Local Charity Wish List for the Holidays

the bridge ny
Volunteers help out at The Bridge, a social service organization on 108th street. Image via The Bridge.

By Arianna Geneson

During the holiday season, there are a variety of ways to give back to the community and help those in need on the Upper West Side. Below we provide a list of organizations seeking donations, volunteers, and more. If you are interested in donating or getting involved, please reach out to the contacts included below. Happy Holidays!

The list is concentrated in the northern part of the neighborhood, because much of it is from the Columbus-Amsterdam BID. Charities from other areas should contact us or leave information about their needs in the comments.


221 W 107th Street                  212-222-0666


Ascension Church reaches out to the poor, the elderly, those not able to shop, those on food stamps, the homeless, and the hungry. The children of the Ascension Church Religious Education Program run a Food Pantry, Ascension Parish also hosts a Homeless Shelter, and Ascension School, a Catholic elementary school serving pre-K to grade 8, runs an after school tutoring program.

Wish List: We have three ongoing holiday activities—

Santa’s Recycling Event: We are collecting gently used Christmas decorations, knick-knacks, tree-trimmings, Christmas-themed kitchen linens, etc. that we re-sell on Sundays throughout the holiday season. If you’re tired of that old Santa statue, or needing for more space the other 11 months of the year, please drop off your items for the Santa’s Recycling Sale to the Church Rectory. Proceeds go to the children’s religious education program.

Ascension/Holy Trinity Homeless Shelter will be collecting new, MENS socks, hats, gloves, scarves and packaged one-use hand and foot warmers. Donations can be left in the Rectory. Items will be distributed directly to our homeless guests. Our shelter runs every Saturday and Sunday nights, and we are always welcoming new volunteers to set up, clean up, cook, and sleep over. Monetary donations are greatly appreciated as well.

The Ascension Food Pantry collects dry, packaged foods and canned goods for distribution to the poor of our neighborhood on the third Saturday of the month, and we will be doing additional distributions over the holidays.

All donations can be left in the Ascension Church rectory at  221 West 107th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. For more information, email Robin at rklueber@ascensionchurchnyc.org, or call 212-749-5938.


23 W 106th Street                 212-316-9353

ctorres@aichhorn.org                      www.aichhorn.org

The Aichhorn Center is a non-profit corporation organized in New York City in 1977. Its mission is to assist teenagers by providing residential treatment services. It remains a prototype model for providing meaningful treatment to youth who cannot be managed in ordinary group homes or institutional settings. Here children develop long-term and close interactions with the supportive adults that care for them in their daily lives. This program is intensive and includes complete educational and recreational facilities at the site and a staff-patient ratio of 3 to 1.

Wish List: Double Dutch ropes, digital cameras, laptops and/or tablets, art supplies, board games, puzzles, young adult reading materials, DVDs and CD


125 W 109th Street               212-663-4067


Since its inception in 1960, the Bloomingdale Family Program has served thousands of preschool children and their families.

The program is a pioneer in early childhood education, special education, and parent development. Bloomingdale provides a wide range of services that include parent support groups, family literacy initiatives, on-site speech, and play therapy for children. We serve 135 children from age 2-5 years old within three locations in this community.

Wish List: new iPads, yarn and crochet needles, financial contributions, gift cards, new toys and games for preschoolers, and volunteers.

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON BEACON 54 (A Program of Harlem Children’s Zone)

103 W 107th Street               www.hcz.org                        




The Booker T. Washington Beacon 54 (BTW) aims to help students achieve academic success, while also helping them become healthier and more engaged in the world around them. In addition to providing homework help and tutoring, BTW employs specialized teaching artists, who introduce students to photography, video, dance, art, karate, organized sports and career development. BTW also offers a wide range of programming for adults, including GED, ESL, salsa, yoga, boot camp, Zumba, and nutrition classes. Our overall mission is to combat generational poverty and minimize the achievement gap in our communities.

