February 2015 - NYC Family Volunteer Opportunities



February 2015 - New York City


Share the Love! Valentine's Day Pajama and Stuffed Animal Drive  



Date/Time: Now through February 13


Location: Please email us at moreinfo@family-to-family.org and we'll link you with a shelter near your home. Or if you prefer, you can send your donations directly to one of the Family-to-Family locations listed on our website.  


New pajamas and a snuggly stuffed animal can make a child living in poverty feel special and secure. Consider sending one new pair of pajamas, any size, along with a new stuffed animal and a Valentine's Day card, to an American child living in poverty in one of the communities that Family-to-Family serves. Choose pajamas for a boy or girl size 18 months to size 16, and consider including a warm lap blanket or a cuddly stuffed animal. You and your children can make your own wrapping paper and a homemade Valentine's Day card, and the shelter or our community partners will distribute your gift to a child in need. When purchasing and sending PJs please purchase pajamas that meet federal safety regulations.  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact: moreinfo@family-to-family.org


Help Grow Big Hearts with the Big-Hearted Families Book Club!   

Doing Good Together


Date/Time: Place your order by February 1 to receive before Valentine's Day.    


Location: Your young recipient will enjoy this gift right at home   


Looking for something you feel GOOD about giving? Give a Valentine's Day gift of the Big-Hearted Families Book Club. You'll transform family night into a fun, book-centered kindness practice. Your recipient will receive a fantastic picture book, conversation starter questions,  a kindness related activity, tasty recipe and fun stickers right to their mailbox each month. You can subscribe for one month, three months, six months or a full year. Learn more and subscribe at our DGT Store.  


Ages: Most appropriate for children ages four to ten    


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact: Laurie at laurie@doinggoodtogether.org with any questions.


Make Valentine's for Women & Children  

Sanctuary for Families


Date/Time: Packages should be delivered prior to Monday, February 9


Location: Valentines should be dropped off or sent to Sanctuary's lower Manhattan location. Please contact Emily Lo Bue, elobue@sffny.org, for location details  


Sanctuary for Families is the leading nonprofit agency in New York State dedicated exclusively to serving the needs of domestic violence victims, sex trafficking victims, and their children. Sanctuary envisions a world in which freedom from gender violence is a basic human right. Valentine's Day can be a difficult time for victims of gender-based violence who are living in shelters. It is often a reminder of the violence that brought them to Sanctuary. Receiving valentines from those who care is a wonderful gift! Write an inspirational message, make cards, or include wrapped candy - whatever your heart desires!    


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact: Emily LoBue, elobue@sffny.org


Share Music with Elderly & Isolated Communities  

Hope for New York


Date/Time: Saturday, February 7, 1:30 - 3:30 pm


Location: Dewitt Nursing Home, 211 East 79th Street  


Does your child sing or play a musical instrument? Would they like to bring joy to an appreciative audience while making a difference in the community? Hope for New York is piloting a volunteer program for youth that provides opportunities for students ages 4 - 18 years old to perform for the elderly at area nursing homes and senior centers. Ten to twelve youth volunteers will each perform five minutes of music. There will be a pianist available to accompany students on songs if needed. Parents are welcome to attend. RSVP on the HFNY website. Parents may RSVP on behalf of young children and add them as guests during registration.  


Ages: Children ages 4-18 


Time Commitment: Two hours 


Contact: volunteer@hfny.org


Food Pantry or Soup Kitchen Food Preparation Volunteers  

St. Xavier Mission Food Pantry


Date/Time: Pantry stocking - Second Saturday of each month, 10:30am - noon; Food Preparation - Every Sunday, 8:45am - 11:30am


Location: St. Xavier Mission, 55 West 15th Street, New York City  


During the winter months, the demand for food pantry and soup kitchen services increases. Xavier Mission seeks to welcome, serve and empower those in our New York City community who are in need of human and material support. They provide food, clothing, shelter and life-skills training, guided always by a spirit of love and respect and the goal of building self-sufficiency and self-esteem. The Mission operates a food pantry, shelter and welcome table soup kitchen. Pre-registration is required via email.  


Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate. Children should be accompanied by an adult.  


