NEW YORK CITY — If you feel the holiday spirit is starting to move you — and not just toward stores and cookie recipes — now’s the time to start volunteering and donating.
We've rounded up a handful of local organizations and businesses that are looking for help:
The Bowery Mission, 227 Bowery, Lower East Side
The Mission says it is in need of volunteers for its meal service through the holidays, as well as the rest of the year. However, the organization, in an effort to "keep an intimate, family-like atmosphere for the community we serve," will not be accepting volunteers during Christmas week itself. Non-perishable food, travel-sized personal hygiene products, clothes, linens and monetary donations are also accepted throughout the season and beyond.
God's Love We Deliver, 630 Flushing Ave., Bed-Stuy
This organization prepares and delivers meals to people suffering from debilitating diseases such as AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.
Volunteers can also contribute money to the Celebrate With A Plate program, which lets donors help sponsor a holiday meal. The traditional feast includes all the trimmings, a gift basket and festive treats, along with additional guest meals so home-bound people can have company to eat with on the holidays.
“The holidays can be a lonely time for the people we work with,” said spokesperson Emmett Findley. “These meals really are meant to be something special, and a way to have people over for a holiday meal.”
The organization delivered about 3,000 meals across the city on Thanksgiving, and it provides a similar holiday feast on Dec. 24. Signups to volunteer on Dec. 24 are open now. Donations for Celebrate with A Plate will also help to fund those holiday meals.
Findley said God's Love We Deliver is always looking for volunteers outside of the holidays, like people who can help prep food or deliver meals. For more information, head here.
CHIPS, 200 Fourth Ave., Park Slope
The Park Slope soup kitchen, which also provides living space for homeless new mothers, is looking for volunteers — in the holiday season and beyond it — who can man the soup kitchen, assist in the Frances Residency Program or offer their expertise in marketing, grant-writing and other skills that would help in the running of the shelter.
The organization said it is in need of volunteers for its daily meal service. As for donations, aside from money, volunteers can best help by giving coffee, sugar and paper goods — like plates, napkins and cups, to help with its new breakfast food service for the needy. Baked goods are also appreaciated year-round.
For more information about volunteering and donating, head here.
The New York City Rescue Mission, 90 Lafayette St., TriBeCa
The longtime TriBeCa shelter said had its fill of help for Thanksgiving week, but that shouldn't discourage volunteering for the rest of the holiday season — or the year — said director Andrew Decurtis.
The shelter feeds more than 400 people a day, and needs help with prep and serving meals.
When in comes to donations, the shelter is requesting warm clothing for men and women, especially coats. They also need toiletires for women, who are a new addition to the shelter.
To learn more, head here.
Masbia Soup Kitchen Network, 1372 Coney Island Ave., Midwood
Masbia, which served as many as 7,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day, is still happy to get help throughout the season, officials said.
Food preparation and service in their three locations is key during the holidays.
Check out their website for ways to donate and help throught the holidays.