How to Help this Holiday Season: Volunteer Opportunities in Brooklyn

As we head into a most unusual holiday season, we at PSP hope you’ll join us in supporting those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic and its effects on poverty,  food insecurity,  and housing insecurity. No matter your age, skillset, or availability, there’s an opportunity for you to donate some time or money to lend a hand this holiday season.

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Donate a Coat or Volunteer at the PS 321 Coat Drive

Purchase a Gift through the Sheltering Arms Winter Wonders Gift Drive

Donate a Gift to the Old Stone House and 5th Avenue BID Toy Drive

Purchase a Gift for an NYC Public School Student

Volunteer to Be a Card Angel

Donate a Coat to the New York Cares Coat Drive

Purchase a Gift for Homeless Children and Families in Kensington

Purchase a Gift for Homeless Children Through the Women in Need Gift Drive

Purchase a Gift for Kids Impacted by Homelessness

Support Latinx Families in Sunset Park with Mixteca

Donate Time or Supplies to the Camp Friendship Food Pantry

Donate to or Volunteer with the Grocery Support Program

Thank Healthcare Heroes with a Free Bike Tune-Up

Support CHiPS

Shop Small Local with a Digital Park Slope Gift Card

Support our Local Businesses and Cultural Institutions with a Gift Membership

Help Set a Guinness World Record with Kids for Peace

Support Your Neighbors Through a Local Mutual Aid Group

Donate Children’s Books

Find Family Volunteer Opportunities Through Doing Good Together

   

Donate a Coat or Volunteer at the PS 321 Coat Drive

When: November 29–December 4

Who: PS 321/The William Penn School

What: The cold weather is almost here, and this year—even more than usual—many New Yorkers don’t have coats to keep them warm. Have you been looking for a place to donate a few coats that don’t quite fit anymore? Look no further than PS 321's annual coat drive.

How: Go here to learn more and sign up to volunteer.

 

 

Purchase a Gift through the Sheltering Arms Winter Wonders Gift Drive

When: Gifts are due to Sheltering Arms by December 4

Who: Sheltering Arms, addressing the effects of social inequity in the most challenged communities in New York City.

What: The annual Winter Wonders Gift Drive gathers gifts and gift cards for over 5,000 children and youth in Sheltering Arms' programs. Kids share ideas about the gifts they would be most excited to receive this year, then Sheltering Arms shares their Amazon Wish List or provides wish letters written by some of the children. All unwrapped gifts are shipped, dropped off, or picked up, and Sheltering Arms handles the distribution.

How: Learn more and get the link to the wish list here.

 

 

Donate a Gift to the Old Stone House and 5th Avenue BID Toy Drive

When: Drop off gifts to the OSH by December 13

Who: The Old Stone House and the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District

What: The OSH and BID are hosting a toy drive for the Brownsville Recreation Center, which provides children, adults, and seniors with a fitness center and recreational activities; access to a computer resource center, and a free after-school program.

How: Bring a new, wrapped gift appropriate for kids ages 5–9. Please mark each package with "B" for boy, "G" for girl, or "X" for gender neutral. Drop off the toys at OSH during their Open Hours on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays from Noon–3 pm before December 13.

 

 

Purchase a Gift for an NYC Public School Student

When: Deliver or drop off to Sugarplum Sled headquarters by December 15

Who: The Sled, assisting underprivileged NYC Public School students and their families.

What: The Sled has compiled a registry of items requested by kids who could not otherwise receive a gift this season. You can finance as many gifts as you would like to be delivered to families in classrooms and housing units throughout the five boroughs.

How: Check out the 2020 Sugarplum Sled List here.

 

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Volunteer to Be a Card Angel

When: Anytime before the holidays

Who: The Angel Card Project

What: The Angel Card Project is an internet-wide charity event designed to send greeting cards to those in need. In 2019, they saw their biggest year ever, with 3,952 volunteers sending over 71,000 Christmas cards . This year, you can volunteer to send cards and make 2020 an even bigger success!

How: Anyone may volunteer to send cards. Each volunteer is responsible for their own cards and postage and will be responsible for making sure all cards are received by the post office. There is no limit on the number of cards required to send. Learn more and sign up to mail out cards here.

