It’s no secret that 2020 has been unexpected for all of us, but while everything has been affected, charities are feeling the pinch even more. COVID has put a pause on fundraisers, volunteer opportunities, and cash flow, but their services are still greatly needed, and many like food banks are ramping up their efforts. They can’t do it alone, though—with the upcoming holiday season, and there’s no better time to give back than now. Get the family involved to volunteer your time and services, donate essential items, contribute, or even participate in a virtual fundraiser during this trying time. Scroll down for 5 places that need your extra help right now.
Featured image via @shoreshake
Volunteer and Donate
Fulfill NJ’s mission is to support underprivileged families, so as soup kitchens and schools close because of COVID-19, their services are needed more than ever. They provide food, culinary training, financial assistance, and affordable healthcare. Support their mission by collecting and donating canned, packaged, and nonperishable foods (such as cooking oils, shelf-stable milk, pancake mix, syrup, peanut butter, jelly, soup, and cereal). The whole family can also get involved in volunteering, whether you’re assisting with food distribution, inspecting and sorting food donations, or helping out at the warehouse.
3300 Route 66
Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County has after-school programs and weekend schedules that help children socially, academically, and emotionally. Due to COVID-19, they are offering virtual programming, as well as in person. Adults can volunteer directly with the students, but kids can participate in the “Do-It-Yourself” fundraisers to host a holiday toy drive, a bike drive, a book drive, or a school supply drive. High schoolers can also volunteer as a virtual book reader or be part of the Young Professionals Group that assists with the organization’s major events.
212 Centre Street
1040 Spruce Street
Community Hope in Parsippany provides housing and support services to people experiencing homelessness, mental illness, poverty, and addiction. Donations can help provide food, subsidized housing, and mental health counseling. You can also sponsor a drop-off collection drive for necessary items like personal care items, food gift cards, socks, and winter clothing.
959 Route 46 East, Suite 402
In Newark, Franciscan Charities is committed to providing emotional, physical, and spiritual support to those in need. With COVID-19, the need to combat hunger is more significant, so they’ve stepped up their services to provide meals, pantry items, and snack bags. People of all ages can volunteer at the soup kitchen or literacy program or be part of the organization’s “Angel Network” to deliver items like diapers, formula, pantry items, and gently worn clothing to needy recipients.
355 South 6th St.
Arthritis Foundation New Jersey Jingle Bell Run
This popular race is going virtual this year, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be as festive or fun. Register and get your jingle team together by fundraising and gearing up for your race that officially takes place on December 11-13. Run inside, outside, on your treadmill, or on nearby trails while pulling out your favorite red and green gear—all funds will go to supporting Arthritis Foundation services and programs, especially during these difficult times.