Feeling like you should give back this holiday season, but don’t know where to channel your good juju? From donating unwanted clothes to caring for insanely cute kittens, we’ve uncovered local charities and causes for every commitment level.
The Brooklyn Animal Foster Network (BAFN) provides foster services for abandoned, abused and unwanted pets. They also work with Animal Care and Control, rescuing animals on the euthanasia list.
What They Need: Home checkers and transporters, loving foster homes and items like leashes, collars, treats, beds, bandages, a laptop, old blankets and towels.
Location: 108 East 4th St., Windsor Terrace, 718-789-6865, site >>
The Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC), is a privately funded non-profit, no-kill animal shelter in Williamsburg.
What They Need: Aside from a wish list including cleaning products, extension cords and printing services, BARC is in need of pet-loving volunteers to cuddle a kitty noon to 5, Tues.-Sat., or walk a dog 9am-noon and 5-8pm daily.
Location: 253 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, 718-486-7489, site>>
The Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service, founded in 1866, is one of the borough’s oldest and largest community service agencies.
What They Need: With over 15 programs ranging from adult employment training to daycare services, the volunteer positions are numerous. Downtown, Fort Greene, Bed-Stuy, and East New York are the neighborhoods in which your help is needed.
Location: For the full listing of locations, hours and services, check the site >>
DONATIONS OF GOODS
Baltic Bazaar, is a thrift shop that supports Baltic Street, AEH, a non-profit assisting people living with mental illness. The store provides a retail environment and on-the-job training for persons reentering the workforce, and sales sustain the program.
What They Need: Fabric and sewing materials (from all you overzealous crafters and designers). They also take clothes, pocketbooks records and more. Call for pick-up of quality furniture.
Location: Open Tues.-Sat. 11am-6pm, Sun. noon- 5pm, 41 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn Heights, 718-858-2900, site >>
Brooklyn Public Library carries 5 million titles, has more than 60 locations, and offers thousands of public programs each year.
What They Need: Your unwanted books. Instead of leaving them on the curb, donate up to three boxes of good condition, hard or soft cover books for children, teens and adults, each week. Also accepted are DVDs, audio CDs and magazine subscriptions. While you’re dropping off books, ask about volunteering as an adult literacy partner or homework coach.
Location: Find one near you on their site>>
CHIPS (see below)
Furnish A Future, run by the Partnership for the Homeless, is New York’s only free furniture bank. Your donations help the formerly homeless transform bare spaces into functioning, comfortable homes.
What They Need: Furniture or household items like shelves, silverware, couches and artwork in good condition. Bring your old wares to their Brooklyn drop-off location, or, for a $30 fee, they’ll come to your home and pick-up. Either way, call ahead first.
Location: 476 Jefferson St., Bushwick, 718-875-5353, site>>
Red Hook Community Center, part of Village Care of New York, serves lunch M-F to those in need in addition to their numerous HIV/AIDS programs.
What They Need: Seasonal clothing, outerwear, footwear, children’s clothing and toys in good condition. While you’re there, ask about volunteering for one of their educational or outreach programs.
Location: Donations accepted M-F from 9am-5pm, 603-B Clinton St., Red Hook, 718-852-5748, site >>
CHIPS, also known as Park Slope Christian Help, runs a soup kitchen and the Frances’ Residence for Homeless Mothers and their Children.
What They Need: Donations of food and good-condition men and women’s seasonal clothing, outerwear and sensible shoes, which go directly to local needy and homeless persons. Volunteers are also needed to help run daily activities in the shelter and soup kitchen.
Location: Donations accepted M-F from 8am-2pm, 200 4th Ave., Park Slope, 718-237-2962. For details on the soup kitchen, check the site>>
Greenpoint Reformed Church is the only soup kitchen and food pantry feeding hundreds of North Brooklyn’s working poor and homeless each week. Unlike most hunger reduction services, you can show up without pre-registering.
What They Need: On Mondays volunteers are needed between 1 and 2:30 to hand out sandwiches; Wednesdays at 4 or 7 to set up or clean after the community dinner, and on Thursdays just before 3, when groceries are given out. Polish/English speakers welcomed, as are donations of dry and canned foods anytime.
Location: 136 Milton St., Greenpoint, 718-383-5941, site>>
St. John’s Bread and Life benefits the hungry and poor in Brooklyn and Queens, and feeds 1,700 people daily through its soup kitchen, food pantry, and mobile food unit. It also provides new toys, clothes, personal and baby products to those in need.
What They Need: Financial donations, unused clothes, food, hygiene products and toys. Pick-ups can be arranged. To volunteer in any of their services, call the coordinator at 718-574-0058, ext. 126 or register online.
Location: 75 Lewis Ave., Bed-Stuy, 718-574-0058, site>>
QUALITY OF LIFE
The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI), is working to connect Sunset Park to Greenpoint via a waterfront pedestrian/bicycle path.
What They Need: Volunteers for events, outreach and fundraising, depending on your area of interest or expertise. Visit their booth this Saturday at the Red Hook Harvest Festival, or attend the next Volunteer Night, Tuesday, Oct. 28.
Location: 145 Columbia St., Red Hook, 718-522-0193, site>>