Whether you have a way with meals or understanding how others feel, your time is a much needed resource to Brooklyn charities this Christmas.
So rally up your own Brooklyn brigade and check out local volunteering opportunities to experience the gift that comes with giving back.
CHiPS (Park Slope)
CHIPS provides over 200 hot, nutritious meals each day and also offers seasonal clothing, emergency pantry items, and shelter for young mothers and their children. Too many cooks only improve the broth at CHiPS as volunteers are needed in the soup kitchen to prepare and portion meals; set up and clean up for meal services; and pack pantry bags for clients to take with them.
Help plant the seeds as a mother’s nature grows at the Frances Residence, above CHiPS. This space offers nine women and their children a safe live and make strides towards independence – learning new job skills and receiving assistance locating permanent housing. Volunteering opportunities are suited for those who can provide assistance with maternal and child health care; career planning; budgeting; nutrition; and overnight supervision (in case of emergencies).
CHiPS volunteer orientations are held twice per month at its 4th Ave site – the second Thursday of each month at 9am and last Thursday of each month at 6pm.
Volunteers are needed 9am to 3pm Monday through Saturday in the soup kitchen; the office; and around the clock at the Frances Residence.
Neighbors Together (Brownsville)
Founded in the community for the community in 1982, Neighbors Together initially served those in Ocean Hill, Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant who faced and continue to the increasing challenge of limited access to living wage jobs; affordable housing and health care; and a rise in drugs and drug-related violence.
Neighbors Together could not have grown from 50 soup kitchens and food pantries in New York City to more than 1,200 – serving 1.4 million people a year – without the support from volunteers.
Their contemporary cafe-style space in Brownsville is a beautiful place that connects the dots – allowing clients to eat, connect, and be introduced to other services that help them stabilize their lives. 400 meals are prepared here each day, feeding 10,000 people annually.
Volunteers from all backgrounds can add a pop of color to Neighbors Together by offering assistance with housing, benefits, job training, legal services, health care, and counseling.
Even still, the landscape in New York City is far from picture perfect and volunteers who are part of the Community Action Program will help members advocate for policies that will improve their lives and the lives of their neighbors.
Bread and Life (Bedford-Stuyvesant)
Keeping to the beat of boroughly love, St. John’s Bread & Life alleviates hunger in Brooklyn and Queens to the tune of 2,500 meals each day.
The basic needs of good food and nutrition are met with medical (Care for the Homeless), legal (Urban Justice) and employment support to create a harmony of services aimed at helping clients achieve self-sufficiency.
Volunteers are needed year ’round in the Soup Kitchen, Food Pantry, Resource Center and Mobile Soup Kitchen.