As the streets of New York City empty and we take refuge in our homes to prevent spreading COVID-19, especially to our most vulnerable neighbors, a changing way of life is leaving many New Yorkers wondering what they can do to make a difference during this time of uncertainty.
To create this guide, we combed through the websites and social media accounts of each of NYXT’s community partners to let you know what you can do, financially or otherwise, to help ensure that many of these organizations can survive this global pandemic. Please note that things are evolving quickly, so if you are interested in learning more, visit the website of the organizations you would like to help to read the most up-to-date information.
Do you represent an organization or nonprofit in New York City that we could add to this list? Please fill out our contact form with any pertinent details around how people can help your organization and we will update the list as needed.
Sign Petitions to Influence Change Locally and Abroad
Get inspired by "A Local Activist," a video produced by NYXT.nyc.
Petitions are a quick and easy way to show support for the causes you believe in and improve the lives of others. Show further support by donating on the organization’s website.
- Human rights abuses are still happening around the world. Amnesty International invites you to use this time to take action and sign petitions from home. It’s also a perfect time to explore their YouTube tutorial videos teaching people how to become activists.
- Visit the Center for Popular Democracy’s issues page to sign petitions to help progressive policy victories on issues of economic and racial justice. They also shared a petition to tell Congress to protect nurses during COVID-19.
- Human Rights Watch provides a variety of ways to take action from home through social media activism and online petitions. You can also explore their comprehensive COVID-19 response page that provides an overview of human rights concerns posed by the coronavirus outbreak, drawing on examples of government responses to date, and recommends ways governments can respect human rights in their response.
- The Innocence Project works to help free innocent people from prison and reform laws to prevent wrongful convictions. The coronavirus has reached jails and prisons, and the organization has compiled a list of ways you can help advocate for prisoners including lending your voice to the cause, making a donation, and spreading awareness.
- The New York Civil Liberties Union has created a resource for Coronavirus and the Rights of New Yorkers that includes a petition to help people in jails and prisons. You will also find a comprehensive list of petitions and letters you can add your name to.
- Transportation Alternatives advocates for better bicycling, walking, and public transit to create more space on the streets to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and maintain social distancing. Streetopia is a campaign to promote the remarkable potential for transforming much more of New York City’s open space, and you can act now by requesting changes in your neighborhood, launch petitions, and sign up for borough activist committee meetings, now in an online format.
- The Wildlife Conservation Society urges every American to take a moment to ask Congress to support WCS and the thousands of other community-based nonprofit organizations in the country by filling out a petition.
Help Protect New York City’s Most Vulnerable Populations
Watch "The Most Dangerous Week," a video produced by Safe Horizon.
According to the Center for Disease Control, older adults and anyone with serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. Immigrants, homeless, and minority populations are also at higher risk. You can make a difference by donating and getting involved with the following organizations below:
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention raises awareness, funds scientific research and provides resources and aid to those affected by suicide. They recently created a comprehensive resource with tips on how to support mental health while navigating change during this pandemic. You can donate now to help fund the organization's mission to save lives and give hope to those affected by suicide.
- CancerCare announced it has launched a financial assistance program for cancer patients affected by COVID-19. Donate now to help provide free, professional support services to cancer patients across the nation.
- Citymeals on Wheels delivers meals to the elderly throughout New York City and are currently preparing 300,000 emergency meals. Please donate now - more than 18,000 homebound elderly New Yorkers are depending on donations.
- According to The Doe Fund’s COVID-19 response, the organization needs financial support now more than ever before. Consider making a special gift to ensure the well-being of their workers who are working to rebuild their lives.
- DOROT is working to develop a new Caring Calls Program to be able to continue the vital work of bringing generations together and creating social connections without home visits. Volunteers will be able to call DOROT elders on a one-time or regular basis for meaningful conversations. Sign up to volunteer or make a donation.
- Hetrick Martin Institute, an organization helping LGBTQ+ youth across the country, has compiled a helpful list of COVID-19 resources for New Yorkers including information about local soup kitchens, housing, medical and insurance services, and more. For those shopping on Amazon, you can select Hetrick Martin Institute as your charity at https://smile.amazon.com or you can donate here.
- In It Together has partnered with non-profit organizations across the city who work in areas ranging from food banks to grassroots delivery collectives. Fill out their quick survey to explain your availability, location, and interests, and they will reach out to let you know how you can help. Read the volunteer FAQ to learn more and click on the "Apply Now" button on the volunteer survey to get started.
- Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim assistance organization, has compiled resources for quarantined domestic violence victims. Safe Horizon is making every effort to provide virtual and telephonic services. The organization’s hotline, helpline, SafeChat, and emergency shelters are still open. Make a donation and impact lives today.
- Union Settlement provides East Harlem residents with the vital education, wellness and community-building programs and services they need to thrive. Residents in low-income and vulnerable communities face unimaginable and devastating financial and medical risks due to COVID-19. Make a donation today.
- The United Nations Joint SDG Fund is working with the World Health Organization to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments. Contribute to the global effort by making a donation.
- Witness helps people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. They are currently focusing on current unjust immigration enforcement and the effects of COVID-19 within immigrant detention. You can donate to the cause and learn to create an effective advocacy video.
Support the Arts From Your Couch
Watch "Brooklyn Youth Music Project," a video produced by BRIC.
