NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

Hey guys!

As some of you know I’m gonna be in New York for the holidays (12/21 – 12/26) and I was wondering if I might be able to help out at a soup kitchen on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I thought since I’m alone in a city that is not my own and have nothing really important to do, I might as well put myself to work and do something useful and potentially fun. I’ve been meaning to do something like that in my own town for years, but it has never worked out so far. I’m just mentioning that so you’d know I’m prepared and more or less know what to expect.

So far I’ve found the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in Chelsea that does something for Christmas and always seems to be looking for volunteers.

Check it out: http://www.holyapostlesnyc.org/soup_kitchen

Of course I’m gonna contact them if this idea pans out, but I just wanted to know beforehand if someone around here had any first-hand experience on that topic. Also I’m wondering whether I’d be allowed to work as a tourist, even if it’s just for a day and without any pay. Any thoughts?

Please keep in mind that it really is just an idea at this point, so try not to bash on me if this seems totally ridiculous to you. First and foremost I’m merely curious…

1. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

Aww, that is such a lovely idea Janity!

2. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

This is a really lovely idea, but unfortunately, many volunteer organizations have more volunteers than they can use, especially on holidays.

I would contact any group you’re interested in as soon as possible, while there might still be a spot available. You can also try St. John the Divine:

www.stjohndivine.org/ccc_sundaydining.html

3. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

The Mayor’s Volunteer Center is a terrific clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities throughout the City– including 1-day-only or limited-time service — through which I’ve enlisted for various activities throughout the year. But you probably won’t see any listings for Christmas Day for awhile, most likely not until at least after Thanksgiving.

http://www.nycservice.org

4. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

My DH and I always used volunteer on the holidays and stopped and just volunteer during the year because the holidays are so packed that you have to reserve a spot to volunteer about 6 months in advance usually.

You can volunteer any time you come to NY it does not have to be the holidays.

Most places though have screening for their volunteers and you have to have references from their choice such as a church or other volunteer organization.

5. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

A very good idea!

Some others to contact include the NYC Coalition Against Hunger:

http://www.nyccah.org/volunteermatching/

The Food Bank for New York City:

foodbanknyc.org/go/…eventsandcampaigns

And NYC Service:

http://www.nycservice.org/index.php

When looking for volunteering opportunities in NYC, you may see references to New York Cares. This is a massive umbrella organization that serves as the logistical conduit between volunteers and specific projects. To actually by a New York Cares volunteer you have to attend a special training session, which wouldn’t work for you, but if you see a specific project that’s associated with NY Cares you might try contacting that project directly to see if you can pitch in.

6. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

Does the Mayor’s Volunteer Center require an orientation session for new volunteers?

I was going to suggest NY Cares for Janity until I remembered they do require a session, and that might be a bit difficult to arrange for such a short trip.

7. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

Alice, I guessed as much, but I really want to gather some information before committing to something lightly and then maybe not honor said commitment because it might be inconvenient in any way. You know what I mean?

Thanks for those links guys, that’s really helpful. And thanks for the encouragement, too. 🙂

8. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

“Alice, I guessed as much, but I really want to gather some information before committing to something lightly and then maybe not honor said commitment because it might be inconvenient in any way. You know what I mean?”

I do know what you mean, but as I said before, move quickly. Especially with so many people out of work this year, getting a volunteer job can be as difficult as finding a paid job.

9. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

I hear you, NewYorkfoodee, I really do, but while it’s good advice for everyday life at home and for the New Yorkers on this forum, it doesn’t help me much for my trip, since this is when I’ll be in town and that’s that. It’s not like I’m commuting from Berlin to New York twice a month or something. 😉

10. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

I think that what NYFoodee means is that you can volunteer the 21st-23rd, which aren’t holidays.

11. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

No, the Mayor’s Volunteer Center — which is what’s behind the NYC Service web site — does not itself require training of any kind, but of course, the recruiting agencies, etc. often require/provide training for their volunteers. I’ve never been called upon to do more anything more extensive than appear for orientation (usually same-day) on the 1-day activities, such as the Brides Against Breast Cancer wedding frock sale.

P.S. New York Cares [whose recruitment/volunteer database is, I believe, integrated into that of the Volunteer Center/NYC Service] still needs people for this Saturday’s “New York Cares Day” to go into the City’s public schools on work projects [e.g., painting, planting, whipping the school libraries into better shape]. In this time of severe budget cuts, this project is more needed than ever.

Follow the links from the home page banner for more info:

http://www.newyorkcaresday.org

12. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

Thanks for the information, CockleCove. That’s helpful to the locals as well as Janity. I’m going to take note of that place.

13. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

Hi,

I was just saying the actual day of Christmas is mos likely already fully booked with volunteers and you might have a better chance to volunteer on the day before or after. It is really a popular thing to volunteer in NY for the holidays.

Most places do require references and references from agencies they are familiar with.

14. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 23 October 2009, 20:05

15. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

Thanks Jenn great idea.

16. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

Sounds good, but Here’s Life Inner City NY is not currently registered with New York State’s Bureau of Charities.

…state.ny.us/Char_Forms/search_charities.jsp

In any event, I’d hate to see this forum become a bulletin board where nonprofits convene to plead their causes.

17. Re: NYC soup kitchen for Christmas

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you’ll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 22 April 2010, 09:46