December 2017 NYC Family Volunteer Opportunities

December 2017 New York City Family Volunteer Opportunities


December 2017 - New York City

Family-to-Family, Inc.
Date/Time: Stockings should be delivered by December 14
Location: Email and they will link you with either a local shelter where you can bring your stockings or one of the impoverished communities where you can ship it. Either way, an outreach worker will hand out your stocking to a mom or dad in need to give to their child, or to an adult in need!  

It's that time of year again! With the holidays approaching, Family-to-Family is providing lots of great opportunities to help kids and families living in poverty, and to allow them to celebrate the holiday with dignity. You and your family can help by participating in the Stuff a Stocking campaign. Choose from the following items to stuff your stockings. You can stuff as many as you'd like! Interested in more ways to give back at the holidays? Visit the Family-to-Family Holiday giving page for more ideas.

  • A child size fleece blanket
  • A snuggly stuffed animal
  • A child's toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Travel size games like Sorry, chess or checkers
  • Mittens
  • Pinky ball
  • Perfume or fragrances for 9-12 yr. olds
  • Nail polish
  • Lip gloss
  • Holiday pencils
  • Lego sets
  • Small puzzles
  • Small blank journal & pen
  • Tube socks
  • Small flashlight with batteries
  • Harmonica
  • Jump rope
  • Winter gloves
  • Socks
  • Scarf
  • Soap & soap case
  • Body cream or moisturizer
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Fragrance
  • Small shampoo and conditioner
  • Lip balm or chapstick
  • Nail manicure kit
  • Crossword or Sudoku book
  • Deck of cards
  • Current magazine
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact:, 914.478.0756

12th Annual - Mom's Christmas Stocking Campaign
Mom's Christmas Stocking
Date/Time: Sunday, December 17, 1 - 3pm
Location: Grassroots Fitness Project, NEW LOCATION!  371 Amsterdam Avenue, second floor.

D. Wendy Strauss started this project in honor of her own mother. After her Mom passed away, Wendy found a request from her mom that she continue to fill a Christmas stocking for her each year, and to give it to a woman in need. Mom's Christmas Stocking fills upwards of 200 stockings for women and children each holiday season to be distributed to shelters in NYC through Women In Need ( Volunteers are needed to purchase stocking stuffers for women and babies and to participate on event day; filling stockings and transporting bags of filled stockings to the final location before pick up.

Suggested stocking stuffer items include:
  • Makeup
  • Travel size toiletries, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant 
  • Feminine products
  • Jewelry
  • Hair accessories
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss
  • Nail kits, emery boards, polish
  • Socks, trouser socks, slipper socks
  • Candy, chocolates, mints
  • Specialty gift items, hats, gloves, slipper socks, pashmina scarves
  • Pens, markers, notebooks, note pads, pocket calendars, date books
  • NEW baby clothing such as bibs, socks, onesies 
  • Child safe toys, bottles, pacifiers, baby care kits, wipes, diapers
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Shop in advance at your convenience, the "stuffing" event is two hours but drop in and stuff for as long as you'd like!
Contact: D. Wendy Strauss,  or, 212.920.4719
The Saturday Lunch Program
Manhattan Church of Christ
Date/Time: Saturday, December 23 and December 30, 10am - 2pm
Location: Manhattan Church of Christ, 48 East 80th Street
The Saturday Lunch Program provides hot meals to the homeless with dignity and compassion. 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 & clean up team. Volunteers help set up, prepare and serve meals, then break down and clean up.
Ages: All ages, families are encouraged to volunteer together.
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Volunteers should email Rev. Carl Garrison to sign up to volunteer.
Winter Wishes Amazon Wishlist
New York Cares
Date/Time: For the holidays - at your convenience
Location: Online
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. Thanks to New Yorkers like you, holiday gift requests of over 35,000 children, teens, and seniors will be fulfilled. Although traditional letter registration has now closed, you can still participate in our Amazon Wishlist, a quick and easy gift granting approach to ensuring all remaining winter wishes get granted and delivered on time.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact:, 212.228.5000
Holiday Toy Collection
Toys for Tots
Date/Time: At your convenience, until Christmas
Location: Search the Toys for Tots website for a local toy drop-off location site

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 joy a holiday gift brings, but 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. You children can pick out a toy for a child in need and bring it to a local donation box.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact:, 718.252.3100, ext 715. We are extremely busy during the holiday season. Please be patient and leave a clear and detailed message so we may return your call as soon as possible.
Annual Coat Drive
New York Cares
Date/Time: Now through December 31
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 also consider setting up a personal collection site/coat drive in your apartment building, church/temple, school or office. If you have more than two bags of coats to donate, please drop them off directly at the Coat Drive Warehouse. The Coat Drive Warehouse's loading dock, located at 157 West 31st Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan will stay open through December 31. The hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30am - 4:30pm.

