The holiday season brings with it numerous activities for children and families, large gatherings around the dinner table, parties and shopping for those great deals.
But there are other ways to get in the holiday spirit, whether it is by volunteering for a charitable organization, making a donation or helping a neighbor in need.
There is no shortage of ways to support the less fortunate in our communities. For example, Island Harvest, Long Island’s largest hunger-relief organization, offers volunteer opportunities throughout the year to help children, families, veterans and seniors, and is running a turkey and canned food collection campaign with Panera Bread through the end of the month.
Island Harvest says it delivers millions of pounds of food that might otherwise go to waste to a network of 570 Long Island-based food pantries, soup kitchens and other nonprofit organizations that help those in need.
Elsewhere, the Hauppauge-based Long Island Cares supports nearly 600 food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters, some of which need the support of regular volunteers. The organization has launched a number of efforts for the holiday season, including an Adopt-a-Family initiative and its 27th annual Check-Out Hunger campaign, which runs through January, in which shoppers can donate at participating supermarkets.
And the American Red Cross on Long Island, which serves more than 2.8 million people in Nassau and Suffolk counties, is always seeking volunteers and donations throughout the year to support its humanitarian initiatives.
There are also numerous soup kitchens and local nonprofit organizations that are active in their communities during the holidays, and we encourage you to check them out, get involved or make a donation.
After all, isn’t that what embracing the holiday spirit is all about?
Volunteer groups to check outIsland Harvest
Long Island Cares
American Red Cross