As great as it feels to get, it feels even better to give. While a little money goes a long way, a single used coat or unopened toy can also make all the difference to a needy local family this holiday season. So go through your closet, your pantry, your basement, and whatever you can scrounge up, these organizations — some Bensonhurst-based, others located throughout the city but with southern Brooklyn drop-off points — will be happy to take it and distribute it appropriately.
So to all, a happy holidays, and don’t forget to spread the love this year.
Toys 4 Kids Program
What: A program that provides a Christmas Spectacular Event for 800 – 1,000 low income children since 2005. The event includes a meet and greet with Santa, a magic show, face painting, arcade games, refreshments, receiving toys, and an 18 character show starring Olaf, SpongeBob, Rudolph, and many more.
When: The event will take place on December 17th.
How to help: Drop off a toy at Reaching-Out Community Services, Inc. 7708 New Utrecht Avenue. RCS is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More info: Call (917) 509-9055
Of note: Reaching-Out Community Services has lots of other ways to give back this season as well. Check out their website for a full list.
Asian Community United Society (ACUS) 2016 Christmas Toy Giveaway
What: Bringing good cheer to the Asian communities in Sunset Park and Bensonhurst by providing a Christmas gift to over 1,000 area children. Chinese students at the New York Institute of Technology help plan the event.
How to help: If you are interested in donating to the festival, contact the professor for the Business English course Emily Rukobo at [email protected] Or, if you want to bring your child to the event, register here.
When and where: The giveaway will be held on Saturday, December 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at J.H.S. 259 William McKinley 7305 Ft Hamilton Parkway
HeartShare’s Annual Toy and Gift Drive
What: Donations are kept at St. Finbars before being distributed to children and families.
How to donate: Download the reply form here. Toys and gifts should be new and unwrapped. Used clothing is not accepted. Please be mindful of lead contents.
When: HeartShare will pick up donations starting Monday, December 12th
More info: (718) 422-3213 or [email protected]
What: Annual Christmas Party Toy Drive. Free admission and valet parking. Donate a new unwrapped toy for NYC area hospitalized children
When: December 17 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
The 5th Annual Olivia Boccuzzi Foundation Holiday Toy Drive
What: The holidays can be a challenging time for children undergoing cancer treatment. With your help, Olivia’s foundation would like to brighten the holidays for children currently fighting the battle of their life. All toys will be donated to children at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and other NYC based pediatric oncology hospitals just in time for the holidays
When: November 28th to December 15th
How to donate: Donate new wrapped or unwrapped toys for children any age from birth to 18 years. If you wrap, please indicate on outside of wrapped gift: type of toy, gender and age group. Gift cards to iTunes and Toys R Us in small amounts are great as well (due to low immunity, please no stuffed animals)
City Harvest Food Drive
What: Help City Harvest and the Daily News collect non-perishable food to keep shelves stocked at 500 soup kitchens, food pantries, and other community food programs across the city.
How to help: Run a food drive or, if that’s too much, donate food.
Where: Drop-off locations include all Apple Bank locations, select Goodwill locations, FDNY firehouses, and Police Precincts.
When: Through January 13, 2017
New York Cares
What: 28th Annual Coat Drive
How to help: Donate a coat at any police precinct citywide. For a list of drop off locations, visit newyorkcares.org/coats. Don’t have a coat to donate? Text COAT to 4144. Just $20 buys a new coat for a struggling New Yorker
Bay Ridge Cares Pajama Drive
What: For children ages 2 to teen. Donate a pair of new pajamas and help keep a child in need warm this winter
When: Donations accepted November 28 through December 16
Where: Drop-off locations are The Art Room, 8710 3rd Avenue, (347) 560-6572; The Bookmark Shoppe, 8415 3rd Avenue, (718) 833-5115; Dr. Steven Gounardes, DDS, 351 87th Street #1, (718) 238-2776; John Manning Mortgage, 155 Bay Ridge Avenue, (718) 837-2600; Senator Martin Golden, 7408 5th Avenue, (718) 238-6044; Councilman Vincent Gentile, 8018 5th Avenue, (718) 748-5200