How to Give Anything Away

Illustration by Peter Arkle

“I’ve got this practically new ______; it’s a shame to throw it away.”

Bottomless Closet helps job-seeking disadvantaged women with everything from résumé prep to interview-appropriate clothing. Your jackets, skirts, shirts, and accessories can be sent to or dropped off at 15 Penn Plaza (212-563-2499). Career Gear provides job-seeking men with interview suits. Their wish list: big and tall suits and blazers, ties, belts, and cuff links, as well as professional supplies like portfolios (212-577-6190).

Cell Phone
Drop your old phone at any Verizon Wireless outlet, or download a postage-paid label from and send it in (remember to clear your data first). The phones will be refurbished and donated, along with 3,000 minutes of airtime, to local organizations like Sanctuary for Families and the Crime Victim Advocate Program of the Queens district attorney’s office.

A couch that sells for $400 at one of Housing Works’ nine locations pays for two weeks of supportive housing for a client; a $50 side table helps pay for basic math classes for eight HIV-positive New Yorkers. There’s free pickup—check first that your furniture actually can fit through your front door. Call 888-493-6628 to schedule, or submit a pickup request at

Illustration by Peter Arkle

My Pick-6 habit hit, so I’ve got _____ extra cash to give.”

One dollar can help the agency City Harvest rescue and deliver nearly four pounds of food; you can donate online, or, during December, stop by the City Harvest–sponsored gingerbread-house contest at Le Parker Meridien hotel and pay $1 to vote for the best display. On November 21, shoppers at the Union Square Greenmarket can buy a bag of food and donate it to the City Harvest table (under the Greenmarket tent at 15th Street and Union Square West).

Assist Room to Grow in collecting toys for the 300 babies and toddlers attending its annual holiday party by ordering from the group’s registry at the online toy store If you spend $100, the retailer will donate another toy to the cause. Or you can drop off new age-appropriate toys at Room to Grow’s offices at 54 W. 21st Street.

God’s Love We Deliver started out 23 years ago feeding New Yorkers living with AIDS and HIV; eight years ago, it expanded to feeding fresh, nutritious food to all critically ill people. The $25,000 is needed to fund its holiday-meal program, which treats all clients to a traditional turkey meal delivered on Christmas Day. Bump your donation up to $39,000 to replace old delivery vans with new, refrigerated models (

Illustration by Peter Arkle

I’m making time for volunteer work, and I’ve set aside ______ .”

A Couple Hours
Food Bank for NYC stocks 1,000-plus sites; during the holidays, it needs manpower. The 90,000-square-foot warehouse in Hunts Point always needs weekday help sorting and packing its voluminous donations. Or you can drop in for a few hours at the Community Kitchen & Pantry of West Harlem on 116th Street to prepare and serve meals, stock shelves, or help clients shop and bag groceries. Apply online (, or contact volunteer manager Heather Joseph (

A Half-Day
New York Cares is a mammoth organization, putting volunteers where they’re needed for many kinds of groups. This time of year, there’s a particular need for volunteers to spend several hours visiting hospital-bound seniors and organizing holiday parties for kids in shelters. There’s a quick orientation, and a volunteer-relations team at 212-228-5000 can answer any questions.

A Standing Date
The Friendly Visiting program at Citymeals-on-Wheels matches volunteers to seniors in need of companionship. Hang out with someone who’s homebound once a week for an hour, or take mobile seniors out for walks or coffee. Download the application from their website ( and fax it to 212-687-1296 with two references.

How to Give Anything Away