There are many ways to help the less fortunate in North Brooklyn this holiday season. Several organizations are looking for volunteers who want to give back to the community and help with everything from food drives and pantries to coat collections to baby and child-focused campaigns.
Here is a list of organizations looking for volunteers and the opportunities each one offers.
North Brooklyn Mutual Aid
North Brooklyn Mutual Aid was formed in response to the pandemic, but the group is invested in longstanding community initiatives in North Brooklyn. NBMA works with Woodhull Hospital, Northside Senior Center, Pete McGuinness Senior Center, Los Sures Food Pantry, Lindsay Park Houses, Berry Street Houses, Cooper Park Houses, St. Nick’s Alliance and Wyckoff Hospital.
North Brooklyn Mutual Aid needs volunteers to help with a variety of collections now until the end of December.
In collaboration with NBK Essentials, NBMA is running a coat drive on Sundays in McGolrick Park from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on November 14, November 21, December 5, or December 12. It is located next to the compost drop off. They are accepting gently-used insulated coats, boots, hats, gloves, and socks.
NBMA is also running a personal care collection at Happy Place Bushwick Salon (200 Morgan Ave. Suite 3). They are accepting soap, haircare and skincare products, baby powder, sunscreen, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash, razors, shaving cream, tampons, small mirror, nail clippers, wet wipes, and disposable washcloths. Smaller items are preferred, All donations must be unopened and sealed.
NBMA also needs help with a canned food drive happening at Geek Forest (122 Bedford Ave.) in Williamsburg.
Plus, NBMA is looking for extra hands to clean and care for their community fridges, specifically the newest fridge outside of the Music Hall of Williamsburg (66 North 6th St.). They need help with once-a-week fridge cleaning, grocery shopping and drops offs, seasonal maintenance and repairs, and outreach to potential food donors. Volunteers can email GreenpointFridge@gmail.com.
North Brooklyn Mutual Aid is always looking for help with the NBK Essentials team supporting unhoused neighbors in the area. NBK essentials provides essential items, a weekly meal, and other resources for our unhoused neighbors under the BQE and elsewhere int he neighborhood. They collect winter clothing and other resources to distribute directly to houseless neighbors, and through local shelters and other organizations. To help, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To volunteer for any of NBMA’s initiatives, volunteers can fill out the form on the website here.
Greenpoint Hunger Program
The Greenpoint Hunger Program, at the Greenpoint Reformed Church (136 Milton St.) is a non-sectarian emergency food program that provides no-cost groceries and hot meals to hungry people in Brooklyn. The program’s mission is to ensure that no one dies of hunger in North Brooklyn. They serve all people in need, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status or faith background.
The Greenpoint Hunger Program’s Soup Kitchen is every Wednesday 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., and the Food Pantry is Thursdays 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
During the pandemic, they are operating with a small volunteer team to practice social distancing, but are extremely grateful to all the friends and neighbors who have and continue to reach out about volunteering.
Volunteers can email COVIDvolunteer@greenpointchurch.org or reach out to Cara at email@example.com. You can also visit the program website here or call (646) 653-3831. They are looking for people with special skills like the ability to speak Polish or lift heavy items.
The Greenpoint Reformed Church also accepts donations during the Soup Kitchen Wednesdays 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. and while the Food Pantry is open on Thursdays 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. They cannot accept clothing, opened containers, expired goods, vitamins or over-the-counter medicines.
North Brooklyn Angels
This holiday season, the North Brooklyn Angels are reinstating their Neighbors Giving Thanks project to provide turkeys to 1,000 households, plus a Thanksgiving Day midday feast. The feast will take place on Franklin Ave. courtesy of the Brooklyn EXPO Center, where vaccinated guests will be able to sit and spread out. Those who are otherwise homebound can also receive food service delivery.
Volunteers can sign up here via deed. Shift responsibilities range from meal packaging and baking, to pick up and sorting.
After Thanksgiving, the North Brooklyn Angels will be launching an event in conjunction with the Angel Babies project. NBA will invite apartment buildings and other institutions to adopt neighborhood families of young children in need of expensive necessities such as diapers, gently used baby gear, warm clothes, and hygiene items. In the past, they had great success in collaboration with one large residential apartment building at Eleven33 Manhattan Avenue. They are in need of organizers for the Angel babies project to do outreach and take on leadership roles.
In addition to Neighbors Giving Thanks and Angel babies, NBA volunteers cook and pack meals every weekday. Volunteers can use deed to sign up at a moment’s notice.
Metro World Child
Metro World Child is a faith-based humanitarian organization committed to serving the underprivileged inner-city children of the world that was established in Bushwick, Brooklyn in 1980. Their mission is to break the cycle of poverty, provide hope, build futures and empower children to rise up out of the streets and become tomorrow’s leaders.
Every Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Metro World Child (871 Bushwick Ave.) needs volunteers to help with organizing and packing pantry packs. Responsibilities include sorting groceries, restocking shelves, and packing bags of food for distribution to families with children. Volunteers will be lifting and carrying items. To volunteer, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Los Sures Social Services (145 S 3rd St.) provides affordable housing, food assistance and senior care to the South Williamsburg community. They provide a non-traditional community-based approach to assisting local residents of North Brooklyn, including formerly homeless tenants, while managing the Los Sures Food Pantry and Hydroponic Farm as well as the Los Sures “David Santiago” Senior Center. In recent years, the Los Sures Food Panty has been honored as “Pantry of the Year” by Food Bank for New York City.
Every Monday from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Los Sures is looking for volunteers to pack pantry bags for homebound people at Los Sures Social Services, organize the food pantry and complete activities in community garden revitalization through planting, composting, mulching, and invasive species removal. You’ll be on your feet the whole time and lifting up to 20 pounds.
To help with the food pantry or pack grocery bags, volunteers can call Los Sures at 718-387-3600 or email email@example.com with “Volunteer” in the title.