 

 

Donate a Coat to the New York Cares Coat Drive

When: Anytime

Who: New York Cares, the largest volunteer network in NYC, offering thousands of volunteer opportunities with nonprofits and schools in all five boroughs.

What: Community partners throughout Brooklyn and New York are in need of coats for men, women, children, and infants.

How: Use the drop-off map to find partners near you accepting donations, the kinds of coats they need, contact information, and drop-off times.

 

Purchase a Gift for Homeless Children and Families in Kensington

When: Anytime

Who: The Kensington Family Shelter, offering families a supportive, structured therapeutic, safe, and drug-free facility

What: With two curated wish lists for kids and adults, you can select as many gifts as you'd like to donate to shelter residents.

How: View the kids' wish list here and the adults' wish list here.

We know that many people want to support struggling local businesses this year, so if you would like to purchase an item from the list at another business and drop off or ship to the shelter, feel free! Please just mark the item as purchased on the list so they don’t get doubles.

If you are able to select the gift wrap option when ordering, that would be amazing. Otherwise, shelter staff will be putting anything unwrapped in gift bags (which are also on the wish list, along with batteries, if you don't feel like browsing hundreds of toys!)

Shelter address: The Kensington Gift Drive / Attn: Uniquia / 385 McDonald Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11218

 

Purchase a Gift for Homeless Children Through the Women in Need Gift Drive

When: Anytime

Who: Women in Need (WIN), the largest provider of shelter and supportive housing for New York City's homeless families, especially women and children.

What: The NEW Shirley Chisholm Family Shelter has opened on 4th Ave and 14th Street in South Slope. They’ll soon be opening the Rosa Parks housing. They are trying to get ahead of the game with the holidays coming, so they’ve asked us to share this link to their gift registry. The gifts start at $25 and go up from there, covering babies, toddlers, and more. You can also buy a gift card (same link).

How: Head here for links to WIN's gift registries. If you would like to donate a gift card, please set the value for $25 and select "email delivery" so the card is sent via email to the address on the registry (i.e. Win - Shirley Chisholm & Target's charity registry).

 

Purchase a Gift for Kids Impacted by Homelessness

When: Anytime

Who: Lantern Community Services, championing the independence and well-being of New Yorkers who are impacted by or threatened with homelessness.

What: Lantern Community Services champions the independence and well-being of New Yorkers who are impacted by or threatened with homelessness. The families they serve struggle on very low incomes, and many of their youth don’t have families to turn to at all. This means that their teenagers and young adults often go without a gift at the holidays. We want this year to be different. With your help, Lantern will make sure that every single one of them receives a gift. 

How: View the wish list here. If you’d like to donate money instead of going through Amazon, you can do that here. Go here to get a tax-deductible form.

 

 

 

Support Latinx Families in Sunset Park with Mixteca

When: Anytime or at Mixteca's weekly Saturday food pantry, located at 245 23rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215 

Who: Mixteca, empowering the Mexican and Latin-American immigrants of the New York area by providing them access to services that enhance their quality of life and will allow them to reach sustainable social and economic development.

What: Make a donation for the COVID Emergency Relief Fund or volunteer at the weekly food pantry for families.

How: Go here to donate and here to volunteer.

 

 

Donate Time or Supplies to the Camp Friendship Food Pantry

When: Anytime

Who: Camp Friendship Brooklyn, providing NYC youth with the tools, confidence and support to become healthy, successful and responsible citizens.

What: Every week approx. 50-60 volunteers, a very diverse and multigenerational group of adults and seniors, high school/college kids, local moms and dads wear their masks, organize inventory, make deliveries using their own vehicles, stuff produce and pantry bags and staff donation tables around the neighborhood. Many other volunteers help out from home with graphic design, social media, volunteer recruitment, filling out applications and putting up flyers, etc.

How: Learn more about the various volunteer opportunities here and fill out a volunteer interest form here.

If you're able, consider making a financial contribution. Camp Friendship spends approximately $1000 a week on purchasing fresh produce.

The pantry also accepts donations of non-perishable food at the Camp Friendship club house, which is located at 339 8th Street (corner of 6th Avenue). Donations can be dropped off on Saturdays, 10 am–2 pm.

