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

Our Winter Wishes program provides holiday toys and gifts to over 42,000 children, teens and senior citizens each year. During December, one of the most difficult months for those in need, our generous volunteers show people throughout the city that they're loved and cared for by shopping for their specific holiday wish and delivering it to their representative agency just in time for the holidays.

Registration to request letters will open on Monday, October 17th. It will take up to 7 business days for volunteers to be matched to their letters. Want to be reminded about Winter Wishes as October 17th approaches? Please give us your email address and we will make sure you are one of the first to know when registration opens.

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