Wish List: Tablets (Kindles, galaxy tabs, literacy software) American Doll , Baby Alive Doll, Bey Blades, Scooters, skate boards, New diary of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants books, Lego sets, Action figures, Match box Cars) Middle School- Headphones, IPhone chargers, Portable charger, Make up- Portfolio art set, Sport socks, Laptops, Basketball, Kyrie Irving book bags, Girl Shoulder bags, Infinity scarves, Blanket Scarf, Bluetooth speakers, Bluetooth portable sound speaker. High School- Left hand baseball glove, T-shirts, Socks, video games for PS4 (Basketball, Baseball, Need for Speed)


Clinical Hub: 248 W. 108th Street                         212-663-3000

Executive Offices: 290 Lenox Avenue

development@thebridgeny.org                   www.thebridgeny.org

The Bridge, founded in 1954, is a social service agency that serves over 2,700 New Yorkers with serious mental illness. The Bridge’s comprehensive services include supportive housing (with 5 residences on the Upper West Side), mental health and substance abuse treatment (provided at the Clinical Hub in Morningside Heights), veterans’ services, health care in collaboration with the Ryan Health Center, care coordination, urban farming, and creative arts therapies. More than 1,200 adults with serious mental illness, young adults aging out of residential treatment and foster care, veterans, seniors, and low income families are housed in Bridge residences in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

Wish List: warm socks, gloves, scarves, arts and craft supplies, and board games. Monetary donations to support programs and services are deeply appreciated and can be made online www.thebridgeny.org  or by check (best mailed to the agency’s Executive Offices at 290 Lenox Avenue, 3rd Floor, NYC 10027).   The Bridge is a 501(c)3 organization.


1047 Amsterdam Ave                        212-316-7583

kkamara@stjohndivine.org                        ccc@stjohndivine.org

The mission of Cathedral Community Cares (CCC) is to combat and alleviate poverty through preventive poverty services, education and advocacy–specifically targeting the issues of health and hunger. CCC runs a Sunday Soup Kitchen, serving breakfast at 10am, lunch at 12:30pm, and take-home supper every week. They also host a Clothing Closet, open on Tuesday and Thursday for distribution between 10am and 1pm (clients must arrive before 12:30pm.) Additionally, CCC advises clients on SNAP Certification and Re-Certification by appointment and provides Health Education and Screenings.

Wish List: non-perishable unopened food items; men’s and women’s winter clothing; new, unwrapped toys (all donations must be received before Dec 17); unopened, travel-sized hygiene products The best times to drop off donated items are Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am-5pm.


885 Columbus Ave                212-865-6337

Beverlyw@childrensaidsociety.org                        www.childrensaidsociety.org

The Children’s Aid Society at Frederick Douglass Center provides essential services to children and families on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The center was founded in 1958 by The Children’s Aid Society, and today, more than 600 children and their families use the center each day. The facilities include a full-service library, gymnasium, outdoor playground facilities, and after-school and nursery classrooms. Services include: Head Start, Child Care, After-School and Summer Camps for Elementary and Middle School, Teen Programs, and an AAU Basketball program.

Wish List: board games (e.g. UNO, Monopoly, Trouble, Sorry), variety of girl & boy toys (ages 5-14)


904 Amsterdam Ave                          212-736-7385 ext. 220

developmemt@urbanpathways.org                        www.urbanpathways.org

Urban Pathways serves as the first point of contact for homeless New Yorkers. We engage individuals “where they are at” through our strong network of services to help individuals move into housing and minimize the likelihood of ever returning to the streets. Urban Pathways offers arts and crafts classes to our clients and is currently seeking donations of supplies to benefit at-risk and formerly homeless New Yorkers. For more information on where and how to donate, please email development@urbanpathways.org

Wish List: Welcome Kits (as new residents move in, they are given a kit of necessary items to start of life in their new apartment—i.e. wastebasket, shower mat, pillow, oven mitt, etc.), MetroCards, Turkeys, Canned and boxed food, Toiletries, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, lotion, Arts and class supplies for classes. Also art supplies: craft paints (watercolor, oil, and acrylic), wood crafts, papier maché, glue, paint brushes, adult coloring books, unfinished frames, wood craft sticks, colored pencils, stencils, drawing paper, construction paper, crayons, glitter, scissors, rulers, easels, and palettes


Columbus Amsterdam BID is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve conditions in the neighborhood of Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues from 96th to 110th Streets. We supplement city services and work with NYC agencies and Community Board 7.

Some of our current projects include:

More information at www.columbusamsterdambid.org or on Twitter @Col_AmBID

The BID has worked with local restaurants between 96th and 110th Streets to create Bloomingdale Restaurants. To that end, we have sponsored six Taste of Bloomingdale: Flavors of the World events and have launched a new website highlighting some of the 100+ restaurants in this area. Learn more at www.bloomingdalerestaurants.nyc

If you would like to learn more about what we do, please call or email us.

More information at www.columbusamsterdambid.org or on Twitter @Col_AmBID

The BID has worked with local restaurants between 96th and 110th Streets to create Bloomingdale Restaurants. To that end, we have sponsored three Taste of Bloomingdale: Flavors of the World events and have launched a new website highlighting some of the 100+ restaurants in this area. Learn more at www.bloomingdalerestaurants.nyc

If you would like to learn more about what we do, please call or email us.


