Community Leaders, Living, Tips & Techniques

7 places to volunteer in NYC this Holiday season

If you are able to give, you should.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Nov 13, 2022

For 7 years now, my siblings and I have volunteered our time and belongings to Operation Christmas Child. The non-profit organization looks to give school supplies, toys, gently used stuffed animals, and clothing to children in need — whether they are homeless, low-income, or orphans. Throughout the year, we collect shoeboxes (the storage the organization prefers to receive) and fill them with books, pencils, toys, and shirts. It’s a beautiful organization that accepts shipments.


For example, there are locations throughout the nation, but the one where we volunteer at is based in California. It always feels better giving time to a good cause, proving there is still humanity left in the world that understands if you have more, you should give to others who do not.


I’ve lived in New York for 5 years and am ashamed to say I have never volunteered here, while I do in California when I visit my hometown. I have now made it one of my top goals for 2023 and beyond to volunteer and help those in need. So, ahead are 7 non-profit organizations that are in need and drastically rely on the help of volunteers.


Gobble Gobble Give NYC

Thanksgiving is a very specific and important time to give food to families and those struggling. Gobble Gobble Give NYC packages meals, toiletries, blankets and delivers hot meals and care packages throughout the city on Thanksgiving Day. You can volunteer to be part of the kitchen crew, a food boxer, a driver, or help with clean up.


Donate to Gobble Gobble Give here


ggg nyc

Photo via Gobble Gobble Give


Pay Away the Layaway

Burlington, Walmart, and several other businesses have programs for parents who can’t afford to give their children gifts. They work with them to put the items on layaway until they can be fully paid for. Pay Away the Layaway allows you to pay for these books, backpacks, toys, blankets, coats, clothing, and more that the parents desire to give their kids. You can simply make a one-time online donation, start a fundraiser to settle the layaways, or volunteer at a local pay-off event.


Donate to Pay Away the Layaway here


pay away layaway

Photo via Pay Away Layaway


God’s Love We Deliver

Since 1985, God’s Love We Deliver has been improving the health and well-being of adults and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other serious sickness by alleviating hunger and malnutrition.


Donate to God’s Love We Deliver here



Photo via Nicola Bailey


Heart of Dinner

Created to benefit the food insecurity and isolation in New York City’s elderly Asian American community, Heart of Dinner helps the AAPI communities by packaging nourishing meals into hand-illustrated bags with handwritten notes.


Donate to Heart of Dinner here


heart of dinner copy

Photo via Heart of Dinner


Operation Blessing

For ongoing strategic relief from natural disasters, Operation Blessing offers health and medical care, hunger aid, and clean water to those in the nation and abroad. You can volunteer your time, purchase merchandise, or donate to disaster victims.


Donate to Operation Blessing here



Photo via Operation Blessing


One Love Community Fridge

One Love Community Fridge looks to debunk the stigma to have fresh and healthy fruit and vegetables by minimizing food waste and decreasing food insecurity. They place 24/7 access refrigerators all over Brooklyn for families and individuals in need.


Donate to One Love Community Fridge here


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Photo via Miranda Levingston for BK Reader


Meals on Wheels

Help out the nearly 7 million seniors living in poverty with 80% experiencing food insecurity in America. Some of them don’t have access or the ability to visit a food bank or soup kitchen so Meals on Wheels steps in to provide nutritious food and friendly visits to seniors. You can help by being a regular volunteer or making online donations.


Donate to Meals on Wheels here


means on wheels

Photo via Meals on Wheels


As a pro tip: When selecting a charity, consider what involvement you want — a one-off, recurring, online, or in-person activity. Be sure to research your organization of choice; where your donation will go, and what impact it will have. AKA, make sure what they say and what they do reflects in the outcomes they produce.


Here are 7 more places where you can donate this holiday season.Remember, it’s always a great time to help someone in need.