The Gift Of Giving
In between the presents and parties, it can be easy to forget the true spirit of the holiday season. Whether you worship at a church, temple, mosque, or Apple store, the holidays are a time to celebrate our common humanity. This year, think about giving back: wish your loved ones a happy holiday by contributing to one of these worthy organizations on their behalf.
Build It Green!NYC
3-17 26th Ave, Astoria
For the environmentalist on your list – who you wouldn’t dare buy something that comes with disposable packaging – consider contributing to this nonprofit, which salvages building materials (often headed toward landfills) and resells them at discount prices. “All donations help us continue our efforts to salvage materials from our cities’ waste stream,” says Jaclyn Jablkowski, Communications Manager of BIG!NYC. “This helps us promote re-use and support environmental initiatives in NYC.”
How to Donate: Donate money at bignyc.org, or drop off material donations at their Astoria Re-Use Center (visit the website for guidelines).
Quality Services for the Autism Community
25-09 Broadway, Astoria
This organization provides support services to improve the quality of life for those with autism. “Whether helping a student with autism discover the joy of learning at our Day School, teaching valuable life skills to adults with autism at one of our day centers or providing them with a meaningful home, QSAC is able to meet these needs because of the generosity of others,” says Joseph Amodeo, Director of Development for QSAC. “Making a donation in honor of a loved one this holiday season will bring smiles to the faces of the children and adults we serve every day.”
How to Donate: Donate at qsac.com, by phone at extension 2016 or by mail.
6 East 32nd St, 5th Floor, NYC
For most of us, this time of year is unimaginable without our favorite seasonal dishes – but not everyone has the resources for a holiday feast. City Harvest rescues food and redistributes it to those in need in low-income neighborhoods. “Many New Yorkers are struggling to put meals on the table for themselves and their families, and we are steadfast in our daily commitment to help feed hungry men, women and children,” says Jennifer McLean, City Harvest’s Vice President of Community Impact.
How to Donate: Donate online, by mail or by phone, with the option of making an honorary or memorial gift that your recipient will be notified of.
Everyday People Initiating Change
295 Greenwich St #503, NYC
Over a billion people in the world don’t have access to potable water, and a contribution could be your first step towards helping reduce that alarming number. Donations go far: just $25 can provide clean water for an individual for 20 years. “EPIC’s mission is simple: to provide clean, sustainable water solutions to those in the developing world,” says co-founder Alexi Panos. “[Co-founder] Tennille and I have both realized through years of work in Africa that water really is the starting point to helping areas develop.”
How to Donate: Donate online on behalf of, or in memory of, someone and EPIC will send them an acknowledgment letter, along with a dog tag (for donations of $25) and a t-shirt (for donations of $50).
Blissful Bedrooms provides bedroom makeovers for young people with limited resources and physical disabilities who are wheelchair-bound. The team creates a unique sanctuary with custom furniture, original artwork and adapted technology to make it easier for recipients to connect with others. “One hundred percent of any donation received will be applied to our very next bedroom makeover project,” says Martha Gold-Dvoryadkin, Co-Founder and President. “This holiday season, please consider giving the gift of a dream bedroom to a young individual who is severely disabled and will enjoy that present for years to come.”
How to donate: Donate online or in donation boxes in select Astoria shops, including the four Brooklyn Bagel locations.