991 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10025

Phone: 212-666-9774


Peter Arndtsen, District Manager


175 W 107th Street               212-749-0781

domincansunday@hotmail.com                 646-606-4651

Dominican Sunday, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1995 and is committed to empowering and providing a variety of support to the residents of the West Harlem, Manhattan Valley, and Morningside communities. Currently, the organization offers a variety of support in the following areas: adult education (citizenship, ESL, and GED classes), and computer classes.

Wish List: new awning for storefront, electronic gate, laser printer, copy machine, 5 sets of mouse and keyboard for PCs, 11 new office chairs, volunteers (skills: grant writing, fundraising, receptionist)


214 W 97th Street                 212-932-8040


The Franciscan Community Center (FCC) exists to serve the people of Manhattan’s Upper West Side and reach out to all, in particular the poor, the alienated, and immigrant populations. FCC develops, manages, and supports educational, recreational, and outreach programs that create positive change in the lives of those it serves. FCC offers programs and services in the following areas: the FCC Thrift Shop, Art & Painting, Babies & Toddlers, Counseling, Legal & Social Referral Services, Food Pantry & 97th Street Sandwich Line.

Wish List: household donations (pots, pans, cups, clothing, furniture), monetary donations to maintain Food Pantry intake



Goddard Riverside Community Center serves some 20,000 people each year with 30 programs at 23 sites on the Upper West Side and throughout Manhattan. Our programs include college counseling, supportive housing, employment readiness, older adult services, outreach to homeless people, and early childhood and youth services. We work every day for a fair and just society where all people have the opportunity to make choices that lead to better lives for themselves and their families. We currently have three opportunities for which we are seeking your support.

Christmas Meal: Every year on Thanksgiving and Christmas we serve a share a holiday meal with more than 1,000 of our neighbors. We’re seeking donations of food such as turkeys, pies and cookies for our Christmas meal. Contact: Brianne Kilpatrick, bkilpatrick@goddard.org, 212-873-6600 x 314.

Clothing Drive: Goddard Riverside at Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center is accepting donations of new hats, gloves and socks. They may be left at the front desk at 250 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023. Phone: (212) 874-0860.

Tutoring: The Star Learning Center needs volunteer tutors for low-income students in grades 2-12. To become a tutor, fill out an application at https://www.goddard.org/grcc/volunteer/starlearning/.


120 W 106th Street               212-870-4618

mlevi@jewishhome.org                   www.jewishhome.org

Jewish Home Lifecare provides healthcare services and assistance for elders. With more than 160 years of experience as a not-for-profit elder care system, Jewish Home provides a network of care and serves as a resource for aging elders and caregivers. Our Research Institute on Aging works to expand knowledge of the aging experience and models of service and to contribute to the quality of care and quality of life afforded to older adults and their families. Jewish Home Lifecare’s staff, trustees, and partners strive to be a vital force in serving elders and those who care for them.

Wish List: iPods, Kindles, new headphones, portable CD players, portable DVD players, DVDs, arts & craft supplies, beads, new cosmetics, lotions, new caps, new scarves, costume jewelry, NY Times Subscription, Daily News Subscription, books on CDs, new large print books, holiday gifts for seniors


  1. O. Box 250402 917-775-1199

irenezola@L-i-L-Y.org                    www.Lifeforce-in-later-years.org

At a time when a multitude of frail elders are living alone, Lifeforce in Later Years or LiLY is addressing a major crisis in elder-care.  Our cadre of volunteers, who are neighbors, help elders with practical matters, connect them to community and needed services, and create lasting new friendships.  Our aim is to help people to age comfortably in their own homes if possible, and it’s all free of charge.  As less than 3% of all charity is earmarked for the elderly, your donation is especially important.  We are currently serving elders living between W.105th and W.135th Streets between Riverside Drive and Amsterdam Avenue/Convent Avenue.  If you live in this area and would like to join a great team of volunteers, please call 917-775-1199.

Wish List: Monetary donations, small raffle prizes, such as lunch or dinner for two, fancy food for January community party, volunteers (to visit seniors or help with other programs)


Moms.stocking@gmail.com                        www.momschristmasstocking.com

Honoring their late mother, June Parker, the founders of Mom’s Christmas Stocking organize an annual event to fill stockings for Women In Need (WIN) www.women-in-need.org. Th stockings are distributed to women and children. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, December 17th from 1-3pm at the GRFP Studio. Mom’s Christmas Stocking accepts donations of goods and funds for stockings (donate thru PayPal at moms.stocking@gmail.com.

