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‘Tis the Season of Giving : Consider Volunteering over the Holidays3 min read

As we wrap up 2022, we wanted to take a break from talking about business and turn our attention to helping our community. For that, we thought we’d compile a list of places to volunteer over the holidays both in NYC and remotely. Donating financial resources is great, but there’s something particularly special about volunteering your time. It’s an opportunity to bond with others and make your community a better place. Getting to know people from different walks of life is an enriching experience that not only forces you to reflect on your worldview, but it turns you into a more understanding and compassionate individual… and quite frankly, the world needs more of that. We put together the following list by researching local community boards and with the help of the Langone Student Government’s philanthropy team. We hope you will consider giving some of your precious time to a cause that speaks to your heart. Happy holidays & happy giving! 

The Bowery Mission – Commonly known as a food bank and soup kitchen, the Bowery Mission also helps New Yorkers overcome homelessness by providing transitional housing, meals, clothing and support to find a permanent home. You can volunteer by serving meals, tutoring or mentoring at their lower Manhattan location.

NY Common Pantry – This organization operates three different food pantries, one in the Bronx and two in uptown Manhattan.  They put an emphasis on providing nutritious meals to those in need and also have programs to connect homeless visitors to helpful resources. You can volunteer by serving meals at one of their locations. 

New York Cares – An organization with a wide range of volunteer opportunities, from providing coats in the winter to distributing groceries to seniors in need. Their website has a search function where you can match your interests with specific causes.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC – Having a good mentor can make a huge difference in someone’s life and especially for children. This organization matches adults who can commit to at least one year of mentorship with a child, although the requirement is just 8 hours per month. The goal is for the mentor or “Big” to inspire the child aka “Little” much like an older sibling would, to succeed academically and pursue further educational and career opportunities.

Cardo –This is not an in-person volunteering opportunity, but it is still a face-to-face one. 

This non-profit lets you use your professional skills to provide industry-specific career guidance to those from underserved communities. There is a screening process to serve as a mentor, so perhaps the timeline may vary but it can be done remotely.

City Harvest –Since 1982, this organization has been collecting excess food from restaurants and supermarkets to redistribute to soup kitchens and community pantries. They offer many opportunities to volunteer as individuals or in groups. 

Feeding America – With the goal of ending hunger in the US, this organization operates food pantries nationwide. There are different ways to volunteer, some of them include sorting and packing food, tending a food bank, or even hosting a food drive.

PHOTO CREDIT: NY Common Pantry

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