume. Developed in 2008 by then 11-year-old Emma Rose Shapiro, the mission of The Halloween Helpers is to collect previously enjoyed, gently-used Halloween costumes and donate them to children in need. Visit the Halloween Helpers website for downloadable forms, handouts, and signage to begin your collection drive. 

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact:, 610.642.7427
Trick or Treat for UNICEF
Date/Time: The 2016 UNICEF campaign runs from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017

Check the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF website for donation instructions

Add a giving component to your child's trick or treat experience! When children Trick or Treat for UNICEF, the donations they collect help add up to lifesaving change for children. UNICEF helps improve the health and wellness of children in over 150 countries and territories. You can help your children learn about issues facing other kids around the world including education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. Visit the Doing Good Together Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF project page for more ideas and reflection questions.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies

The United States 2016 Election is underway, and kids may have questions about American democracy. Start big-hearted conversations and lessons with the teaching tools in our DGT™ Resource Collection. Our ever-growing collection for both children and adults includes books, websites, and, of course, service projects.



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This list was compiled by Doing Good Together™ (
 When calling to volunteer for any of the opportunities listed above, please let the coordinator know you found it through this listing. You are encouraged to ask any questions you may have of the sponsoring organization before committing to a project.
Disclaimer: This list is provided as a service to families. Inclusion of organizations in this listing does not imply affiliation, endorsement or quality assurance on the part of Doing Good Together.™ Doing Good Together™ bears no responsibility whatsoever for the activities and actions of the listed organizations. 

                                                                                                     © 2016 Doing Good Together™


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