For the last 29 years, New York Cares has organized the city's largest winter coat drive gathering over 1.8 million winter coats. Just last year, with the help of caring New Yorkers, we collected and distributed 109,000 winter coats to families who would have otherwise faced a long cold winter without one. 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 or you may start your own family coat drive. 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. Learn more about the Coat Drive here.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies

Beacon of Hope Christmas Party
Catholic Charities
Date/Time: Tuesday, December 5, 3 - 8pm
Location: Address will be provided to registered volunteers

Beacon of Hope House operates residences and a day program in Staten Island and the Bronx for approximately 400 individuals for persons with serious and persistent mental illnesses.
Volunteers will assist staff during our annual Christmas party. Volunteers are needed to:
  • Assist with set-up and break down
  • Serve food and drinks
  • Photograph groups and print and assemble photos into frames
  • Staff and organize our raffle items
Ages: Teens 16+ accompanied by an adult
Time Commitment: Five hours
#GetThere Transportation Fundraising Campaign
Date/Time: Now through December 31
Location: Online

A lack of transportation limits a parent's ability to take their children to school, to seek and retain a job, to visit the doctor, and to access the transformational services provided by our program partners. Two-thirds of the families Good+Foundation™ serves cannot afford basic transportation. They struggle to feed their families, pay rent and utilities, and keep up with living expenses. Using metropolitan transportation is a significant and regular drain on their limited resources. For the working poor, transit expenses often exceed 10 percent of their family budget. Basic transportation is not subsidized for the working poor or people living in poverty. This is where Good+Foundation comes in - by providing a stroller, or car seat, or transit pass, we can make traveling with children just a little bit easier. All day, every day families are forced to choose between meeting the most basic needs and getting where they need to go. Parents should not have to jump turnstiles or walk countless blocks in inclement weather to do what they need to do to earn a living and take care of their children. This holiday season, Good+Foundation is asking supporters to help provide 100 families with transportation resources (strollers, car seats, transit passes) to ensure they can get to work, provide for their families, and participate in programs that will help their families forge brighter futures. You can read here about how advocates are working for discounted transit fares for the working poor in New York City. Help support this campaign by taking a selfie using your favorite mode of transportation with our #GetThere hashtag to help Good+Foundation reach our goal of 100 families.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Click here for more information.
Letters to Santa
Macy's Believe Campaign - Make-A-Wish
Date/Time: Until December 24
Location: Any Macy's retail store

This is the 9th 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: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Click here to learn more.
Letters of Gratitude
Operation Gratitude
Date/Time: Ongoing
Location: Put all loose artwork and letters/cards (no individual envelopes) in a large envelope or box according to their recipient type, and ship to:
Operation Gratitude
ATTN: Letter Writing Program
21100 Lassen Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311-4278

Write letters to our military, veterans and first responders. Operation Gratitude sends care packages to our active duty military, veterans, first responders and new recruits. Each package includes a bundle of letters from the American people, thanking them for their service to our country. Package recipients tell us these letters, notes, and drawings are the most cherished items in their box. Visit the Operation Gratitude website for full instructions.

Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Help Brighten the Holidays for Others - Adopt-a-Family
Do you and your family want to find an opportunity to make the holidays brighter for others?  Adopting a disadvantaged child or family at holiday time can inspire a sense of giving in your children. The Doing Good Together Adopt a Child or Family project page provides more ideas and resources. Many community organizations offer holiday food or toy programs to their clients. Here is a list of organizations you can contact to see how your family can help:

Display a Kindness Quilt
Create a Kindness Quilt
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: Anytime
Location: Your home
During this busy holiday season sharing kind acts can be a wonderful way for your family to reconnect. Your family can take time to celebrate small acts of kindness with a paper quilt. Designed to accompany The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, this project will have your family doing a kind act, drawing a picture of it, and sharing it with one another in the form of a beautiful, continuously growing paper quilt. Find project templates and more information on the Doing Good Together Display a Kindness Quilt project page.
Ages: Everyone can participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Just in time for Holiday Shopping... DGT™ debuts a SHOP KIND Store!

You've relied on DGT for tips, activities, book recommendations, and more. Now we have another resource to offer: our SHOP KIND Store. This online store features a page of kindness-themed Amazon store items (because, yes, DGT is an Amazon Affiliate Advertiser). And we have just launched another SHOP KIND page featuring like-minded organizations offering outstanding, mission-driven products. You can try these unique items for your next service project or when you're shopping for big-hearted gifts for yourself or others. We'll be  continually adding more items, so revisit often to find something new. We think you'll like what we've found, and we look forward to your feedback and suggestions for more SHOP KIND products!


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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. 

                                                                                                     © 2017 Doing Good Together™


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