January 2017 - New York 

MulchFest 2017 - TreeCycle!
City of New York Parks & Recreation
Date/Time: Saturday and Sunday, January 7 and 8, 10am - 2pm. You can bring your tree to a chipping location on January 7th or 8th, or to a drop-off location anytime between Saturday, December 31 and Sunday, January 8. The NYC Department of Sanitation will also be conducting special curbside collections for mulching and recycling of Christmas trees from Tuesday, January 3 through Saturday, January 14.
Location: Click here to find a chipping or drop off location near you.

Join the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Sanitation, and GreeNYC to recycle your Christmas trees into wood chips. These wood chips are used to nourish trees and plants on streets and gardens citywide. More than 30,000 trees were recycled last year. Please remember to remove all lights and ornaments before bringing your tree to a MulchFest site.

Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: www.nycgovparks.org/highlights/festivals/mulchfest

Learn more about
helping the earth

Outreach, Serve at a Soup Kitchen or Food Pantry, Advocacy
Hunger Free America
Date/Time: Friday, January 13 through Sunday, January 16, Martin Luther King Weekend
Location: Various locations throughout New York City

Hunger Free America is partnering with agencies throughout New York City to offer a variety of volunteer opportunities for our 2017 Weekend of Service. Check out HungerVolunteer.org for volunteer opportunities--we'll be adding more over the next few weeks.

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Two to four hours
Contact: Rebecca Ligrani, rligrani@hungerfreeamerica.org, 646.553.1547
MLK Weekend Volunteer Projects
Volunteer New York!
Date/Time: Friday, January 13th through Monday, January 16th
Location: Various locations throughout Westchester

Volunteer New York! Is a Westchester-based organization that encourages volunteerism and supports local nonprofit organizations.  

Volunteer projects include:
  • Packing diapers for families in need
  • Making birthday boxes and cards for children
  • Serving meals
  • Paint therapy for seniors
  • And many others
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate. Individual projects may have separate age restrictions.
Time Commitment: Varies depending on project

Contact: 914.948.4452. Browse the Volunteer New York! 2017 MLK Day Volunteer page for projects and registration information
MLK Weekend of Service Family Art Project: A Hand in Freedom
NYC Parks Department - Partnership for Parks
Date/Time: Saturday and Sunday, January 14 and 15, 10 am - 1 pm. This event is free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.
Location: Wave Hill House, West 249th Street & Independence Ave., Bronx

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, consider his powerful message of justice and freedom. Participants will trace hands on fabric to cut out and then layer and paste on muslin. Use fabric markers and sprays to embed messages and quotes that speak out for kindness to all. Add to your design with bits of cloth, yarn and felt and lots of freedom.

Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Serve a Hot Meal
Repair the World (in partnership with Mandala Café)
Date/Time: Monday, January 16, noon - 2 pm or 6 - 8 pm
Location: All Souls Church, 88 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York

Mandala Café founder Daiken Nelson has been cooking and serving hot meals on W. 116 St. and Adam Clayton Powell every Wednesday evening for 75-150 people for years. Repair the World hopes to serve upwards of 300 people for a lunch and dinner shift on MLK Day, when children are out of school and hot meals are needed.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact: timeforgood_help@ujafedny.org. Registration is available online

MLK Day of Service - various activities to benefit neighbors in Brooklyn
Repair the World (in partnership with Met Council, Union Temple and UJA Federation of New York)
Date/Time: Monday, January 16, 10 - noon or 12:30 - 2:30 pm
Location: Union Temple, 17 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
  • Assembling winter accessory packets
  • Refreshing supplies for children in local schools
  • Packing food for those experiencing food insecurity
  • Preparing materials for outreach about SNAP benefits
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate

Time Commitment:
Two hours
Contact: timeforgood_help@ujafedny.org. Registration is available online

Learn more about
how to help fight poverty

Winter Package Delivery
Date/Time: Sunday, January 29, 10:00am
Location: The home of a senior - typically Upper East or Upper West Side

