6. Children’s Aid Society
Why they’re hurting: Almost every bank in town had a relationship with the 155-year-old organization. Every year, Lehman provided “a very generous five-figure donation,” plus teams of volunteers, says CEO C. Warren Moses. “Only three banks have been able to assure us of their continued support. We are scared to death about what we’re not going to get.”
What you can do: Typically, 70 percent of Children’s Aid’s annual donations pour in during the holiday season. Donations can be targeted to a specific program at childrensaidsociety.org. The college-scholarship program, Excel, is in “terrible straits,” says Moses. College-bound kids are having difficulty getting loans because of the dried-up credit market. Current students who fall behind on their loan payments receive help from Excel “patrons” who assist in paying down loan penalties so the student can work on the loan principle. E-mail Scott McLeod (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
7. God’s Love We Deliver
Why they’re hurting: Several failed Wall Street firms were contributors to the meals-for-the-sick service, providing not just capital but manpower. “Since last year, we’ve had a 20 percent increase in the clients we serve,” says volunteer coordinator Susan Oher. “The one silver lining is that a lot of the [former bankers] have called and asked if they can come back now that they have more time on their hands.”
What you can do: In short, help deliver food. Van expeditions require a full-day commitment, but individuals can also sign up for faster, easier “walking deliveries.” The group is also raising $25,000 for “blizzard boxes,” crates of nonperishable food provided to clients in case delivery is interrupted by winter weather. Call Susan Oher (212-294-8162) or go to godslovewedeliver.org to sign up for a volunteer orientation.
8. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Why they’re hurting: Last year, the charity raised $61 million to support over 200 researchers, fund support groups, and help patients afford their treatment. Among their major donors were Lehman Brothers and Bear Stears. “We’re able to keep our commitments to patients so far,” says executive director Michael Osso. “But we’ve been hit pretty hard.”
What you can do: There’s a pressing need for both donations (made at lls.org) and volunteers for the society’s ambassador program. Ambassadors visit hospital patients to provide emotional support, especially during holiday time, and spread information about programs available to them, including financial aid. Call Zena Moore (212-448-9206, ext. 221) to volunteer.
9. Gilda’s Club
Why they’re hurting: In late August, Lehman Brothers offered the cancer-support organization eighteen volunteers and $500 per project. Obviously that didn’t happen. Plus, “we just found out two weeks ago that we lost the major city grant that we’d received for the last nine years,” says Allison Lurie, director of development. That accounts for a $150,000 shortfall, or 10 percent of the club’s total budget.
What you can do: The group has a loyal base of volunteers, but their numbers are diminishing, as many must pick up extra jobs or second shifts to cover their own expenses. Volunteers are needed to help run art and yoga workshops, help around the office, and keep the club’s living-room-like headquarters in the West Village stocked with snacks. Donate at gildasclub.com. Call Lindsey Fry (212-647-9700) to volunteer.