Where to volunteer and donate for the holidays around Queens

Photo courtesy of God’s Love We Deliver

Looking to lend a helping hand for the holidays? Here’s a list of places you can volunteer or donate items around the borough.

Please feel free to leave any additional suggestions of where to volunteer or donate by commenting below.



Catholic Charities Ozone Park Senior Center

On Thursday, November 28, Citymeals-on-Wheels is partnering with Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens’ Ozone Park Senior Center in Jamaica to host a Thanksgiving lunch for the visitors of the center.

This 20-year-old tradition will be serving around 70 congregate meals at the Center and delivering up to 250 meals to the homebound elderly on Thanksgiving Day. In honor of the giving holiday spirit, volunteers are encouraged to go and assist in giving back to the senior community.

Games and snacks will begin as early as 10 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon. The homebound meals will be delivered between 9 to 9:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed to package and drive meals to the homes and also assist at the Center with serving lunch.

The Center is located at 103-02 101st Avenue in Jamaica. For more information, call Ozone Park Senior Center at 718-726-9790 and ask for the Program Manager for the Catholic Charities Woodhaven Senior Center, Pat Critelli.

God’s Love We Deliver

On Christmas Eve morning, God’s Love We Deliver will be delivering meals to spread the holiday spirit. The mission of God’s Love We Deliver is to improve the health and well-being of men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses by alleviating hunger and malnutrition. By providing high-quality meals to these people, this wonderful organization is able to succeed in meeting their mission.

God’s Love We Deliver provides meals throughout the five boroughs and in Hudson County, New Jersey. With the need of nearly 8,000 annual volunteers, God’s Love would be more than happy to have an extra set of hands to assist with their goal.

If interested in helping, please contact the Volunteer Department by emailing volunteer@glwd.org or calling 212-294-8158.


On Thanksgiving Da,y Masbia in Rego Park will be serving a turkey and chullent dinner as well as distributing grocery packages filled with holiday foods and Chanukah gifts for children.

Masbia has been serving three-course Kosher meals five nights a week for more than three years now. In an effort to provide free meals to those in need, Masbia needs volunteer workers to help.

They serve free hot dinner every Sunday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. During these same hours on Thursdays, Masbia distributes free take-home grocery packages filled with items that families need.

The holiday ritual of lighting the Menorah will be held on November 27 and 28 and December 1, 2, 3 and 4 at shutdown. Volunteer hours will begin around an hour before open and end an hour after close. Masbia is located at 98-08 Queens Boulevard in Rego Park.

To assist ing providing food to those in need, please contact volunteer@masbia.org or visit www.masbia.org/volunteer.asp.

St. John’s Bread and Life

Addressing the issues of hunger and poverty in Brooklyn and Queens is the mission of St. John’s Bread and Life. To aid in a resolution to these issues, Bread and Life delivers thousands of meals to hungry New Yorkers on a daily basis.

Its Christmas Project, Sponsor a Family, has been a tradition for nearly two decades that provides tens of thousands of families in New York City’s poorest neighborhoods celebrate the holiday season. Around 500 volunteers are needed for the holidays to assist in helping the 2,000 families registered for food and toys. There will be packing and distributing days to assist with.

Packing days will be on Saturday and Sunday, December 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Distribution days will be on Saturday and Sunday, December 21 and 22 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be two shifts on each of the days to choose from if a volunteer cannot assist for the full day.

If interested in volunteering with Bread and Life to help with their Sponsor a Family Christmas Project, please email Jennifer Stephen at jstephen@breadandlife.org.



In honor of their mission to feed the hungry, ALMA Bank needs donations of turkeys and other food items to provide the hungry. The donated food will be delivered to both Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Saints Constantine and Helen Orthodox Church.

If interested in assisting ALMA Bank in making a different this holiday season by giving back to the community, please drop donations off at their Bayside location, 213-11 Northern Boulevard.

Burt and Barbara’s Gifts of the Heart: Volunteers of America

Burt and Barbara’s Gifts of the Heart is a year-round program that holds an even more special meaning in the holiday season. The goal is to make sure that every adult in its care who lives alone does not feel forgotten. The recipients of these gifts will include the elderly and adults with developmental disabilities.

To donate and help make sure one of these individuals does not feel forgotten, please contact Colleen Margi at 212-496-4307 or email her at cmagri@voa-gyn.org.

Hope and Hearth: Volunteers of America

Holiday Food Vouchers will be given to families who are homeless and others in need. The vouchers will be able to be used as cash in supermarkets and allow for the recipients to shop for the food that is special to them for the holidays.

To assist in giving these families the holiday meals that they deserve, please contact Colleen Margi at 212-496-4307 or email her at cmagri@voa-gyn.org.

Materials for the Arts

Materials for the Arts is collecting unneeded items from businesses and individuals to provide them for free to its recipients. The recipients include nonprofit organizations with arts programming, government agencies and public schools.

The items that MFTA donates include fabric, paper, art books, office supplies, paint, electronics, frames, etc. MFTA makes it simple to donate with the options of dropping the donation off, shipping it, direct donations or having them pick it up.

Its drop-off location is at Northern Boulevard between 33rd and 34th Streets in Long Island City. Donation may be dropped off on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. For more information on donating, email donations@mfta.nyc.gov or call 718-729-2065.

Salvation Army

“Doing The Most Good” is the goal of the Salvation Army. With 7,546 centers across the United States, they work to distribute all essential goods to those who are in need.

To assist in their mission to do good, individuals are invited to donate any unneeded items. The Salvation Army is always accepting donations of clothing, furniture and household items.

The Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center is located at 148-15 Archer Avenue.

The Preparatory Writers Academy

The Preparatory Writers Academy is holding a canned food drive for Thanksgiving. They have a donation box located in Councilmember Donovan Richard’s Laurelton office.

If interested in donating canned goods to a great cause, please drop them off at the office, which is located at 234-26 Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton.

The Queens Courier Holiday Gift Drive

The Queens Courier will once again be collecting toys and clothing to be donated this year to the Queens Centers for Progress’ Apple Preschool in Jamaica for our annual holiday gift drive.

The Apple Preschool program offers children with disabilities between three to five years old a large variety of educational and therapeutic services, including speech, occupational and physical therapy and counseling. The children interact with special education teachers and clinicians who work on language skills, cognitive, motor and social development. After participating in the program, the majority of the children become integrated into the public school system.

Apple Preschool is asking for new, unused and unwrapped donations for their students, 31 girls and 52 boys between the ages of three and four.

Donations can be dropped off at The Courier’s office, located at 38-15 Bell Boulevard in Bayside or at People’s United Bank branches at 8989 Union Turnpike in Glendale or 34-51 48th Street in Long Island City.

Toys for the Holidays: Volunteers of America

This holiday drive provides gifts to brighten the holidays for children in VOA’s homeless and domestic violence shelters, Pre-K schools for kids with developmental delays and group homes for at-risk youth.

To put a smile on the face of a deserving child by donating a gift to Toys for the Holidays, please contact Colleen Margi at 212-496-4307 or email her at cmagri@voa-gyn.org.




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