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

About the program

Winter Wishes is one of our longest-running and most-loved annual programs. Similar to other holiday gift drives around the country, our program provides holiday toys and gifts for tens of thousands of children and teens at nonprofits and schools across the five boroughs.

How it works

Children and Family Write Letters

Our Community Partners help their clients write letters asking for holiday gifts.

Letters Arrive at Our Office

New York Cares staff and volunteers read each letter and match requests with volunteer wish-granters.

Volunteers Sign Up for Gifts

Volunteers can register as individuals or as a group. Simply register on our website (once it opens in October) and select how many wishes you would like to grant. New York Cares has tried to ensure that each letter or request has items under $40. There is no obligation to provide a gift that costs more than $40.


Presents Arrive

Volunteers mail the holiday gifts directly to our Community Partners. Our Community Partners give the gifts out to their clients, who enjoy a happy holiday knowing that someone in New York City cares about them!