The most popular time of the year for giving back is here.
If you make volunteering a part of your holiday season, you might want to plan ahead as many of organizations accepting help over Christmas and Hanukkah appreciate advanced signups.
Here are a few places for eager volunteers to get lend a helping hand:
The longtime TriBeCa homeless shelter prepares 400 meals a day for its soup kitchen, and needs your help to both make and serve their dishes. They also need assistance in their women's shelter — and also always need warm winter clothing donations. Check their web site for how you can contribute.
If holiday volunteering is new to you and you're looking for a place to start, New York Cares provides a directory of things you could do. Whether helping serve a traditional holiday meal or collecting coats for children who don't have them, an extra set of hands is always useful.
Bookworms can volunteer at their local Brooklyn Public Library branch this holiday season. Whether you’re shelving books, helping a librarian host a storytime, or reading aloud at a nearby hospital, the library is always in need of a helping hand. Teens ages 12 to 18 can also volunteer to be book buddies and read to younger children. To sign up, fill out a form on the BPL website.
The Bowery Mission, which serves over 10,000 meals to the homeless on Thanksgiving Day, needs volunteers to continue with its efforts into the December holidays. There are group or individual opportunities listed on the organization's website.
The Jewish Board of Family and Children's services is looking for volunteers to greet, teach yoga, lead art and music session or help out in the kitchen for some of the city's most vulnerable residents.
Help out your local hospital by pitching in with clerical work like filing and data entry. The Brooklyn Hospital Center requires volunteers to be up-to-date with vaccinations and asks for 150 hours or six months of service.
A charity that focuses specifically on helping the elderly, DOROT is planning Hanukkah celebrations on Dec. 25, 28 and 29.
Started as a door-to-door charity 15 years ago, FeedingNYC is now a multi-faith organization that delivers thousands of dinners every year.
The Kosher soup kitchen, which has three locations in Queens and Brooklyn that to bring hot meals to those in need year-round. Its volunteers are needed to prep food and serve patrons.