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Want to Volunteer as a Family This Holiday?

December 21, 2012

Singing holiday songs at the Lutheran Family Health Center (note: my gal hogged the mic!)

“Small hands can bring big changes.” It’s the perfect time of year for your kids to see how true that statement is.  From making cards to holding someone’s hand, there is great potential to make a difference.  We found some wonderful opportunities for your family to help out this holiday season.

We highly recommend volunteering at Lutheran HealthCare.

One winter, armed with a couple of microphones and a speaker, our family sang holiday classics at the Lutheran Health Center. My husband is a professional musician so we actually sounded okay…but we LOVED the experience. I think the seniors would welcome visitors of any kind- no special talents required. Of course, just seeing kids for them is always a treat too! A neighborhood institution since 1883, the Lutheran Medical Center expanded in order to provide support services to families, seniors, home care and more in Southwest Brooklyn.  They need help year-round too and if you are interested in options to volunteer without family, there are additional programs.
Details: Lutheran Family Health Centers 6025 6th Avenue  Brooklyn, NY 11220  718-630-7171

  1. Reach Out and Read – Parents and their kids ages 14 and over can serve as storytime volunteers with the pediatric literacy program based in 5 of their family health centers.  Please contact Liz Berger at 718-630-7175 for more information.
  2. Services for Older Adults – Parents and children of all ages would be welcomed to make cards and visit homebound senior citizens. Visits would need to be coordinated with the program due to staff supervision issues.  For more information, please contact Sr. Fran Picone at 718-630-8302 for more information. (We did this last year with the whole family. My husband brought his guitar, PA and microphones and he and the kids sang songs for 30 minutes to the senior citizens in their cafeteria. It was, hands down, one of the best experiences we have ever had as a family. It was super easy to coordinate too.)
  3. Warren Street Center for Children and Families – their day care, preschool, and after-school program would welcome volunteers.  Please contact Nikki Cosby at 718-237-9578 for more information.
  4. Lutheran Medical Center – The main hospital’s volunteer department would be happy to accept greeting cards or toys for their patients.  More extensive volunteering would be limited to kids ages 14 and up.  For more information, please call Mary Hetherington at 718-630-7296.
  5. Toy Drive – If you are interested in donating a toy please call Orianne at 718-630-7171.

Park Slope Presbyterian Church Meals

The PSPresbyterian is providing meals to residents at Bishop Boardman Apartments on Christmas Eve. Contact Shay RoedemeierShay Roedemeier to sign up for what dish you will bring. They will bring their contributions to Bishop Boardman (8th Ave between Windsor Pl and 16th St) at 11AM on Christmas Eve to begin plating the food and delivering to the apartments. This is an excellent service opportunity for kids! 174 Prospect Park West (b/w 12th and 13th Streets) Brooklyn, NY 11215

Food Pantries

God’s Love We Deliver (all areas)
God’s Love We Deliver needs people with vehicles to help make thanksgiving deliveries in Brooklyn. God’s Love cooks and delivers special holiday meals to clients with serious illnesses and their families on Christmas. If anyone is interested, or would like more info, click here.

Neighbors Together Soup Kitchen (Bed-Stuy)
Neighbors Together Soup Kitchen at 2094 Fulton Street needs volunteers to help prepare and serve lunches and dinners. Contact them at 718-498-7256 or see their info here.

Park Slope Christian Help (Chips) (Park Slope)
This soup kitchen, food pantry and clothing location are taking names of volunteers.  Please call them at 718-237-2962 or see their info here.

St. John’s Bread and Life’s Soup Kitchen (Bed-Stuy)
On Saturday December 22nd and Sunday December 23rd,  1,200 families will come to Bread and Life to pick up their food and toy packages. Volunteer for the distribution.  They need help with donations; (food, hygiene products, toys and clothing).  To volunteer call them at 718-574-0058 or see their website here.

Food Pantries for Holiday Dinners and Help
I did a post on where to volunteer for Thanksgiving at Brooklyn food pantries. These food pantries also need help during the winter holidays- stocking, sorting, serving, setting tables and putting smiles on visitors’ faces. You can call your nearby food pantry to see how your family can help them. The full list of them is here.