CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — The season of giving is almost here, and with the coming holidays and chilly weather, there are plenty of community members who could use your help. Whether you want to get out of the house and volunteer, or simply donate to worthy causes, here are some local organizations that need your help.
This faith-based organization offers non-denominational and non-discriminatory assistance to homeless people through direct street outreach. Founded by John and Leigh-Ann Tumino, In My Father’s Kitchen helps people living on the streets that are unable to care for themselves due to conditions such as substance abuse, mental illness, chronic illness and/or physical disabilities that make them vulnerable to crime, disease, hunger and hopelessness.
Twice a week, the organization leaders along with a doctor from Upstate University Hospital travel throughout Syracuse bringing food and emergency supplies to people living in abandoned buildings, hidden encampments and secluded areas under bridges and overpasses. They distribute food, bottled water, blankets, toiletries, clothing and medical attention when needed. You can learn more about the non-profit organization here, and make direct donations to them here.
The Mary Nelson Youth Center came about 16 years ago, when Mary Nelson of Syracuse lost her nephew, Darryl Patterson, to gun violence. Since then, it has been Mary’s mission to give young people in her community the necessary values and skills needed to become exceptional community leaders.
Millions of dollars worth of school supplies and essentials have been donated to families in the community since the time the organization was founded, and the center offers resources like a computer lab, resume help, grief support for victims of violence, after school programs, mentoring programs and more. Learn how to volunteer or donate here.
This Central New York non-profit offers mental health services for children and families, especially those that have suffered trauma due to elements such as crime, financial hardships and unstable families. The program works with schools, families and the community to empower children to overcome the obstacles they face.
Programs include parent groups, youth groups, Kids 4 Kids volunteer opportunities to teach kids about giving back, and even a lacrosse program. Visit their website to learn more about their programs, and you can make donations here.
Feed My Starving Children is a faith-based non-profit aimed at feeding people in hard-to-reach regions in the world. With the motto “We want to reach everyone, until ALL are fed,” this organization feeds hungry people in struggling countries across several continents. Recently, The Vineyard Church in Syracuse partnered with the non-profit to put on an event to pack meals for children in Haiti.
The former convent for Catholic nuns on Valley Drive, Chadwick Residence, is a safe haven for homeless women and their children. The organization provides counseling, education, and other services to help them through whatever crisis has upended their lives. Chadwick relies on donations and volunteers, and there will be a big fundraising event on Friday, October 22 at Drumlins. Buy tickets here, and learn about how to donate or volunteer here.
Sleep In Heavenly Peace is a non-profit organization that utilizes local volunteers, civic groups, churches, businesses and foundation grants to build and deliver beds to children ages 3-17. The organization aims to make sure no child sleeps on the floor, couches or with multiple children to one bed. The organization recently built its 2000th bed to donate since October 2018, and they need donations of twin-sized bedding and pillows as well as volunteers. You can donate or learn how to help here.
There are many food pantries in our community and the Food Bank of Central New York is the main food distributor to more than 400 community food partners. Food Bank of Central New York provides nutritious food to people in local communities through their network of partner agencies, a mobile food pantry, SNAP outreach, and community-hosted food distribution
According to the Food Bank’s website, people struggling with hunger come from all walks of life. Families where both parents work and still cannot make ends meet, as well as the elderly that struggle with expenses for medication and their nutrition suffers. You can donate or learn how to get involved here.
You can find countless other New York food pantries to help here.