November 2016 - NYC Family Volunteer Opportunities

November 2016 New York City Family Volunteer Opportunities



November 2016 - New York City

Thousand Turkey Challenge Kick-off and Family Volunteer Day!
Doing Good Together - New York and West Side Campaign Against Hunger Interfaith Coalition
Date/Time: Sunday, November 20, 12:30 - 2pm
Location: WSCAH - 263 West 86th Street, in the basement of the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew (Between West End Avenue and Broadway)

Doing Good Together/NY has received a generous grant from GenerationOn with support from the Walt Disney Company. We will be sponsoring a fun and meaningful service event for Family Volunteer Day, in conjunction with the West Side Campaign Against Hunger Interfaith Coalition and their Thousand Turkey Challenge Kick-off event. Families are welcome to visit WSCAH to learn more about their supermarket-style food pantry. All participating families are asked to bring a frozen turkey to donate to The Thousand Turkey Challenge (or donate $18, the price of one turkey). There is a Gristedes market next door to WSCAH so you can purchase your turkey on your way to the event. A representative of WSCAH will speak to our group and provide tours of the pantry. We will have arts and crafts projects for the children; recipe sharing for the adults; snacks, refreshments and other surprises. We will also be creating toiletry kits for food pantry clients.  Please consider bringing any travel-sized toiletry items you may have at home, or purchase some to donate to this project.

Please note:
If you cannot attend the Family Volunteer Day event on 11/20, please still consider donating a frozen turkey to WSCAH for the Thousand Turkey Challenge. You can bring your
turkeys on Monday and Tuesday, November 21 and 22, from 9am - 8pm and Wednesday, November 23 from 9am - 1pm. FROZEN TURKEYS ONLY. You can also donate online  or Text TURKEY to 77948 on your smartphone ($18 per turkey).

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: One and one-half hours
Contact: RSVP for the Kick-off/Family Volunteer Day to, 917.519.8108


Learn more about
helping the hungry

Thanksgiving Holiday Meal for the Homeless
Manhattan Church of Christ
Date/Time: Saturday, November 26th, shifts beginning at 9am. The meal will take place from 11am - 2pm. Volunteers may stay for as long as they like.
Location: Manhattan Church of Christ, 48 East 80th Street

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Manhattan Church of Christ opens it's doors to serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal to the homeless.  All shifts are family-friendly, and involve a set-up team to set tables and decorate, a service team to run trays of food back and forth to the guests, and a break down and clean up team.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Volunteers should email Rev. Carl Garrison to sign up to volunteer,

Celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Feeding NYC
Feeding NYC
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 22; several shifts, beginning at 6am
Location: Pier 60/Chelsea Piers - 23rd Street and West Side Highway

FeedingNYC is a grass roots organization that relies on the generosity of volunteers to help provide Thanksgiving dinners to thousands of families in need throughout New York City. Benefitting the Dream Big Foundation, FeedingNYC has delivered over 43,000 complete Thanksgiving meals to sheltered families for 15 years! You may sign up to join over 400 volunteers to pack and deliver thousands of Thanksgiving meals to local families and shelters.
Ages: All ages are welcome  to participate. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by adult and have a signed waiver.
Time Commitment: Two to three hours, depending on shift
Contact: Registration is available online.
Thanksgiving Turkey Drive for Families in Need 
Date/Time: At your convenience, before Thanksgiving
Location: Online

Help make Thanksgiving happen again this year, for all the families in our "extended family." Consider making a $20 donation to purchase a turkey plus one side dish (e.g. potatoes or stuffing) for one recipient Family-to-Family family. Or, buy a "flock of turkeys" (you choose how many) to feed more than one family. If you currently sponsor a family, send an email at after you donate, with your name, the name of your sponsored family and the community where they live. Family-to-Family will make sure they receive your turkey, and will let them know you've purchased it specifically for them. If you don't sponsor a family, they will donate the turkey to a family that didn't get one. To learn more about sponsoring a family, visit
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment:  It only takes a few minutes to donate online, but you and your family can use this opportunity to talk about what it would be like to not be able to afford a Thanksgiving dinner, and why it's important to you to help other families.
Contact:, 914.478.2641. Click here to learn more and to make your Turkey Drive donation.
Deliver Meals to Homebound Elderly
City Meals on Wheels
Date/Time: Every Saturday morning
Location: Throughout the Bronx

The heart of the City Meals on Wheels program is the hand-delivery of nutritious meals to homebound elderly. Meal recipients look forward to these essential meals; the personal visits that come with them help brighten their days.

Ages: Volunteers must be 18 and older and have their own vehicle; children may participate with a parent or guardian.
Time Commitment: Two to three hours
Contact: Sheila Clay, Volunteer Programs Coordinator, 646.866.6286 

Learn more about
helping the elderly

Keeping it Green for Families
Central Park Conservancy
Date/Time: Sundays, November 13, 20 and 27, 10 am - noon
Location: Central Park
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. Sessions are led by environmental educators. Space is limited and advance registration is required.
Ages: Families with children age five and older
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: 212.310.6600. To register for Keeping it Green with Families please contact with the following information:
Name, date requested, number of adults, number and ages of children
The 23rd Annual Race To Deliver
God's Love We Deliver
Date/Time: Sunday, November 20. The adult race starts at 8:30am, Kids' Races start at 10am
Location: Central Park

The Race to Deliver is one of GLWD's largest annual fundraisers. It is a 4 mile run/walk in Central Park, followed by multiple-distance Kids' Races. The race is a symbol of the daily race to ensure that no person ever has to face the unthinkable combination of illness and hunger. The goal for this year is funding for 40,000 meals, $10 = one meal.  You may sign up for the races, join a team, sponsor a runner or sponsor a team, all through the website.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Several hours, depending on which races you run
Contact:, 212.294.8119
28th Annual Coat Drive
New York Cares
Date/Time: Coat Drive Officially kicks off on November 7
Location: Donation sites are located across the city, in Police Stations, at major transportation terminals and at participating merchants. Check the website for details on drop-off locations. You may also consider setting up a personal collection site/coat drive in your apartment building, church/temple, school or office. In addition, the New York Cares Coat Drive Warehouse's loading dock, located at 157 West 31st Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan, opens on November 7, and will stay open through December 31. The hours are Monday through Friday, 9am - 4:30pm. When dropping off your coats to the warehouse, please call 646.801.4022 and someone from the Coat Drive staff will meet you outside to help unload your coats.