Wish List: Makeup, travel-sized toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap), deodorant, hair products and accessories (such as combs and brushes), jewelry, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, nail kits, emery boards, nail polish, socks, trouser socks, slipper socks, candy, chocolate, mints, candles, handmade items, hats, gloves, pashmina scarves, pens, notebooks, pocket calendars, journals, NEW baby items (bibs, socks, onesies, t-shirts, pajamas), child safe items (toys, bottles, pacifiers, baby care kits, wipes, diapers), gift certificates for teens (ideas: Gap, Old Navy, popular eateries)


241 W 72nd Street                  212-799-7283

info@ncjwny.org                  www.ncjwny.org

NCJW NY is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW NY strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. NCJW NY serves New Yorkers from all walks of life, from all racial and religious backgrounds. For more than 120 years, NCJW NY has been fostering women’s leadership and addressing the city’s inequities through both direct social services and advocacy for systemic change. NCJW NY organizes many programs and opportunities to give back, but at this time of year, our Hunger Program could use the greatest support. If you are interested in donating please visit the following link: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E84344&id=72


(Jewish Association Serving the Aging)

475 Riverside Drive                             

Suite 1846                                         

development@jasa.org                     www.jasa.org

One Stop at JASA provides a vital, life-sustaining services to older adults so that they can remain at home with dignity and independence, even as their needs change. Serving clients New York City’s Upper West Side, the program helps older adults establish their eligibility for benefits as well as manage paperwork, schedule appointments, and handle multiple other requirements for accessing these benefits. One Stop at JASA enables clients to take full advantage of the safety net that they need and deserve, but which is often difficult to navigate. Your donation this holiday season will make an important difference to the roughly 4,400 clients served by the program. To make a donation visit www.jasa.org/donate or email development@jasa.org.


820 Columbus Ave                212-749-5572

opendoorccc@aol.com                      www.opendoor.org

Open Door Child Care Center was organized in 1958 and provides day care for children aged two to five years old. Open Door is committed to working closely with parents and other caregivers and developing the potential of each child, regardless of disability or disadvantage. The Center also collaborates with other organizations, both within the educational and political arenas, to secure additional resources to expand quality programs for preschool children. Open Door partners with public and private schools at the elementary level in order to effect a smooth transition between preschool and school-based programs.

Wish List: laptops or computers for teachers, children books, folding chairs


236 W. 73rd Street                 212-877-8227


Rutgers Presbyterian Church, with friends and neighbors, has been co-sponsoring 2 Syrian families as part of the U.S. Refugee Admission Program. The church has established a Refugee Relief Fund which assists these families and other refugees in the U.S. and overseas. Learn more about our efforts and donate at  https://www.rutgerschurch.org/we-still-choose-welcome-3/


110 W 97th Street                 212-316-7905


The William F. Ryan Community Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that was founded on the principle that “health care is a right, not a privilege.” For over 50 years, Ryan has provided high quality, affordable, culturally and linguistically competent, primary, preventive, specialty health care and support services to medically underserved populations in Manhattan.

Wish List: new or gently used children’s books to provide to our pediatric patients, Volunteers for toy party (Dec 2 from 8 am to 1 pm, Dec 15 at both Chelsea Location and Lower East Side location, 4-7)


225 W 99th Street                 212-222-2700


For over 35 years St. Michael’s has served a good hot meal to all who are hungry on Saturday mornings from 10 to 11:30 am. We can always use volunteers! There’s no sign-up — just show up at 8:30 am at our Parish House, 225 W. 99th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam) and ask for the program director, Marilyn Thompson.  We start serving at 10 am and end about 11:30.  You will be done by noon. The Pilgrim Resource Center also provides referrals to social services, such as food pantries, meals, clothing, and essential personal items.

Wish List: new socks, gloves, t-shirts, underwear, warm caps, scarves; MetroCards with 2 ride balances; restaurant pot-holders, frozen turkeys and hams for holiday soup kitchen meal


68 W 106th St                        212-666-1411

http://samaritanvillage.org              Angie.Pascual2@samaritanvillage.org

Samaritan Village’s Veritas House is a comprehensive, drug-free, residential treatment program for men and women with life-threatening addictions providing special services to the families and children of those in recovery. Veritas operates three residential treatment facilities along with prevention services, early intervention services for infants and toddlers, vocational and parenting skills and GED classes. The VERITAS mission is to heal the family and break the cycle of addiction.

