Volunteering With Kids

There are many amazing ways to celebrate the holidays in New York, but the best way to feel the spirit of the season is through compassion and service.

Please email us if you have any questions or suggestions (and see our guides to learning about history/citizenship and Black culture to nourish empathy).

Cards For Seniors

Make cheerful cards for isolated seniors. Use big print (not cursive) so the card is easy to read. Provide stickers and stencils to help the younger kids. Adults can make cards too. A great use for all the artwork kids bring home.

Join the NYC-based Caring By Card Nursing Home Project, donate through DOROT and Meals on Wheels NYC or check with local nursing homes.

See our guide to arts & crafts resources for  inspiration.

Cook For Soup Kitchens

Contact your local soup kitchen to ask if they accept donations of home cooked meals or desserts. Find easy recipes that include stirring, scooping, and other kid-friendly steps. Here are tips for cooking for crowds (you may need to borrow extra pots etc. from friends); we’ve found baked ziti, roasted baby carrots and brownies all scale well.

We’ve cooked for Community Service Associates in Mount Vernon and Xavier Mission in Chelsea. Homemade cookies and treats are also appreciated at most fire stations.

Also organize food drives in your lobby/school/community of pantry items. Ask the organization what they need most.

Pajama Program

Help kids in need have a loving bedtime and restful good night by collecting new pajamas and/or books to donate. Here’s info on starting a drive.

A great solution for birthday or holiday presents for the kid who already has too much. Party guests still get to shop and have something fun to bring to the party, and the receiver cam enjoy looking at the cute nightwear and fun books before donating.

Volunteer

Search for in-person and virtual family-friendly volunteering opportunities at New York CaresVolunteer New York (includes Westchester & Long Island) and Doing Good Together. Find opportunities for specific dates/times or ongoing with a range of non-profits including city parks and senior centers.

Support Museums

In a win/win for all, refresh your library/playroom at expertly curated online shops of local museums. Find great toys, books, crafts and games for at-home entertainment and consider becoming a member of your faves – so many perks all year round (including store discounts and the ability to visit in person whenever). Some favorites: