The holiday season is not only the busiest shopping season, it’s also the time of the year when more people give back to their community. From using the arts as positive motivation for inner city youth, to holiday shopping with the city’s LGBT senior citizens, here’s a list of local organizations worthy of donations this holiday season.
Robin Hood Foundation
New York, NY 10003
The board of directors (including Harvey Weinsten of The Weinstein Company and Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric Co) for the Robin Hood Foundation pays for all administration and fundraising expenses allowing 100 percent of donations to go directly to fight poverty in New York City. Founded in 1998, Robin Hood has created programs and schools that generate results for New York’s poorest neighborhoods. In 2013, Robin Hood invested $132 million in over 200 poverty-fighting programs in New York City. In addition, it has made more than $70.5 million in grants to hundreds of organizations throughout the Tri-State Area.
410 E 38th St.
New York, NY 10016
If you are an animal lover and looking to help support a caring and local organization, Bide-A-Wee is one of the best options. For over 100 years, Bide-A-Wee is the leading animal advocacy organization serving metropolitan New York. Bide-A-Wee has a vast array of services to cultivate and support animals. It has adoption centers and animal hospitals and offers animal training, pet therapy, an exercise area for pets and more. This is a no-kill shelter that takes in rescues from other areas.
All Stars Projects
543 W 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036
All Stars Projects creates educational and performing arts activities for thousands of poor inner city youth. Volunteers recruit kids and young adults from New York City neighborhoods to produce shows including talent shows and plays. Well-known actor Mekhi Phifer (“8 Mile,” “Divergent”) is an alum of ASP. A new performing arts center opened recently on West 42nd Street. The new center includes three theaters, a costume shop, a wood shop and classroom and office space.
Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
305 7th Avenue, 15th floor
New York, NY 10001
SAGE is an organization dedicated to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender senior citizens. Volunteers provide support for seniors, accompanying members to medical appointments, shopping and other daily activities. SAGE also teaches classes for seniors like creative writing as well as health wellness. Every month there are events and activities in support of senior members including performances and dinners.
Henry Street Settlement
265 Henry St.
New York, NY 10002
Founded in 1893, Henry Street Settlement has provided social services, arts programs and health care services to New Yorkers of all ages. Services for the organization include a mental-health clinic, a shelter for battered women, an arts center, day-care centers and more. Volunteer your time to HSS by teaching one of multiple classes or donate money to help send a youth to summer camp. Henry Street Settlement’s Art Show is one of the most celebrated art fairs in the nation, showcasing museum-quality exhibitions of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary works. All of the proceeds support Henry Street Settlement’s programs.
Ayanna Barton is a freelance writer covering all things New York. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.