Author: Gina Mason
“It beginning to look at like Christmas” and even though it is December 3 in the Big Apple, holiday decorations are everywhere. New York City is arguably one of the most magical places in the world during the holidays and with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the infamous tree in Rockefeller Plaza and glittering window displays on 5th Ave, it is hard not to get into the holiday spirit.
However, the holidays also offer a somber reminder than there are many less fortunate who need our help. Here at Indra Public Relations, we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with some amazing clients and organizations that are passionate about helping others all year round. But during the holidays, we encourage all to reflect on their blessings and to join in on “the season of giving.” One thing that we strongly believe in is that no matter what your economic situation is like, giving your time is priceless. Whether you are looking to donate money, toys or your time there are numerous charities around the city that need your help.
Below are a few charities that are always looking for volunteers or people to donate during this time of year:
New York City Coalition Against Hunger
When thinking of the holiday season, most of us think about sitting around the table with lots of food surrounded by loved ones. Unfortunately, that is not a reality for all and there are nearly 1.5 million people in New York City alone battling hunger. The New York City Coalition Against Hunger works with over 1,100 food pantries and soup kitchens around the city to provide food for those who need it. There are a number of volunteer opportunities offered by NYCCAH including serving the homeless at your local soup kitchen or helping out at a food bank. For more information on how to get involved at a pantry or food bank near you, visit: http://www.nyccah.org
Holiday Mail for Heroes
Millions service men and women are away from their families during the holiday season and if you don’t have the funds to donate towards a cause, Holiday Mail for Heroes may be a great option for you. Sometimes all it takes is some holiday greetings to brighten someone’s day and make them feel at home no matter their geographical location. The Red Cross collects holiday greeting cards for members of our military and distributes them to bring some holiday cheer to service men and women at military installations and veteran hospitals. This year, The Red Cross is socially sharing the spirit by collecting messages via Instagram, Twitter and Vine. You can post holiday photos or video messages on any of the sites listed above with the hashtag #HolidayMail and The Red Cross will share your posts in their special blog for service members. If you choose to send a traditional greeting card, the deadline for having Holiday Mail in the P.O. Box is December 6th.For more information on Holiday Mail for Heroes, visit: http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes
Toys for Tots
Every child deserves to have a toy for Christmas and there are so many fantastic charities out there working to do just that. However, one of the most recognized and successful charities with that mission is Toys for Tots. Toys for Tots is led by United States Marine Corps and has been providing children in the community with toys for decades. Since its inception, Toys for Tots has collected 469 million toys and distributed them to over 216 million children in need. There are numerous businesses throughout the city that act as drop-off locations for Toys for Tots. This year, Indra Public Relations is proud to assist in Toys for Tots’ efforts of making the holidays special for all by collecting new and unwrapped toys at our office. Our office (located at 295 Madison Ave – 12th FL) will be a drop-off location for those who are looking contribute. For more information on Toys for Tots or other drop off locations, visit: http://www.toysfortots.org
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the sweet sounds of the Salvation Army’s bells outside of department stores and on street corners. It will be the Salvation Army’s 123rd year of its Red Kettle campaign and last year, the Salvation Army collected over $148.7 million dollars to provide food, shelter, toys and other social services for those in need. For those who don’t want to bear the cold weather ringing the bell, you can raise money for the Salvation Army by starting your own Online Red Kettle. You can collect donations for the cause as an individual or as a group and notify your friends and family of your fundraising efforts virtual through your own Red Kettle page. For more information on the Salvation Army and its Online Red Kettle campaign, visit: http://www.onlineredkettle.org
BeAnElf.org and USPS Operation Santa
Millions of children around the world cant wait till December to send Santa their Christmas wishes, although for many, those wishes are not fulfilled. If you want to be one of Santa’s helpers, this charity may be for you. To participate, “Elves” must visit participating Post Offices and can select one or two “Dear Santa” letters written by children who are in need. Elves can purchase the gifts on their wish list and then return the gifts to the Post Office. Then the Elves at the Post Office will embark on “Operation Santa” and deliver the gifts to the families, just in time for Christmas. The participating Post Office in New York City is located at 421 8th Ave.
This is just a short list of the organizations making the holiday season a little brighter for those in need of our support. How will you make a difference? We welcome any comments or assistance you may need in selecting an organization.
On behalf of the Indra Public Relations team, we want to wish you Happy Holidays and thank you for making a difference. As always, if you like what read be social and share.