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Unusual Ways to Give
   
   
 
   
 
 
 
 

Local Community

Citywide
Lower Manhattan | Tribeca | Lower East Side | East Village
Chelsea | Upper East Side | Upper West Side
Harlem | Washington Heights
Brooklyn
| Queens

Citywide

Literacy Partners
Based in New York, the group extends its basic tutoring programs for adults through several outlets in the city: community centers, social agencies, and corporations. Read more.

International Association of Firefighters
Money donated through this site to the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund goes directly to the families of fallen fire fighters and EMS personnel.

SAGE — Senior Action in a Gay Environment
This organization is dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender senior citizens. Volunteers accompany seniors to medical appointments, shopping trips, and other daily outings and teach classes on everything from dramatic writing to low-impact aerobics or keep homebound seniors company.

Gay Men's Health Crisis
212-367-1585
Established in 1982, Gay Men's Health Crisis offers counseling and legal aid to anyone infected with HIV or AIDS.

Uniformed Firefighters Association
The Widows' and Children's Fund accepts donations online.

Windows of Hope
Set up to benefit families of workers who were lost in the destruction of the Windows on the World restaurant, the charity has raised more than $19 million to assist over 125 eligible families.

Services for the Underserved
Working mostly in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, SUS offers help including home care for Medicaid patients and rehabilitative services for adults with developmental disabilities and mental retardation.

New York Cares
212-228-5000
New York Cares enlists tens of thousands of volunteers annually and works with hundreds of nonprofits and public organizations (schools, libraries, parks) to help diagnose the needs of communities and link projects with the appropriate manpower. Giving money to the organization benefits everyone from public-school children and the elderly to the homeless, hospital patients, and people living with HIV and AIDS.

Wildlife Conservation Society
Headquartered at the Bronx Zoo since 1895, the WCS works both locally and worldwide to conserve wildlife. In addition to the Bronx Zoo, the WCS operates the New York Aquarium and the Prospect Park, Queens and Central Park Zoos.

United Way of New York
The home of the September 11th Fund is also a clearinghouse for material donations, as well as providing programs on education, health, and other community initiatives.

Lower Manhattan

Hamilton Madison House
Serving the Chinatown area, the organization tries to reach both the Asian and non-Asian community in its neighborhood with Head Start, adult education and other programs.

Tribeca

Art Start
Featuring hip-hop, graphic-design, and fine-arts programs, Art Start targets low-income and homeless youth. Volunteers, many of whom are professional artists, lead classes in their area of expertise, from drumming to short-story writing.

Lower East Side

Good Old Lower East Side
Since 1977, this neighborhood housing and preservation organization serving the Lower East Side of Manhattan has worked to prevent homelessness and revitalize the community.

Henry Street Settlement
Serving a largely Asian and Hispanic community, its services include a mental-health clinic, a shelter for battered women, an arts center, and day-care centers. Volunteer as a tutor, a computer programmer, a job coach, or a teacher’s assistant.

Lower Eastside Girls Club
The club fosters all kinds of activities for girls 8-18, including photography, book groups, and baking. Read more.

Good Old Lower East Side
Since 1977, this neighborhood housing and preservation organization serving the Lower East Side of Manhattan has worked to prevent homelessness and revitalize the community.

East Village

Bowery Mission
The mission has graduated over 600 men who are drug-free and able to live independently. In addition to contributions of time and money, the center also takes food and clothing donations.

Chelsea

International Center
Teach English and American-culture classes at this language-learning center in Chelsea, where students are foreign-born newcomers to New York (a standard commitment is two hours a week for six months). Volunteers are needed for written and conversational instruction.

Upper East Side

Association to Benefit Children
Among ABC's programs: Baked in the 'Hood, which "has created a thriving industry in East Harlem by producing, merchandising and delivering elegantly packaged baked goods as corporate and individual gifts."

Abraham House
Abraham House serves the incarcerated and their families by trying to "break the cycle of crime" and by serving as an alternative sentence to certain offenders.

Central Park Conservancy
The conservancy's site offers plenty of options for contributing, including planting trees and adopting a bench. Donate $1 for a daffodil.

Good neighbor: Lenox Hill offers programs for residents in need on the Upper East Side.

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House
212-744-5022
This multiservice community center, helps up to 20,000 people annually -- the homeless, single parents, needy kids, and the homebound elderly. Programs range from support centers for teens and seniors to transitional housing for the homeless to ESL and computer classes for adults. Fund-raisers like the annual Holiday Bazaar at Sotheby's are hot tickets. Facilities at the Upper East Side center include classrooms, senior center, homeless shelter, pool and fitness center, and computer lab.

Upper West Side

Central Park Conservancy
The conservancy's site offers plenty of options for contributing, including planting trees and adopting a bench. Donate $1 for a daffodil.

Makor
The well-appointed Jewish cultural center does community service work with seniors, AIDS patients, and other groups, as well as sponsoring seminars and workshops.

Harlem

Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center
The East Harlem house runs Meals on Wheels, among other programs for seniors, children, and families.

Harlem Children's Zone
This center evolved to help improve the future for at-risk Harlem kids, and runs community pride and educational programs.

Harlem RBI
The Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities project gives a uniform, a glove and a baseball or softball education to 350 boys and girls aged 7-18. The Web site notes that the Grays, the flagship team of the boys baseball program, have even appeared on a General Mills “Team Cheerios” cereal box.

Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center
The East Harlem house runs Meals on Wheels, among other programs for seniors, children, and families.

Washington Heights

Fresh Youth Intiatives
A Washington Heights-based initiative to foster the community service spirit through programs with neighborhood kids.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn Public Library
Keep the borough's neighborhood libraries strong: One way is to get a memorial book plate, placed in a volume permanently with a contribution of $50 or more.

The Hope Program
Founded in 1984, this downtown Brooklyn organization weans over 450 adults enrolled in an intensive 16-week job readiness program, off public assistance and prepares them for self-sufficiency. Conduct one-on-one tutorials two hours a week, for a total of 12 weeks.

Project Reach Youth
PRY provides education, counseling, and youth leadership development programs to help low-income children and youth in Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Prospect Park Alliance
This public/private partnership works to preserve Brooklyn's 526-acre expanse through membership and other donations, such as commemorative trees.

Services for the Underserved
Working mostly in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, SUS offers help including home care for Medicaid patients and rehabilitative services for adults with developmental disabilities and mental retardation.

Queens

Jacob Riis Settlement House
After-school and teen leadership programs in Long Island City.

Queens Child Guidance Center
A community-based non-profit agency dedicated to helping the emotional well-being of children, adolescents, and their families via mental health services, Head Start, and other programs.

Samuel Field/Bay Terrace YM & YWHA
A non-profit social service organization and community center providing the residents of Queens and western Nassau with high quality and diverse services, innovative programming and a wide variety of community events.