Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Six ways to volunteer with NYC kids

Whether it's fulfilling a child's wish or visiting a senior citizen, help your kid give to back to their community by participating in one of these volunteer programs. 


  • Photograph: James Amedeo

    Hope Lodge and Hair2Help

  • Photograph: Rebecca Davis

    NY Cares Winter Wishes Program

  • Photograph: Courtesy Project FIND/Elke Rosthal

    Kids volunteering with Project FIND at Marble Collegiate Church

  • Photograph: Natalie Greaves

    Ronald McDonald House Kids Charity Fun Run

Photograph: James Amedeo

Hope Lodge and Hair2Help

There's no better time to get your kids interested in volunteering than around the holidays. Here are six ways your crew can start spreading the love.

FULFILL A CHILD'S WISH
Through New York Cares' Winter Wishes program, kids can purchase a holiday gift for a disadvantaged child or teen who otherwise may not receive one. Presents are dropped off at social service agencies around the city. Go to newyorkcares.org to request a letter. All ages.

BRIGHTEN UP A SENIOR'S DAY
Families can sign up to spend the (early) evening dancing with the elderly at the uptown outpost of Jewish Home Lifecare. Kids help residents re-create the dance halls of their youth, while learning some new—er, retro—moves. Thu 6:45--8:15pm. Go to newyorkcares.org to reserve a spot and get location information. Ages 6 and up.

RUN FOR KIDS LIVING WITH CANCER
A week after the ING New York City Marathon, little athletes lace up their sneakers for the 13th Annual Kids Charity Fun Run. The mini marathon benefits Ronald McDonald House New York, a nonprofit that provides a temporary home to families while their children are receiving cancer treatment in the city. The opening ceremony and prerace warm-up begin at 9:30am, with age-appropriate races kicking off at 9:45am. All participants receive a T-shirt, running number and an I FINISHED ribbon. Nov 12 at 9:30am. Central Park, enter at Seventh Ave and Central Park South. Registration $40, in advance $30. To register or to make a donation, go to rmh-newyork.org. Ages 4 and up.

CLEAN UP THE PARK
On , little green thumbs help clean up our city's most popular green space while working on fall horticultural projects; all tools will be provided. Families are advised to show up in closed-toe shoes. Nov 12 10am--noon. Central Park (centralparknyc.org). Check website for location. Ages 4 and up.

DESIGN GET-WELL CARDS
In coordination with Hair2help.org, children put their coloring skills to good use by making cards for cancer patients staying at Hope Lodge in midtown. All supplies (markers, crayons, construction paper) are provided, and juice and snacks will be served. Nov 13 noon--2pm. James Corbett Studio, 32 Union Sq East at 16th St, second floor (212-388-1296, jamescorbettstudio.com). Reservations and $20 donation required. Ages 4 to 8.

MAKE SANDWICHES ON THANKSGIVING DAY
Before they chow down on turkey and stuffing at home, children help make sandwiches for homebound seniors. Nov 24 at 9am.

The Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Columbus Ave at W 60th St. To sign up, e-mail ehanley@marblechurch.org; reservations required. Ages 6 and up.

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