‘Tis the season to show gratitude for good friends, family and health. Despite the ups and downs of everyday life and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, these moments of reflection can remind us how lucky we are and inspire us to give back. Long Island non-profits often welcome volunteers, allowing locals to dedicate their time to a good cause. Show a sick child or furry friend a little love this holiday season by getting involved with a Long Island non-profit.
American Red Cross, Mineola
Volunteers are responsible for 90 percent of the humanitarian work of the Red Cross. Generous donors make access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products possible and in any circumstance of disaster the volunteers help provide care and shelter. Give.
Airborne Tri Team, Coram
Designed to provide mentally and physically challenged war veterans with physical goals like running a 5K, Airborne Tri Team also increases former soldiers’ self-esteem by helping them feel like they are a part of a team. Just let the organization know your interest and availability and jump aboard. Give.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island, Levittown/Islandia
Big Brothers Big Sisters is acclaimed for its youth mentoring programs. Through one-on-one practices an adult volunteer from the community is matched with a child who, due to family or environmental factors, could significantly benefit from the additional support and guidance. There are also site-based programs where Bigs provide homework assistance and friendship. Give.
Fighting Chance, Sag Harbor
Like the name suggests, this organization fights to improve the quality of care for cancer patients on the East End of Long Island. Many of the volunteers are cancer survivors or have been caregivers to loved ones battling the disease. Because of this, they are able to empathize with the anxieties of newly diagnosed cancer patients who reach out for help. Give.
Grateful Greyhounds, Huntington
A 100 percent volunteer-based organization, Grateful Greyhounds provides loving homes for ex-racing greyhounds and all sighthounds including Spanish galgos and podencos. Volunteers prepare the dogs for their new homes and aid in generating donations and grants. Give.
Hands Across Long Island, Central Islip
Hands Across Long Island serves as a reminder that no one is alone. The organization offers opportunities for recovery from mental illness through creative peer-run programs. Volunteers can assist with food collections, home improvements, holiday parties, cooking classes and GED classes. Give.
Island Harvest, Mineola
In only a few words this organization’s mission benefits thousands: to reduce food waste and end hunger on Long Island. As the largest hunger relief organization on LI, Island Harvest relies on the over 35,000 hours of annual service from volunteers. From organizing fundraisers and food collections, to helping in offices and distributing food, there are a cornucopia of ways to get involved. Proceeds from Pulse‘s Island Tasting Nov. 17 will also benefit the non-profit. Give.
Meals On Wheels of Huntington Township Corporation, Huntington
Meals On Wheels aims to provide food service to eligible homebound, handicapped and disabled persons in Huntington Township. Volunteers deliver nutritious meals to clients’ residences catering to special diets like diabetic or low sodium. Give.
Mondays at Racine, Islip
For more than a decade, the staff at Racine in Islip has provided support and comfort for people receiving treatment for cancer. Their program, which was the subject of Academy Award nominated short film Mondays at Racine, offers cosmetic and specialty lash services, head saving and hair and scalp treatments. Give.
Pet Peeves Inc., Woodbury
“The voice of Long Island pets” serves as an umbrella organization supporting animal shelters, pet rescue groups, humane education programs and pet therapy programs. This 100 percent volunteer driven organization donates funds to shelters, rescue groups and individuals who physically rescue and care for homeless and abused animals. Give.
The organization helps veterans reintegrate back into civilian life and also assists those suffering from PTSD through different forms of art, entrepreneurship and love. Give.
Volunteers for Wildlife, Locust Valley
Volunteers for Wildlife is a wildlife hospital and education center that is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of Long Island’s orphaned wildlife. The community can help in a variety of ways, ranging from animal care and rescue (with turtles, snakes, ducks, squirrels, hawks, owls and falcons) to education outreach. Give.