 

 

Donate to or Volunteer with the Grocery Support Program

When: Anytime

Who: Greater Prospect Heights Mutual Aid, a network of neighbors assisting those in need

What: The GPHMA Grocery Support Program is an initiative helping financially constrained neighbors acquire food and other basic household items throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic upheaval.

How: Learn more, donate, and sign up to volunteer here.

 

 

Thank Healthcare Heroes with a Free Bike Tune-Up

When: Anytime

Who: This is a crowdfunded effort!

What: With a second wave on its way, help a first responder get to work safely on their bike! For $25, you can pay to tune up one healthcare worker's bike (including parts and service) at the NewYork Presbyterian - Methodist Hospital in Park Slope.

How: Learn more and donate here.

 

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Support CHiPS

When: Anytime

Who: CHiPS, feeding the hungry in their soup kitchen and sheltering homeless pregnant women and their infants.

What: CHiPS has arranged to hand out hundreds of takeaway Thanksgiving meals on Thursday, November 26th. While they're no longer in need of help for the Thanksgiving holiday, you can support their ongoing week to feed and shelter those in need by donating or signing up for future volunteer opportunities.

How: Learn more about donation and volunteering options here.

 

 

Shop Small Local with a Digital Park Slope Gift Card

When: Anytime

Who: Park Slope 5th Avenue Business Improvement District

What: Send a Digital Park Slope Gift Card and support small local! The #theother5th Park Slope Gift Card can be used in many of your favorite local stores, restaurants and services.

How: Learn more and purchase a gift card here.

 

 

Support our Local Businesses and Cultural Institutions with a Gift Membership

When: Anytime

Who: Dozens of restaurants, businesses, and institutions in our local area

What: Purchase a membership to a local institution for a loved one or for yourself. Buy gift certificates and order in from your favorite local restaurants to give them a BOOST, as cold weather will impact sales.

How: Here are links to just a few of our amazing local cultural institutions:

Prospect Park Alliance

Prospect Park Zoo

Green-Wood Cemetery

The Old Stone House

 

 

Help Set a Guinness World Record with Kids for Peace

When: By January 5, 2021

Who: Kids for Peace, empowering and mobilizing youth to create peace through hands-on service, global friendships and thoughtful acts of kindness.

What: Kids for Peace will set a new Guinness World Record by creating a 110+ mile inspirational paper-chain. They will collect 1.5 million links of recycled/reused paper each with a message of love & hope for the world. Once “social-distancing” is lifted and it is again safe to gather in groups, they will assemble the Linked By Love paper-chain. After the chain is officially measured for the Guinness World Record, they will distribute sections to hospitals, senior centers, libraries and more as a beautiful reminder that we are all Linked By Love!

How: Everyone in the entire world is invited to create links for the global Linked By Love paper-chain! Links for the paper-chain must be postmarked to Kids for Peace HQ by January 5, 2021. Get details on how to create your chain link here.

 

 

Support Your Neighbors Through a Local Mutual Aid Group

 

Donate Children's Books

When: Anytime

Who: Brooklyn Book Bodega, aiming to increase the number of 100+ book homes for kids 0-18 in NYC.

What: Donate your new and gently used children’s book at one of Brooklyn Book Bodega’s book donation locations in Brooklyn. They accept gently used and new books for ages 0–18, including foreign language, dual language, and nonfiction books.

How: Drop off at the following locations.

BROOKLYN NAVY YARD: ANYTIME DURING THEIR OPEN LOBBY HOURS

Building 77, 141 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (bin located next to security desk in Building 77)

826NYC: ANYTIME DURING THEIR OPEN STORE HOURS

372 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Read through full details before donating.

 

Find Family Volunteer Opportunities Through Doing Good Together

When: Anytime

Who: Doing Good Together, a Minnesota-based national nonprofit that works to make volunteering and service, along with daily kindness, easy for every family.

What: Each month, DGT™ does the research to find family-friendly volunteer opportunities in cities across the U.S., including New York, New York, as well as providing a range of other opportunities to get involved locally and nationally.

How: Go here to learn about NYC volunteer opportunities, and explore DGT's website for more ways to get involved.