The holiday season is associated with joyous celebration, but can also be a difficult and lonely period for many during these colder months. Past the twinkling lights and seasonal decorations that line the streets, New York City has one of the largest homeless populations, who often bear the burden of the colder climate that the holiday season heralds.
New York provides many different programs and holiday initiatives in order to benefit and serve them with the greatest assistance, especially during these upcoming weeks. One benefit of being “in and of the city” is that NYU students are able to call New York home while serving as active community members. NYU students and clubs have banded together to bring important resources and services. Whether you want to volunteer in a clothing drive or assist a student-run organization, here are some of the ways to give back to our community and the less fortunate this holiday season.
NYU Annual Toy Drive
The NYU Class Activities Board and NYU Administrative Council are partnering with 9th Police Precinct of Manhattan and the 84th Police Precinct of Brooklyn to organize the 2017 NYU Annual Toy Drive. There are two ways to donate, as students can drop off new, unwrapped toys or books for children up to 16-years-old, or they can donate online. Toy donations may be dropped off at any of the campus collection spots that are located in almost every NYU building, including Elmer Holmes Bobst Library. All donations will help brighten the holidays for children in the East Village, on the Lower East Side and children at the Herbert G. Birch Manhattan Early Childhood Center, which serves those with autism and other special needs.
New York Cares Coat Drive
If you’ve spent at least one winter in New York, you’re no stranger to how rough the weather can be, and how important a coat is to keep you warm during the blustery nights and snowy days.. Unfortunately, there are many who are in need but lack the resources and opportunity to obtain such a necessity. If you have a clean, gently-used coat that you are able to donate, New York Cares is hosting a coat drive with a plethora of drop-offs conveniently located throughout all of the five boroughs. The organization has held the largest winter coat drive for nearly 30 years, collecting and distributing over 100,000 coats last year to New Yorkers in need. If you don’t have a spare coat to share, don’t fret: text COAT to 41444, where donating $20 will provide one coat to a person in need.
Two Birds One Stone
NYU’s many dining facilities which serve its students, but many of the surrounding homeless are forgotten without a meal. Two Birds One Stone is an NYU club where students can volunteer daily to combat the excessive food waste and feed the hungry and homeless population of New York City. Students can volunteer to pick up the extra food from NYU dining halls that would normally be thrown out at the end of the day and deliver it to a local homeless shelter. The club is looking for volunteers on any of the weekdays, so interested students have many opportunities to help out and can check out more information on the club’s OrgSync page or contact [email protected]
Email Tiffanie Hwang at [email protected].