Wish List: warm men and women’s socks, children’s socks, gloves for kids, adult men, and women


164 W 100th Street               212-222-7045

vicaranalyse@gmail.com                 www.trinitylutherannyc.org

Trinity Lutheran Church’s Creative Learning Center (CLC) is a free after-school program for elementary aged children. CLC is a safe, caring environment for children to engage creatively with topics covered in school. Trinity Place Shelter (TPS) is a non-sectarian transitional shelter for LGBTQ 18-25 year olds. TPS provides residents a safe space to sleep, eat, store belongings, access transportation, counseling, and additional independent living supportive services. Trinity will also be offering a healthy, filling Christmas Breakfast on December 25.

Wish List: food items or financial contributions for the Christmas breakfast; Gift Cards (CVS, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks), new toiletries


2720 Broadway                      212-865-7000

www.voa-gny.org                   vbermudez@voa-gny.org

Founded in 1896, Volunteers of America is a national, faith based human service organization whose purpose and mission is to serve and uplift all people. Volunteers of America’s Regent Family Residence is a transitional family shelter serving 140 families. The program provides 24-hour security, on-site childcare classrooms, recreation rooms, and staff offices. Comprehensive support services are provided on-site to meet the specific needs of families with the goal of preventing future homelessness.

Wish List: school supplies, new toys, snacks, baby products (diapers, wipes, bottles), feminine products, hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, soap), coats, new children’s clothing, holiday decorations 


165 W 105th Street               212-663-2900 ext. 11


West End Presbyterian, partnered with the Interfaith Assembly on Housing and Homelessness and other West Side Congregations, is sponsoring the Panim El Panim Life-Skills Empowerment Program. The program is a twelve week, twenty-four session program developed for men and women who are formerly or presently homeless. Panim El Panim has been in operation for seven years, and two semesters are planned for 2017 (Feb-May and Sept-Dec.) West End also hosts a food panty every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30-12:30.

Wish List: family-style meal (sponsor a meal for 12-20 people), financial contribution for the WEPC food pantry.


236 W 86th Street                  212-362-3662

info@wscah.org                    www.wscah.org

West Side Campaign Against Hunger provides emergency food assistance to people who cannot meet the food needs of themselves and their families. Last year we provided food for nearly 1.3 million meals to 8,529 families. We offer people food in our supermarket-style pantry, where they can choose the food that is best for their families. All of the food in our pantry is healthy and always includes fresh fruits and vegetables. The low-income families who turn to us come from diverse backgrounds: seniors, working families, students, the unemployed, undocumented immigrants, and the disabled. In addition, when families come to us for food we help them in other long-term ways, such as access to community resources, benefits and job training.

Wish List: During the holiday season community members can help in the following ways:

Make a donation to help us purchase nutritious food. Here is the link to do so.

Purchase food directly through our virtual food drive

Donate toys or lightly worn clothing to go to low-income families. In-kind donations can be dropped off at 263 West 86 Street, basement level from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

Volunteer in our pantry (we need more than a one day commitment) To learn more about volunteer opportunities email Becker at brosales@wscah.org.


Center at the Red Oak

135 W 106th Street               212-749-7015

mnavarro@wsfssh.org                      www.wsfssh.org

West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing was formed in 1976 by a coalition of social service agencies, religious institutions, and community organizations.  In addition to serving independent seniors, we serve frail elderly individuals, older persons living with serious mental illnesses, homeless individuals, persons living with physically handicapping conditions, grandparents raising their grandchildren, and families. Today we house almost 2000 residents in 26 buildings. The WSFSSH supportive housing model integrates compassionate property management with on-site social services. Working together with our residents, our mission is to provide safe and affordable housing that supports the dignity of each individual and enhances community both inside and outside our buildings. Donations to WSFSSH can be made by visiting http://www.wsfssh.org/ and selecting the “Support Us” tab

Wish List: tables, chairs, table cloths, arts and crafts supplies, yarn, fabric, jewelry making supplies, light weightlifting equipment, ping-pong table

NEWS | 5 comments | permalink
    1. Nora says:

      What a great compilation. Please republish from time to time.

    2. Nancy says:

      Thanks for providing this info.

    3. ursus arctos says:

      Just wanted to thank you for posting this.

      It is a very valuable resource.

    4. Peggy says:

      Thank you so much for publishing this list of organizations who help our friends and neighbors. This is very helpful.

    5. Lisa says:

      This is an incredibly thorough list, thank you for taking the time to compile so we all have one place to reference.