It is never too early to start collecting coats for the New York Cares Coat Drive. As the weather begins to get colder, New York Cares starts to distribute coats to Community Partners. You may donate gently used coats at any one of the public donation sites (see website for a list), or you may start your own family coat drive. All coats need to be delivered to the New York Cares warehouse located in midtown. 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: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies

Contact:, or to register your own coat drive, email, 212.228.5000
Share Your Abundance this Thanksgiving
NY Common Pantry
Date/Time: Call Jen Winter at 917.720.9710 or email her at to arrange a pick-up. The last pick-up day will be Wednesday, November 16.
Location: NY Common Pantry, 8 East 109th Street

Organize your own food drive to benefit the NY Common Pantry. The NY Common provides over 2,000 complete Thanksgiving meals each year. Consider organizing your own drive to help the Pantry collect food to be distributed to low-income New York families to ensure that everyone who relies on the NY Common Pantry will have the food that they need to have a festive and memorable holiday.

How to Plan a Food Drive:
Choose collection sites that are both highly visible and secure, and promote to neighbors and friends. Items to be collected include:
  • Canned cranberry sauce
  • Rice
  • Gravy
  • Corn Bread Mix
  • Stuffing Mix
  • 18 oz Oatmeal containers
  • Cake/Brownie Mix
  • Frosting
  • Pasta
  • Canned Beans
  • Dry Beans

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Jen Winter, 917.720.9710 or
Thanksgiving Community Feast
Chilis on Wheels
Date/Time: Thursday, November 24, noon - 2pm
Location: Tompkins Square Park (East 9th Street & Avenue B)

Chilis on Wheels was started on November, 2014 by Michelle Carrera. After searching for a soup kitchen that would serve a vegan Thanksgiving meal and coming up empty, she decided to cook her own chilis and take them directly to people in need of a warm meal. After receiving a lot of support and encouragement from family and friends, and after seeing first hand the need for such a program, she became inspired and committed to bringing vegan food to those in need. Join Chilis on Wheels for our 2nd Annual Vegan Thanksgiving Community Feast! You are encouraged (but not required) to bring a vegan dish of your choosing to help us celebrate! We will serve food and we will eat food, breaking down the barriers of us vs. them. We expect to serve 1,000 meals and we need your help to do it. We are all part of the community and we should all enjoy a delicious vegan meal together!

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: One to two hours
"Stuff a Shirt" for the Homeless!
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Contact and Family-to-Family will help you identify a local shelter to which you can bring your donations.

This Thanksgiving, make your meal more meaningful by asking your family and guests to stuff a shirt for the homeless. Many homeless people find themselves moving from one shelter to another, carrying their clothes and other possessions the only way they can - in trash bags. They also have limited and inconsistent access to personal care items, like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes, etc. You can help! As part of your Thanksgiving gathering this year, ask your guests to each bring either:
  • a new or gently used soft suitcase, duffel, etc.
  • a backpack
  • a large sized toiletries or cosmetics bag
  • OR a clean, new L or XL t-shirt
Ask everyone to bring small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soaps, wash cloths, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, body lotions, shaving cream and any other personal care items you might think of to your house. Consider also including kid's shampoo and conditioner as well as kid's toothbrushes and toothpaste. Then have each participant pack the soft suitcases, bags etc. with the personal care items, or lay the t-shirts out flat, and put the personal care items in the center of the t-shirts. Wrap the shirt up around the items like a sack/bag, and tie it with a ribbon or string. You might find that swapping and sharing the personal care items will ensure that each t-shirt "bag" or suitcase has variety. For a nice personal touch, you can make a label with a good will wish and attach it to the ribbon or string, or the handle of the suitcase, etc. 

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Sponsor a Family  
The Box Project
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: The Box Project will match you with a family that lives in an area of rural poverty in the Mississippi Delta.
You and your family can make a difference by sponsoring a family with The Box Project. You'll enrich the lives of a family living in poverty in rural America by establishing a meaningful, long-term relationship and providing needed supplies. The Box Project helps to create supportive, personal relationships directly between a sponsor family and a family in need living in rural America. The Box Project acts as matchmaker, pairing sponsors with carefully screened individuals or families that need help. The sponsors offer long term, meaningful interactions including encouragement, advice, and boxes of needed supplies about once a month. Box items will vary from family to family and month to month, but typically include household supplies, food, school supplies, clothing or seasonal items.
Ages: Families are welcome to participate.
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact:, 662.449.5002 or 800.268.9928. Sponsorship registration is available online.
Whether you use our listings monthly, occasionally, or are a new subscriber, you probably already know about the awesome benefits that come with family volunteering. Now you can increase those benefits by reflecting on the experience with your children. DGT™ REFLECTION SHEETS offer useful stats, reading recommendations, and conversation starters for
big-hearted discussions. We have sheets on a variety of topics such as Helping the Hungry, Caring for Animals, Healing the Earth, and more! Look for the LEARN MORE symbol on select volunteer opportunities to download your free clickable/printable PDF sheets.


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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. 

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