December 2013 - NYC Family Volunteer Opportunities

DGT December 2013 New York City Family Volunteer Opportunities


December 2013 DGT New York Family Volunteer Opportunities

 DGT Color Logo

  December 2013 - New York 
Volunteer Opportunities
for Families 

Winter Wishes  

New York Cares


Date/Time: At your convenience - gifts should be sent by early December 


Location: Volunteers mail gifts directly to a Community Partners organization. 

Every holiday season, New York Cares works with over 250 Community Partners to provide holiday gifts for children, teens and seniors who might otherwise go without holiday cheer. New York Cares collects thousands of wish letters from Community Partners and distributes them to volunteers, who purchase gifts and grant the wishes. Register online to grant wishes. You can take one letter, or several. Each letter comes with approximately a $40 commitment. Volunteers mail the wrapped holiday gifts directly to the Community Partners using the address provided on the back of each letter. The Community Partners distribute the gifts to their clients who enjoy a happy holiday knowing someone in New York cares.

Please note: You must have a New York Cares account to register for this event. It is very easy to sign up for an account. Click this link to go to the account registration page.   


Ages: All ages can participate 


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact:, 212.228.5000 



Daily News Food Drive - Kids Can Help Week

City Harvest/Daily News


Date/Time: December 9 - 13


Location: Citywide - in your business, apartment building, school, club, Girl Scout/Boy Scout troop, etc.
The Daily News Food Drive is held citywide from October to January, with a special week in December highlighting the impact our city's kids can have on the issue of hunger. Help the Daily News and City Harvest reach their goal of 1 million pounds donated to feed hungry New Yorkers this holiday season by organizing your own food drive.  

How to plan your KIDS CAN HELP WEEK Food Drive: 

  1. Choose collection sites that are both highly visible and secure.
  2. Call 646.412.0758 or email City Harvest to arrange a pickup date ( City Harvest will send one of their food rescue trucks to pick up donations of more than 100 pounds.
  3. Put up City Harvest food drive posters at the collection sites a week or two before the start of the drive. City Harvest will supply the posters, just call 646.412.0758, email, or download the poster from the website.
  4. All types of canned and packaged goods are welcome, but no perishable foods please! This helps keep your collection site insect-free and ensures that all food collected is safe for consumption.  

The most needed foods are:  

  • canned fruit
  • canned vegetables
  • peanut butter (plastic jars)
  • mac and cheese (packaged)
  • hot and cold cereal (packaged, family-sized)

Ages: Everyone can  participate 


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact: Jeanne Traugot at, 1-800-77-HARVEST 



Keeping it Green for Families  

Central Park Conservancy


Date/Time: Sunday, December 15, 10am - noon


Location: Work together as a family to help keep Central Park green. Activities include spreading mulch, raking leaves and doing other important jobs in the Park. Led by environmental educators, projects take place throughout the Park. Participants should dress to get dirty and wear closed-toe shoes only. Gloves and tools are provided. Space is limited and advance registration is required.


Ages: Families with children ages 5 and over; maximum of three children per parent/guardian.


Time Commitment: Two hours


Contact: Register via email at, 212.310.6600 



4 Mile Road Race and ½ mile Reindeer Run for Kids

Jingle Bell Jog and Sneaker Drive


Date/Time: Saturday, December 7, beginning at 8:30am


Location: Central Park
This festive annual road race is a celebration and fundraiser benefiting New York Road Runners Youth Programming. NYRR provides running programs to over 200,000 children in underserved schools across the city. You can also give the "gift of running" by making a financial donation to the sneaker drive, providing new running shoes for Youth Runners and Mighty Milers. The new half mile Reindeer Run is a fun way for kids to participate and help other children. Each entrant receives antler headbands and jingle bells to wear during the race.


Ages: Reindeer Run is for children ages 7 - 10


Time Commitment: Approximately two hours


Contact: Register online at NYRR Jingle Bell Jog



Holiday Toy Collection  

Toys For Tots


Date/Time: Now until December 20


Location: The two major donation sites in Manhattan are at Toys-R-Us in Times Square and Babies-R-Us in Union Square. Check here for other local drop-off locations.
Toys for Tots is a well-known charity, established in 1991 by the US Marine Corps Toys For Tots Foundation. Their mission is simple: to provide a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas. Every child can relate to the idea that they receive so many gifts for the Holidays, and yet some children in our community may not receive a special toy for Christmas. Toys for Tots partners with major retailers every year, and you'll find donation boxes all over the city. It could not be easier to visit one of these stores with your children and let them pick out a toy for a child in need and place it in the donation box.


Ages: All ages can participate


Time Commitment: Flexible




Celebrate Hanukkah with Hurricane Sandy survivors

Met Council


Date/Time: Thursday, December 5, 9-11:30am


Location:  Met Council, 3811 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn
Celebrate Hanukkah with clients in a low-income senior residence in Seagate, a community that was especially hard-hit by Sandy. Last year, many of these individuals were still displaced from their homes during Hanukkah. Help give them a holiday to remember this year with jelly doughnuts, songs and dreidel games.    

Ages: All ages - a great activity for families with pre-school aged children


Time Commitment: Approximately two-and-a-half hours


Contact: Alex Shwarzstein, Volunteer Coordinator, 212.453.9526



Two Great Holiday Gifts that Give Back!  

