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Where in Westchester to Give Back on #GivingTuesday

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Here are some of our favorite places you can give back to the Westchester community on #GivingTuesday and throughout the holiday season.

You may have seen the hashtag/movement #GivingTuesday start popping up on your newsfeed already this year, encouraging us to give back to our community on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Joining the grassroots campaign gives organizations the opportunity to harness the power of social media to make their missions known on a day where people can join in collectively.

To help, we’ve rounded up a few local ways you can get involved this year, ranging from donations of your time and money to more kid-friendly options like writing letters to Santa. (Yes, that can count as volunteering!) Keep in mind: There’s always plenty to do in your local community, but we figured these would be a few great places to start.

Feeding Westchester

The organization packages a ton of food on a regular basis by sourcing and distributing food and resources to towns across Westchester with the help of nearly 300 nonprofit partner programs. When so many more people are out of work and needing assistance, there’s never been a more important time to help. This year, tune into Feeding Westchester’s #GivingTuesday live Facebook event, during which the social media site will be matching every donation made up to $100,000 to help supply meals for local residents.

Even if you’re not able to financially donate this year, you can still help out by building “Help From Home” holiday bags and dropping them off at Feeding Westchester’s Elmsford headquarters drop-off bins.

Giving Tuesday at the Jefferson Valley Mall

Drop by the Yorktown Heights mall’s upper floor where our local Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Drive will be collecting toys, games, school supplies, and more starting this Tuesday and running through December 18. Drop new, unwrapped gift items in the bin outside Yankee Candle to support this year’s beneficiary, St. Mary’s Community Food Pantry. Before you leave, grab yourself a Cinnabon and add to the Make Kindness Stick wall with your own message of positivity for the holiday season.

Not local? No problem! Open Door Family Medical Center is also holding a toy drive through December 20. Simply bring new and unwrapped presents for newborns to 14-year-olds to any of the clinic’s six locations in Brewster, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, Ossining, Port Chester, or Sleepy Hollow to be distributed this holiday season.

Pro Tip: Don’t just grab presents for younger kids. Teenagers need presents, too! Gift cards to shops like GameStop or Lush are always appreciated, and you can’t go wrong with a good old basketball or catcher’s mitt.

 

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Make-A-Wish

Giving for a good cause is written all over this opportunity. For each letter to Santa Macy’s receives, the company doubles its customary donation this year to $2 (up to $1 million!) to the organization, which grants wishes to children with critical illnesses. Letters can be dropped off at Westchester Macy’s locations at the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown and the Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers.

Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley

Adjacent to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, Ronald McDonald House provides a place to stay for families of children receiving care at MFCH. This year you can even eschew monetary donations to purchase physically needed items via the RMH Amazon Wishlist. Starting December 3, the organization will also hold an online auction of things like vacation packages, gift baskets, and more through December 7.

Volunteer New York!

This organization uses Giving Tuesday to call community leaders to action by making donations that go toward preserving and advancing local volunteerism. There are also tons of volunteering opportunities for Westchester residents all season long, but today there’s a special push for monetary donations to help the organization continue to expand its work in Westchester and Rockland Counties.

 

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Your Local Soup Kitchen

While we’re on the subject, nearly every community in Westchester has volunteer emergency food services you can contribute to on #GivingTuesday, either with your time, supplies, or just the monetary means to keep their mission going. Lifting Up Westchester in White Plains, for example, opens Grace Church Soup Kitchen to the community every weekday from 9 a.m. to noon and is always in need of cash and food donations, as well as volunteers, especially around the holidays. Check in your community to see if there’s a local organization you can help out on #GivingTuesday for the holidays or all year long.

Related: Volunteering in Westchester: Where to Lend a Hand Locally

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