Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bitches Do Work

A beautiful part of ther holidays is when you give your time or things you don't need to people who would benefit. Yes, we're sure you're crazy busy, what with all the shopping, parties, and cooking a Bitch on a Budget has filled her schedule with. We know it's close to the big 2-5, but it's Christmas after all. It's time to do your part, if you can, and these organizations can use your help NOW.

Volunteering: it looks good on everyone.

1. DOROT
This Jewish organization is committed to helping the elderly with their day-to-day lives. You can look forward to volunteer ingfor three hours of gift wrapping at the Barnes & Noble on 82nd Street on various days throughout the month or helping a senior to a late holiday party. Not just at christmastime, this organization needs you. Sign up on dorotusa.org.


2. Salvation Army Times Square Corps
Become an official "bell ringer" during the month of December (you’ve seen them and loved/hated them before) and spread some Christmas cheer while you’re gathering donations. Contact Jennifer Whitehouse at 212-975-9988, ext 400.


3. St. John’s Bread and Life
Fight hunger and poverty in Brooklyn and Queens at Bread and Life, which is looking for groups to serve breakfast (8-9:30am) and lunch (10:30am-12:30pm). If serving food isn't how you'd prefer to spend your time, there are plenty of other ways to pitch in, including clerical work, data entry, or computer assistance. Contact LaVerne Spencer at
spencerl@breadandlife.org.


4. Bowery Mission
One of our favorite Lower East Side charities, Bowery Mission allows you to cook at home and bring potluck dishes to the Bowery Mission Women’s Center or volunteer to serve meals throughout the week. Volunteers should contact: Stacy Landau at
volunteer@chaonline.org.


5. A Caring Hand
This organization provides bereaved children and families in New York with a support network after the death of a loved one. While full volunteers are required to make a one-year commitment, more hands are always needed for stuffing envelopes, reception work and community outreach. The volunteer contact is Virginia Dawsonat
virginia@poweredbyprofessionals.com.


6. Only Make Believe
Only Make Believe is a nonprofit that creates and performs interactive theater for children in hospitals and care facilities, and they need volunteers who can help with costume and set design. Join the “Cape Crusade” to help create capes for performances (you can do this from home or on your own schedule), or gather a group of friends to decorate a playroom or performance area and host a party for the kids after a performance. Interested? Contact Melissa Moschitto at
mmoschitto@onlymakebelieve.org.


7. Cathedral Community Cares
Get involved at Cathedral Community Cares (CCC), an organization operating at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on the Upper East Side. Along with a full slate of volunteer opportunities, CCC has two great options for one-timers or people whose schedules don’t allow for a steady commitment: On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10a to 1p, volunteers distribute clothing outside (you must be able to lift boxes, though sorting jobs do crop up when a new influx of donations comes in), and a soup kitchen operates on Sunday (servers at breakfast work from 9–11:30am, while lunch volunteers are needed from 11:30a until about 3p). The primary volunteering contact is Vanna Valdez, at
vvaldez@stjohndivine.org.


8. Encore Community Services
The Encore organization serves the elderly community of midtown. Opportunities include visiting seniors in their homes, hospitals or nursing homes; escorting and shopping for seniors; and helping out with a range of functions at the senior center, including answering phones and helping with fund-raising events. E-mail
volunteer@encorecommunityservices.org for more info.


9. Visions
If you love to knit, than this is for you: Visions at Selis Manor hosts a weekly knitting group (Mon 1:30–3p) for blind or visually impaired adults. As a volunteer, you’ll assist with reading patterns, identifying needles and sorting colors. Volunteer contact: E-mail
bbfabricant@visionsvcb.org


10. Citymeals-on-Wheels
In addition to delivering food to the elderly and frail, the organization also provides support and companionship to its clients. Each weekend, individuals and teams of volunteers deliver meals throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. If you have more time and like to talk (or, better yet, listener), you can visit seniors or take part in weekly phone calls. Prospective volunteers can contact
volunteer@citymeals.org.


11. Toys for Tots
This program is run by the Marine Corps, so you know it's a tight operation. Volunteers are needed during the pre-Christmas rush to pick up and deliver boxes of toys for children. Visit
toysfortots.org and enter your location to find out whom you should contact to participate- there are some great last-minute opportunities in Brooklyn!


Love, B

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