Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Adjustments to Seasonal Events

Updates on our seasonal programs in light of COVID-19 and our current health and safety protocols. 

Three young volunteers sorting through donated winter coats for the New York Cares Coat Drive.

Once a year, events like the Coat Drive, Winter Wishes, and Cares Day for Schools occur as part of our broader work addressing inequality in the five boroughs. These programs have engaged individual and corporate volunteers in both in-person service and fundraising. In response to COVID-19, we have been creative and innovative in adapting these events. As always, the safety of our staff, volunteers, community partners, and the people we serve remain our top priority. We appreciate your flexibility as we ensure our events and programs are safe and appropriate for all involved.

Coat Drive

A citywide effort to collect and distribute winter coats to New Yorkers in need, the Coat Drive is one of our most cherished seasonal programs. To accommodate for social distancing and safety requirements, our primary goal in 2020 was raising funds to buy new coats for nonprofits and schools in areas most impacted by COVID-19 and the resulting economic instability. 

Cares Day for Schools 

Cares Day for Schools is a day of service in October, focused on revitalizing indoor and outdoor spaces at partner schools.  In response to the pandemic, our school partners have instead asked for school supplies, PPE, academic tutoring, and social-emotional support for students coping with trauma. In response, Stand with Students is back as a fundraiser and year-round education initiative supportinstudents during the 2021-2022 school year. We hope to restart our revitalization efforts in schools as soon as it’s safe and appropriate to do so. 

Winter Wishes

Every year, children and teens from organizations and schools all over the city send New York Cares their holiday wishes. Each wish is matched with a wish granter who purchases and sends gifts directly to the agency for distribution. This year, the program supports a small group of Community Partners, focusing on family shelters, public housing facilities, and Title I schools in Central Queens, the South Bronx, and East Brooklyn.

While corporate sponsors will continue to fulfill all gift requests, we thank all volunteers for their past participation in Winter Wishes. Enjoy these messages from past gift recipients and we hope you'll continue supporting students and schools by volunteering for education projects and other seasonal programs