In times of crisis, artists are often among those most affected. Contribute to helping arts organizations in New York City survive the COVID-19 pandemic at a time when they need help the most.
- BRIC needs financial help to overcome the impact of COVID-19. To help alleviate the anticipated economic impact on BRIC, its programs, and its dedicated creative workforce, they have set up the BRIC Creative Future Relief Fund. You can also get involved by exploring videos published by BRIC TV and Brooklyn Free Speech.
- Brooklyn Ballet operates primarily on earned income, and because they anticipate a drastic reduction of income for 2020, the organization has launched an emergency relief fund that you can contribute to called Take Back Dance.
- Brooklyn Music School is providing online private lessons as a way to adapt to the pandemic and maintain its support of music students. You can donate here and sign up for their newsletter for upcoming information on all classes.
- The Chocolate Factory Theater has postponed upcoming performances, but you can still support the organization by contributing to its Patreon page. They are also maintaining a list of Long Island City restaurants near the theater that need your support.
- Support the Magnet Theater by streaming live performances over Twitch. Anyone can watch, but you can contribute by purchasing tickets on each performance page at the suggested price of $12.
- While the New York Neo-Futurists practice social distancing, they launched a new podcast called “Hit Play” to continue to create art. The podcast is a selection of Neo-Futurist experiments in audio every Saturday and Sunday. Support the NYNF Patreon account to gain access.
- Roulette has suspended live programming and asks that patrons support the organization by making a tax-deductible gift to the organization and subscribe to Roulette’s newsletter for special digital content drawing on its archive, community news and resources, and the most up-to-date programming info.
- Roundabout Theater Company has suspended all performances and asks if you have tickets for any canceled performances, please consider donating their value to ensure Roundabout can remain resilient. Roundabout relies on support from generous contributors and you can donate with a tax-deductible gift of any size today.
- Strand Books shared a letter to the public about the impact that COVID-19 has had on their business. Fortunately, you can support them by purchasing e-gift cards.
- Urban Arts Partnership remains committed to inspiring creativity in the classroom even if that classroom is a virtual one. Help the organization support teachers in New York and across the country with its Remote Learning resources by donating today.
Keep Museums Alive With Your Support
Watch "New York at its Core: Ruby Bailey," a video produced by the Museum of the City of New York.
Besides offering financial support, you can also help by telling Congress to include nonprofit museums for COVID-19 assistance funding by adding your name to this petition.
- Enjoy the Museum of the City of New York from your home by exploring nearly 205,000 objects in their digital collections portal. You can support the museum by making a donation.
- The Rubin Museum provides a searchable online database of its permanent collection that you can explore. Help the museum by donating any ticket purchases for canceled programs in support of their year-round public, education, and family programs. You can also support the museum by becoming a Rubin member.
- The Tenement Museum is offering remote learning resources and the chance to explore the museum from home to discover the family histories of our former residents and so much more. Help keep the Tenement Museum alive with a donation.
Support Youth and Education Organizations
Watch "Learning to Skate," a video produced by Figure Skating in Harlem.
Youth and education organizations will struggle to stay afloat as the pandemic progresses, but you can show your support with a donation. You can also help your family by downloading helpful remote learning resources that they offer.
- Figure Skating in Harlem shared a COVID-19 update detailing canceled events, except for the 2020 Champions in Life Gala which will take place virtually. FSH has asked for the public’s support in this time of need, and you can send a donation here.
- Literacy Partners is sharing educational and literacy resources on its Twitter account and has asked that the public help support their students financially during this time.
- Reading Partners has released a COVID-19 FAQ response and is asking for funding to help bring educational resources to kids. Parents can download Bright by Text which provides free activities, games, and resources, including Reading Partners content, for parents and caregivers of children prenatal to age 8. Make a donation today.
- Stuttering Association for the Young is currently reimagining its programming so that they can be offered remotely. Make a donation to support, education, and empower any child that wants to be a part of SAY.
Support Green Spaces and Environmental Conservation
Watch "Snow Leopard Cubs at Central Park Zoo," a video produced by the Wildlife Conservation Society.
The following organizations are still fully committed to their critical missions of helping animals and the environment.
- Animal Outlook has postponed planned events as noted in its detailed response plan to COVID-19. The organization remains committed to its mission and has asked for financial support during this uncertain time. You can donate here.
- Earth Day Network has announced in a press release a shift to global digital mobilizations for this year’s 50th anniversary of Earth Day happening on April 22. They plan to leverage innovative digital media platforms to mobilize millions in a collective call for transformative action for our planet. Join the movement at EarthDay.org.
- Greenpeace is making extended efforts to expand its digital outreach, build new ways to leverage activism, and work with global colleagues and allies through this crisis. Read the full COVID-19 update from Executive Director Annie Leonard and contribute to the cause by making a donation.
- The Trust for Public Land’s mission is to create parks and protect land for people. As the nation grapples with the impacts of COVID-19, having close-to-home natural spaces where people maintain social distancing while getting fresh air and exercise has never been more important. Donate now to help carry their work into the future.
- The Wildlife Conservation Society is making frequent COVID-19 news updates, and urging every American to take a moment to ask Congress to support WCS and the thousands of other community-based nonprofit organizations in the country by filling out a petition. You can also support wildlife conservation by making a donation.
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