Time Commitment: Approximately two and one-half hours  


Contact: Christine Strumpen-Darrie, xmfoodprograms@gmail.com


Annual Toiletry Drive in support of Valentine's Party for Homeless Women   

Brooklyn Community Services


Date/Time: All donations must be made by Thursday, February 12


Location: Drop all donations at BCS Headquarters, downtown Brooklyn, 285 Schermerhorn Street, weekdays between 9am - 5pm  


Please drop off new, unopened toiletries at the front desk of BCS Headquarters. Items should include: shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, face wash, feminine hygiene products, loofahs, moisturizer, lotion, makeup remover, cotton puffs, tissue boxes, makeup bags, and lip balm. Hotel or travel-size items are the perfect contribution. Please do not include any shaving razors. The items collected make a real difference to the homeless women served by BCS, who come into the shelter with very few personal possessions. All donated items will be included in gift bags distributed at the annual Valentine's Day Party held on February 15.  


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact: info@WeAreBCS.org, 718.310.5600


Martin Richard Bridge Builder Grant Program  

generationON, Hasbro and the Martin Richard Foundation


Date/Time: Applications are due February 13


Location: Apply online 


generationOn and Hasbro, Inc. have teamed up with the Martin Richard Foundation to announce the launch of The Martin Richard Bridge Builder Grant Program, a call to action for kids and teens ages 5-18 across the U.S. to submit service projects that will promote peace and kindness and create positive change in their schools and communities. Almost two years ago the nation watched as the Boston Marathon -- an athletic event that brings together the greater community in celebration of peaceful competition -- was disrupted by tragic violence. The outpouring of support and the engagement of the national and international community in the wake of the marathon, however, inspired communities around the world.

This year, generationOn and Hasbro are offering thirty $500 grants to encourage young people around the U.S. to take action that advances peace and kindness in their communities. This initiative is in the memory of Martin Richard, an eight-year-old who was tragically killed when the second of two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. In the days after the bombing, a photo of Martin holding a handmade poster that read, "No more hurting people - Peace" went global and made many see Martin as a symbol of peace. Martin's view of peace went well beyond simply wanting to prevent violence. To him, peace meant things like togetherness, compassion, teamwork, fairness, sportsmanship, inclusion, and being kind. Visit the generationOn website for idea starters, inspiration, lesson plans, recommended reading and videos. Grant applicants must have a U.S.-based nonprofit organizational partner (ex. school or community organization) that will receive your grant funds and pass them on to you. Click for online application.  


Ages: Ages 5-18 


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact: www.generationon.org/educators/news-events/bridge-builder


Donate Colorful and Cheerful Drawings  

Color A Smile


Date/Time: Any time - at your convenience


Location: Mail drawings to:
Color A Smile
P O Box 1516
Morristown, NJ 07962-1516  


Young children are prolific artists, especially when they are stuck inside during the colder months. If you have a little Picasso and are wondering what to do with all their masterpieces, consider sending them to Color A Smile. Color A Smile collects hundreds of drawings created by school children each month, and distributes them to Meals on Wheels programs, nursing homes, hospitals and individuals who are in need of a smile. Follow some simple guidelines, package the artwork together and ship it to Color A Smile, and they will make sure it gets into the hands of a person who needs cheering.   

  • Use 8.5 x 11 white paper
  • Use crayons or colored paper
  • Avoid glitter and glue
  • Avoid using phrases like "Feel better" or "Get Well"
  • Do not put a date on the drawing
  • Ask children to sign just FIRST name and age on the drawing
  • Use one side of paper only
  • Make sure the drawings are bright and happy!

Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Flexible


Contact: 973.540.9222


Create Cage Comforters for Shelter Animals  

Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals


Date/Time: Flexible


Location: 336 West 37th Street, 12th Floor, New York City  


Small quilts can change the lives of shelter animals. Cage comforters are simple, small quilts placed in the cages of shelter animals. Not only do they make the cage a more comfortable place to be, but they also can help to increase an animal's chances of adoption by reducing stress and allowing potential adopters to more easily see the animals as part of their homes and lives. Anyone who can thread a needle can create a cage comforter, and help get a Little New Yorker adopted! You and your children can make cage comforters for the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals or you can check out Doing Good Together's Create Pet Toys project page, which includes ideas for lots of different pet toy projects, and reflection questions and other resources. The animal lovers in your family will enjoy the activity of sharing love and toys with lonely pets. 


Ages: Everyone can participate 


Time Commitment: Varies


Contact: info@AnimalAllianceNYC.org or 212.252.2350



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This list was compiled by Doing Good Together™ (www.doinggoodtogether.org)
 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. 

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