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Give Back

Put your talents to use helping others this Thanksgiving season.


If You: Are musical.
Where to Volunteer: Jan Hus Presbyterian Church & Neighborhood House
351 East 74th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-288-6743;
In addition to needing people to set up tables, prepare bread baskets, make coffee, and serve guests, Jan Hus Presbyterian is also looking for volunteers who can put those years of piano lessons to good use by providing the entertainment for dinner. Better start practicing.

If You: Are athletically inclined.
Where to Volunteer: The Race to Deliver
Meet at the Bethesda Fountain, Central Park West and 72nd St.; to contact Race to Deliver, 212- 294-8119; to contact New York Road Runners, 212-860-4455;
The four-mile run–walk is happening for a twentieth year, and this time they're throwing in a fun twist: Be one of the first 500 to pick up your race materials and get a nun's habit to run in, courtesy of Sister Act on Broadway. It may be a little unwieldy in the wind, but you'll sure look sharp. As always, there's a kids run, and if you're more interested in spreading cheer and/or Gatorade, New York Road Runners has volunteer spots open.

If You: Dig games, good tunes.
Where to Volunteer: Thanksgiving Concert at Jewish Home Lifecare
120 W. 106th St., nr. Columbus Ave.; 212-870-5000
Come early to dominate at morning bingo (10 a.m.), or later in the day (1:30 p.m.) to help transport residents and assist during the annual concert on Thanksgiving Day.

If You: Are a dancing fiend.
Where to Volunteer: Corsi Senior Center
307 E 116th St., nr. Second Ave.; contact Emylis Rosado, 212-828-6103
The Friday after Thanksgiving, Corsi Senior Center needs some helpers to decorate and prep for their dance as well as socialize and shimmy with the senior citizens. Don't get cocky though: You may just learn a move or two.


If You: Love animals.
Where to Volunteer: Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC)
253 Wythe Ave., at N. 1st St., Williamsburg; 718-486-7489
Doggies deserve some Thanksgiving love too. At this no-kill shelter in Williamsburg, volunteers are needed to walk the residents (they're known for bigger breeds) either in the morning (Tues–Sat, 9:30 a.m.–noon) or evening (Mon, Tues, Thu, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.). Must be 21 or older and love fuzzy droolers.

If You: Are a shopper.
Where to Volunteer: Bowery Mission
227 Bowery, nr. Rivington; 212-674-3456
Slots are pretty much gone to serve food at the mission on Thanksgiving day, but you can still help by opening your wallet: A donation of just $23.85 covers fifteen full Thanksgiving meals. You can also drop off food, warm clothing, and personal hygiene items.

If You: Have car, can drive.
Where to Volunteer: God's Love We Deliver
Contact 212-294-8100 or
The organization is looking for folks to drop off nutritious meals and hand-decorated baskets to more than 2,000 homebound New Yorkers on Thanksgiving Day. You’ll need a vehicle, a partner, and map skills. (But really, let's be honest, a GPS.)

If You: Are a regular Martha Stewart.
Where to Volunteer:The Church of the Holy Trinity
316 East 88th St., nr. Second Ave., contact volunteer coordinator Joanne Kim, 212-289-4100 x207
As part of an Osborne Association initiative, inmates at Rikers prepare the turkeys for the church's needs. But they're looking for volunteers to work shifts Monday through Wednesday to help prepare the fixins. If you could use a little exercise, come on Thanksgiving day to prepare the meals and deliver them within a ten-block radius. Also, if you are handy with the flour and sugar, they could always use donations of desserts (we vote pie).


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