Doing Good Together


Location: Order online. Your young recipient can enjoy these gifts right at home
Have kids on your gift-giving list? Looking for something you feel GOOD about giving? With these two gifts, ALL the proceeds benefit nonprofits that serve children and families. In addition, the gifts themselves teach children about the joy of doing for others. Most important of all, though, children will LOVE these fabulous presents.  


Big-Hearted Families Book Club  

Each month your recipient will receive one high-quality children's book, along with a kindness activity and an original recipe. Turn family night into a book-centered kindness practice! Choose between a one-month, three-month or full year subscription. (You can decide which month your subscription will begin.) Learn more & subscribe at our Big-Hearted Families shop


Crafts with Kindness Kits
Families can make a difference, right from their own kitchen table - and have fun in the process! Crafts with Kindness is an all-in-one craft kit that makes it easy for families to complete a meaningful service project, no matter how busy their schedule might be. Learn more & purchase your kits today: 


Ages: Most appropriate for children 3-9 years old


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact: Laurie at with any questions and   



Children's Coat Drive  

Baby Buggy


Date/Time: Flexible


Location: Drop-off location, 306 West 37th Street, 8th Floor
All over the city, New Yorkers help families in need by organizing their own coat drives in schools, apartment buildings, businesses, and places of worship. Help a family in need provide a warm coat for their child this winter.

How to Plan a Children's Coat Drive: 

  • Choose a collection site that is both highly visible and secure.
  • Put up Baby Buggy drive posters/printouts at the collection sites a week or two before the start of your drive to help spread the word.
  • Let Baby Buggy know when you are hosting the drive and the anticipated end date.
  • Contact Jeanne Martin, Volunteer Program Manager, to schedule a drop-off of collected coats. All items should be new or gently used.
  • Baby Buggy distributes coats to boys and girls from infants to age 14.

Ages: All ages 


Time Commitment: Flexible, at your convenience 


Contact: Jeanne Martin,, 212.239.1687 



Letters to Santa  

Macy's Believe Campaign - Make-A-Wish


Date/Time: At your convenience, until December 24


Location: Any Macy's retail store
This is the 6th year of Macy's Believe campaign benefiting Make-A-Wish. Kids of all ages can download a "letter to Santa" template from the Macy's website, and drop their stamped letter, addressed to Santa At The North Pole, in the Santa Mail letterbox at any Macy's retail store. For each letter received through December 24th, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-a-Wish, up to $1 million. Make-A-Wish provides magical, life-changing experiences for terminally ill children and their families.


Ages: All ages 


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact: You can download a template for a letter to Santa on Macy's website at



New York Cares 25th Annual Coat Drive  

New York Cares


Date/Time: Now through February 7 


Location: Donation sites are located across the city, in police stations, at major transportation terminals and at participating merchants. Check website for details on drop-off locations.
You may donate gently used coats at any one of the public donation sites, the New York Cares warehouse located in midtown, or you may start your own family coat drive. You can set up your  personal collection site/coat drive in your apartment building, church/temple, school or office. Recipients of the coats include churches, schools and shelters, all of which serve New York's most in-need populations.  Adult and child-sized coats are welcomed.


Ages: All ages can participate


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact:, 212.228.5000 



Chanukah Visitors for the Elderly  



Date/Time: December 1-4, at your convenience.  


Location: At the home of an elderly person in the community - typically Upper East or Upper West Side
Set aside one night of Chanukah to light the menorah with an elderly client of Dorot. Together, you and your family will create a memorable and meaningful Chanukah tradition, while fulfilling the mitzvot (commandment) of lighting Chanukah candles with a homebound elder who may have no family with whom to celebrate the holiday. Your family will assigned to an elder and you call them to schedule a time to visit and deliver a care package from Dorot filled with treats, a small menorah and candle


Ages: All ages, perfect for families


Time Commitment: Home visits should last between 30 minutes and an hour


Contact: Shelley Levine,, 917.441.5051 



Giving Tuesday  

Multiple opportunities - around NYC and online


Date/Time: Tuesday, December 3
The second annual #GivingTuesday is on December 3. #GivingTuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the holiday season, after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, #GivingTuesday celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations, and gives communities and families the opportunity to come together to help those in need. In New York, the 92nd Street Y was the catalyst and incubator for #GivingTuesday, and the United Nations Foundation joined as partners, along with many other charitable organizations. In 2012 there were over 2,500 recognized #GivingTuesday partners from all 50 states, and over $10 million in online donations were processed through partner agency websites. Search the website for registered partners and learn how you can support non-profits that work on issues of importance to you and your family.

Some examples of the projects you can support: 

  • WaterAid, a non-profit that works to ensure clean water, sanitation and hygiene in developing countries, has a matching grant that will double your donation on #GivingTuesday.
  • Mobile resource site MommyNearest and the 92nd Street Y are co-sponsoring
     a donation drive. You can drop off your gently used children's clothing and toys at the 92nd Street Y (1395 Lexington Avenue) or any Giggle retail location on December 3rd.  

Ages: Everyone can participate, at every level of financial support, and hands-on projects are available. Give a dollar or give your time, but be part of the movement.


Time Commitment: Flexible






Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter


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.

                                                                                                     © 2013 Doing Good Together


This email was sent to by |  
Doing Good Together | 5141 16th Avenue South | Minneapolis | MN | 55417