Where to: Donate in NYC...Our Annual Donation Guide
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• The Rose Kennedy Center, 1410 Pelham Parkway South, Bronx, (718) 430-8518. This children’s rehabilitation center is seeking new, unwrapped books, toys, and games for children ages newborn to 18. Contributions will be distributed at the annual holiday party. Gifts are also used year-round for hospitalized children on birthdays, holidays, and for special events.
• Covenant House, 159-17 Hillside Avenue, Jamaica, (718) 725-9851, www.covenanthouseny.org. Each year, Covenant House New York holds a donation drive in order to provide Christmas gifts to the 300-plus young people they serve. Their biggest need is new duffel bags, so kids can carry what belongings they have. They also need new coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and toiletries. For more information, contact Stephano Williams.
• The 17th Annual New York Cares Coat Drive, (212) 402-1173, www.nycares.org. New York Cares collects gently used adult and children’s coats to distribute to struggling men, women, and children at New York City homeless shelters, soup kitchens, community centers, and senior homes. This year will be a huge milestone -— they will be collecting the millionth coat since the drive began. The drive will collect coats all over the metropolitan area throughout the month of December. Drop-off points include all NYPD precincts, Janovic Plaza stores, participating New York and New Jersey Washington Mutual branches, Time Warner Cable payment centers, and the New York Cares Community Resource Center at 75 Rockefeller Plaza, as well as Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station’s LIRR and Amtrak levels, weekdays, 7:30-9:30am. For additional drop-off locations, go to www.nycares.org.
• American Red Cross, www.nyredcross.org. The American Red Cross can always benefit from your gift of time. To find out how you can support the Red Cross in your neighborhood, call (877) RED-CROSS.
• Bailey House-Holt House, 180 Christopher Street, NYC, (212) 337-3000. Housing, food and clothing are provided for people with AIDS. Housewares, food and clothing are always accepted, but drop-offs must be scheduled in advance.
• Bailey House Supportive Housing Apartment Program, 275 Seventh Avenue, NYC, (212) 633-2500. Finds housing for people with AIDS. They need furniture of all kinds for apartments; pick-ups can be arranged.
• Children’s Wish Foundation, (800) 323-9474. Headquartered in Atlanta, this organization provides the means for seriously ill children, under the age of 18, to have their favorite wishes come true. Donations can be made in honor of or in memory of a loved one.
• The Door, A Center of Alternatives, 121 Avenue of the Americas, NYC, (212) 941-9090. The Door is a multi-service youth center offering a variety of free educational, health, legal, counseling, arts, and recreational services to young people ages 12-21. The Door seeks donations of books, toys (for teen parents), art materials, photography supplies, audio-visual equipment (including VCRs), and musical instruments.
• Furnish A Future, 476 Jefferson Street, Brooklyn, (718) 875-5353. This program, operated by the Partnership for the Homeless, furnishes apartments for families who are leaving the New York City shelter system and moving into their own homes. Furniture (especially dressers and sofas) in good, clean & working condition is needed, as well as household items like microwave ovens, drinking glasses, dinner plates, silverware and pots/pans. The families receive all donated items free of charge — including delivery. Please call for pickup/drop-off info. Volunteers are always welcome.
• Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, (718) 728-5400. Goodwill Industries has programs for people with disabilities, people moving from welfare to work, youth and others with barriers to employment. Its services include education, training, preparing people to enter the workforce and job placement, as well as youth programs. People interested in volunteering as mentors, reading to children, or providing homework help can contact the youth department at (718) 777-6315.
• Materials for the Arts, (718) 729-3001, www.mfta.org Started 26 years ago, this non-profit acts as a middleman between businesses (and individuals) with items they don’t need and arts organizations that need them badly. It can make the difference between an arts organization surviving or shutting down. The most wanted items are: chairs (especially office chairs), computers (no more than four years old), printers, scanners, fax machines, answering machines, phones, household items, office supplies, frames, fabrics, projectors, screens, video equipment, fabric, wallpaper, home decorating supplies, ladders, etc. Cash donations are always welcome.
• My Soldier, (914) 323-5172, www.mysoldier.com. My Soldier is a politically neutral, not-for-profit, adopt-a-soldier program that was started by a student, who is also an Army Sergeant, initiated upon his return from Iraq. The program started last November, with 400,000 people currently signed up to be introduced to a soldier and receive a red rubber “My Soldier” support bracelet. There are 175,000 soldiers deployed in hardship areas that are now receiving personal messages of support and friendship from our participants. For more information call us at (914) 323-5172, or visit us at www.mysoldier.com.
• Peter's Place, 123 West 23rd Street, NYC, (212) 727-0725. Also operated by the Partnership for the Homeless, Peter’s Place provides 24-hour service to the homeless. Donations of gifts for people 50 and above are needed by the second week of December. Clothing and food donations are accepted year-round. To volunteer, call (212) 645-3445.
• Salvation Army, 120 West 14th Street, NYC, (212) 337-7200. The Salvation Army accepts furniture, toys, clothing and non-perishable food at sites in all five boroughs. Call for exact locations.
• Save the Children, www.savethechildren.org. Save the Children, a non-profit organization, has created a colorful new collection of children’s room décor. Their designs are directly inspired by the designs of children who won the Save the Children Art Contest. The collection ranges from bedding to throw rugs, curtains, some furniture and much more. Save the children will be giving a percentage of the proceeds of everything purchased to children in need around the world.
• United Homeless Organization, (718) 933-3668. UHO welcomes donations of clothing, toiletries and blankets. Donations can be dropped off at any UHO table around the city. This year’s focus is clothing, with the highlight on blue jeans. Call for more information.
• United Neighborhood Houses of New York, 70 West 36th Street, NYC, (212) 967-0322, ext. 306. UNH is the umbrella organization for New York City settlement houses. UNH's 36 member agencies make up one of the largest human service systems in NYC, reaching out to families and neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Each year, settlement houses deliver social, educational and cultural services and activities to 500,000 New Yorkers. UNH and its member settlements are recruiting volunteers to participate in a wide variety of programs for children and youth, for families, and for the elderly. Donations welcome year-round; visit UNH’s website at www.unhny.org.
• United Way of New York City, (212) 251-2520. United Way of New York City's Gifts-in-Kind Program helps match families, corporations and individuals wishing to donate items with agencies requesting goods for the holidays. Toys should be unwrapped and labeled with the age/gender of the child; gifts for infants and adolescents are always needed. Infant equipment and diapers are also useful. Clothing should be new.