Volunteer in Manhattan: 5 Ways to Give Back on #GivingTuesday

After a day of family and feasting, let’s kick off the holiday season by spreading that goodwill and generosity to others. Giving Tuesday, November 28th, is the perfect occasion to spend a little money or time to make a difference in the life of your fellow New Yorkers. The New York Council of Nonprofits and United Way of New York are encouraging us all to give to New York non-profits throughout the state with the 24-hour fundraising challenge, #NYGivesDay. But donating is not the only way to give back to your community. Here in Manhattan, NYXT hopes you’ll support our non-profits and the work they do by giving your time. Check out five ways to volunteer in the spirit of giving: 


1. The Lower Eastside Girls’ Club

Give back and lift up girls in our city by volunteering your time at the Lower Eastside Girls Club. With programs ranging from career training to STEM, arts, and wellness classes, to entrepreneurial initiatives, the LESGC is always looking for engaged mentors, fundraisers, tutors, event staff, and more. If you are passionate about breaking cycles of local poverty and training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial, and environmental female leaders, fill out their volunteer application


2. Wildlife Conservation Society

Are you a nature lover who loves to share your passion for animals and conservation with others? The Wildlife Conservation Society hopes to conserve the world's largest wild places which are home to more than 50% of the world's biodiversity. WCS offers many ways for teens and adults to volunteer as educators and docents throughout our city’s zoos. At the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and the New York Aquarium, WCS inspires more than 4 million visitors each year with the beauty of wildlife. Visit WCS.org for more details on volunteer opportunities and to apply. 


3. Urban Arts Partnership

Urban Arts Partnership brings creative programming and arts professionals into New York City public school classrooms. Students who participate in Urban Arts Partnership programs not only receive the benefits of artistic enrichment, they score higher on tests and are more engaged in all aspects of their classroom learning. Each year, Urban Arts Partnership works with corporate partners to place volunteers from those companies into New York schools. Corporate volunteer groups have juried student art exhibitions, helped with school and community beautification projects, and served as mentors for creative career seekers. If you would like to get your company involved, visit UrbanArts.org/volunteers to learn more.


4. The Center

Since 1983, The Center has been a welcoming environment that educates and celebrates the queer community in NYC. Serving 6,000 members of the diverse LGBT community in Manhattan each year, volunteers provide essential support to The Center’s activities. Volunteer shifts are available at the National Archive of LGBT History, the cyber center, and library. Volunteers also staff events, serve on committees and contribute their creative talents as graphic designers, photographers, and writers. Learn more about opportunities at gaycenter.org or write to volunteer@gaycenter.org. 


5. The Doe Fund

The Doe Fund is breaking the cycles of poverty, homelessness, and recidivism in New York City by providing housing, training, and job placements to our at-risk populations. With the motto, “Ready, Willing, and Able,” the Doe Fund is equipping veterans, homeless and the formerly incarcerated with a combination of paid work and social services that set men on the path to success and self-sufficiency. For individuals who want to learn more about helping their fellow New Yorkers, reach out to volunteer@doe.org for available opportunities. 


Volunteering is a personal and NYC-centered way to support our city in the spirit of #GivingTuesday. But if you cannot commit to an ongoing volunteer relationship with one of the amazing non-profits here in New York, consider planning to attend an upcoming benefit to help with their good works:


  • Get your tickets to the Benefit Concert Reading of Damn Yankees at non-profit Roundabout Theater Company on Monday, December 11. Proceeds will benefit the Roundabout’s programs which serve over 20,000 students and their teachers in New York’s public schools.
  • At Gaming for Girls Write Now spend a night supporting literacy and creativity with cocktails and casino games. Tickets to the November 30th event are on sale now. 
  • Dance the night away at A Positive Spin, a benefit concert for the Lower Eastside Girls Club. In addition to supporting the no-cost programming that empowers Manhattan girls, a raffle, and food drive to benefit the Food Bank for New York City will be held, with a request for two non-perishable food items to enter the drawing.


For more information on these and other events hosted by our partners, visit our new Events Calendar. And be sure to stop by and learn more about our non-profit content partners during this season of giving: 


  • Lower Eastside Girls Club offers girls and young women 8-18 pathways to grow, learn, have fun, & develop confidence in themselves
  • Wildlife Conservation Society works to conserve millions of square miles around the world, with nearly 500 projects in 65 countries.
  • Urban Arts Partnership seeks to foster a love of arts in public school students through arts education.
  • The Center is a welcoming community that empowers people to live happier and healthier lives.
  • The Doe Fund is working to break the cycles of homelessness, addiction, and criminal recidivism.
  • Roundabout Theater Company Roundabout is a non-profit theatre company that puts on classic plays and musicals for children and adults.
  • Girls Write Now pairs professional writers with underserved young women to help them discover the power of their own voices.
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