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

Give Holiday Gifts

Donate gifts for the holidays through the Winter Wishes program.

New York Cares Winter Wishes Child Receiving Gift

The month of December can be difficult for those in need. Cold weather pushes the heating bills higher, holidays stretch the pocketbook, and health can suffer. But, every winter, generous volunteers like you show people throughout the city that they're loved and cared for by shopping for and delivering their specific holiday wish just in time to bring more cheer to the season.

We've already received 40,000 letters from kids, teens, and seniors requesting toys and presents this year. We need your help in granting all of those wishes. Select an option above to create a team of friends or colleagues to answer letters, or to sign up for letters as an individual.

Note: It will take 3-7 business days for volunteers to be matched to their letters.

How it works

Children and Family Write Letters

Our Community Partners (which include schools, churches, shelters, and many other service organizations) help their clients write holiday gift and request letters. Stickers and glitter encouraged!Schools, churches, shelters, and many other service organizations help their clients write request letters. 

Letters Arrive at Our Office

New York Cares staff and volunteers process the letters so they can be matched with volunteers who will grant the wishes. 

Volunteers Sign Up for Gifts

Caring New Yorkers sign up to get a handwritten letter from a child, teen, or senior. (Volunteers can sign up as individuals or with a group.) Simply register on our website and select how many wishes you would like to fulfill. Each letter comes with approximately a $40 commitment. 

Presents Arrive

Volunteers mail the holiday gifts directly to our Community Partners using the address provided on the back of each letter. Our Community Partners distribute the gifts to their clients, who enjoy a happy holiday knowing that someone in New York cares.

Remind a Child That They're Special

Our incredible children's projects introduce these young moldable minds to museums, science games, and epic books in every borough.

Questions about Winter Wishes

Winter Wishes is generously sponsored by Julie Turaj and Robert Pohly.