‘Tis the season for giving! And what better way to give than to give back! New York City is filled with both need, and the opportunities to help others: there are places to donate goods, services, or even your time. As your kids prepare their holiday wish lists, now may also be the perfect time to set some “giving-back goals” for them — and the whole family. Click through for some ways you and the kids can make an impact and have fun at the same time.

Citymeals on Wheels

Since 1981, Citymeals on Wheels has been providing our homebound elderly neighbors with meals and companionship. The organization offers volunteer opportunities to fit various interest and schedules, including meal deliveries and chatting with seniors.  Volunteers of all ages are welcome, however, those 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult to deliver meals and participate in friendly visiting. A kid-friendly program that may be of particular interest to your little one is crafting and decorating handmade cards. Your child will be able to brighten the lives of older New Yorkers as they receive a holiday or birthday card created by your talented kiddo. Last year the organization delivered nearly 70,000 cards. Every year children also have the opportunity to “Pack the Pantry” by filling grocery bags with shelf-stable foods that are delivered to the elderly through its Mobile Food Pantry.  Children and their parents also have the opportunity to deliver holiday food boxes to seniors when meal centers are close.

Age to volunteer: All ages welcome; some projects have age restrictions

Location: Citywide

Online: Citymeals.org


Where do you volunteer with the kids during the holidays — and beyond? Tell us in the comments!

— Elaina Herndon