Brighten the day for a senior! Participate in Dorot's Winter Package Delivery, bringing a package of food and treats to one of Dorot's senior clients. Volunteers will visit and chat with the senior for about an hour.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Two hours
Contact:  Shelley Levine, 917.441.5051
Intergenerational Chess
Dorot - Intergenerational After School Programs
Date/Time: Mondays, January 30 - May 15, 4 - 5:30pm
Location: Dorot, 171 West 85th Street

DOROT offers intergenerational programs for youth of varying ages to connect with older adults. Interacting with older adults enables youth to develop communication skills, positive attitudes toward aging, and a sense of purpose and community. Students in 6th - 12th grades and older adults play chess together, share their love of the game and help build intergenerational connections across the chessboard.
Ages: Students in grades 6 - 12
Time Commitment: Each session is an hour and a half
Contact:  Shelley Levine, 917.441.5051
Host a PJ and Book Drive!
Pajama Program
Date/Time: Flexible
Location: Your home or location of your choosing
Pajama Program is a nonprofit that provides new pajamas and new books to children in need through a nationwide network of service agencies. Winter is considered the "danger season" for children in shelter and temporary housing.

Consider hosting a Pajama Party or Book Drive for your child's next Birthday!
  • Invite your guests to a Pajama Party (or any theme party).
  • In lieu of gifts, ask guests to bring a new pair of pajamas or a new book to donate to Pajama Program.
  • Pajamas should be new/unused and a complete set or nightgown.
  • Decide on an age range to collect (all ages, infant, children to age 5, children 6 - 12, teens, etc.)
  • Posters, signs and brochures can be used for invitations or to decorate the party space, and may be downloaded from the Pajama Program website.
  • Once your drive is complete, report the donation to the Pajama Program through the link on the website.
  • Pajama Program cannot provide pickup service for donations. However, within seven days they will contact you with an organization in your area that would love to take your donation. They will give you the contact name and number to arrange for a convenient time for you to drop it off.
Ages: Everyone is welcome to participate
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: 212.716.9757
Monday, January 16th is Martin Luther King Day of Service
"Everybody can be great because everybody can serve"
Monday, January 16th is a school and bank holiday to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Instead of just making it a day OFF, make it a day ON and consider participating in a service project with your family. Many organizations provide tips, resources and hands-on opportunities to begin a conversation about social justice around the Holiday.

Visit the following sites for more ideas:

DIY Kindness Journal
Doing Good Together
Date/Time: This is a great project to begin in the New Year, but you can start anytime.
Location:  Your home
Keeping a compassion-themed journal is a wonderful way to build kindness into busy weeks and shine a spotlight on acts of kindness. Plus, you'll have a place to record family volunteering memories! Decorate a composition notebook with duct tape. Scatter compassion-themed prompts and quotes throughout it. Then make time periodically to discuss, draw, and write about those kindness prompts as a family. Visit the Doing Good Together DIY Kindness Journal page to find printable Family Service Memory Sheets, Kindness Journal Prompts, and ideas for keeping your kindness journal.
Ages: Everyone in the family can participate
Time Commitment: We suggest scheduling at least fifteen to thirty minutes each week to discuss the journal prompts and write or draw together.
Contact:  mail@doinggoodtogether.org
New Year's Resolution Idea: Join Our Membership Circle for just $24.99!

Whether you're new to family volunteering and want to stay focused on your service goals, or you've gotten started but want expert help on how to expand your family's kindness practice, DGT's Big-Hearted Families™ Membership Circle is a great way to make 2017 a year of kindness and service! Learn more today, and sign up any time throughout the year.


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This list was compiled by Doing Good Together™ (www.doinggoodtogether.org)
 When calling to volunteer for any of the opportunities listed above, please let the coordinator know you found it through this listing. You are encouraged to ask any questions you may have of the sponsoring organization before committing to a project.
Disclaimer: This list is provided as a service to families. Inclusion of organizations in this listing does not imply affiliation, endorsement or quality assurance on the part of Doing Good Together.™ Doing Good Together™ bears no responsibility whatsoever for the activities and actions of the listed organizations. 

                                                                                                     © 2016 Doing Good Together™