Where to Donate for the Holidays in Jersey City
‘Tis the season of giving, but 2020 has brought a new weight to what “giving” means in a time when our community needs uplifting and support more than ever. There are lots of ways to give back this year to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors. Here are just a few organizations looking for a little extra help with volunteers and donations to benefit our local friends in need throughout the holiday season.
JC Community Fridges
Who: JC Community Fridges, community-run fridges set up for those who require a little help with food and necessities through the act of giving between neighbor to neighbor.
What: Currently Jersey hosts three fridges selflessly run by neighbors for free. They are accessible 24/7 and take a variety of goods:
Examples of what to donate: Fresh produce, shelf stable items, reusable bags, cans, applesauce, bread, soups, diapers, formula, baby food, pasta, pregnancy tests, menstrual aids, drug tests, toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, other necessities.
Examples of what NOT to donate: Raw and frozen meat (illegal) including hamburger patties, chicken, hot dogs; no frozen foods in general: it is a fridge, not a freezer; expired, rotting, or very obviously damaged food; overly processed foods – these will not be thrown away, but the spirit of the fridge is to provide free and healthy food whenever possible.
In addition to donating goods, there is always upkeep, such as sweeping, shoveling snow, or general clean up and organization that needs to be done, so volunteering your time making these fridges shine is appreciated as well. For monetary donations, check out the fridges’ Instagram bios for Cash App and Venmo options.
Jersey City Food Pantries
What: There are over a dozen food pantries in need of non-perishable and fresh food donations and volunteers throughout Jersey City with many getting ready to distribute food by 12/19 ahead of the holiday.
Where: Click here for a list of contact information.
JC Holiday Meal Exchange
Who: JC Holiday Meal Exchange, a free, volunteer-run service to match folks requesting holiday meals with their neighbors who want to prepare and deliver meals.
What: Are you in need of a meal or would like to donate one? Sign up to receive a full, festive, ready-to-reheat meal via contactless delivery or volunteer by 12/20. Holiday meals cooked by Meal Exchange volunteers will be distributed on 12/23.
Ani Ramen, Lynn Hazan of ChicPeaJC & Hudson County CASA
Who: Ani Ramen in partnership with Lynn Hazan
What: Drop off a new, unwrapped toy benefitting the children of Hudson County CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, and get a free bowl of ramen until 12/16
Where: Drop off location: 218 Newark Ave.
902 Brewery Co & Dante Alighieri Children’s Christmas Event
Who: 902 Brewing Co.
What: Drop off a new, unwrapped toy benefitting their Dante Alighieri Children’s Christmas Event and receive a 10% discount at the brewery until 12/19.
Where: 101 Pacific Ave.
Triangle Park Community Center
Who: Triangle Park Community Center, a family resource center and safe haven located at 247 Old Bergen Road @triangleparkcommunity
What: The center is collecting new and gently used toys for their 3rd Annual Toy Drive until 12/18 for their gift-giving event on 12/21.
Who: JC Wonders, a group for youth in Jersey City to volunteer started by Jersey City-native and college student, Shanelle, in partnership with Heights Orthodontics.
What: They are collecting new, unopened, unwrapped toys for foster children and those in need, ages newborn to 18, in Jersey City and Bayonne through 12/22.
Where: Heights Orthodontics, 343 Central Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07307 (available for drop-offs Monday-Thursday and every other Saturday)
95 Oxford Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07305 (available for drop-offs on Tuesdays-Thursdays)
For info on donating through their Amazon Wish List, click here.
Goods and Gifts
The Hair Room JC & Big Hair Girls
What: The sisters are collecting specifically hygiene products such as feminine sanitary products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and deodorant for the West Side Community Fridge at The Hair Room JC until 12/18.
Where: Drop off location: 213 Montgomery St. or DM @bighairgirls on Instagram for possible contactless free pickup.
The Flow Initiative
Who: The Flow Initiative, a JC nonprofit organization founded by Eiko La Boria whose mission is to protect all girls, women, and menstruators from a lack of access to period products while erasing the stigma, shame and humiliation associated with period poverty.
What: The Initiative is collecting period product donations, from pads and tampons to cleansing cloths and heating pads to gift those in need during the holidays.
Where: Click here for a list of products available to donate via Gift Hero.
The Little Free Lafayette Library
Who: The Little Free Lafayette Library, a free give-a-book, take-a-book box located in Lafayette Park providing free, diverse books to the neighborhood.
What: For their holiday book drive, the Library is asking for donations through their wish lists found at The Little Boho Bookshop in Bayonne and Target charity registry online for easy, contactless purchase and delivery to the organization.
Where: Click here for the Target registry, or stop in The Little Boho Bookshop to browse and purchase on-site for the organization to pick up later.
Black Men United
Who: Black Men United, a Jersey City non-profit brotherhood active in education, activism, leadership, and community development whose mission is to provide tools, resources, and efforts in order to provide stabilization within the Black community.
What: December’s Black Men United monthly clothing drive being held at Penn Station on 12/27 from noon to 3 p.m. is collecting new and gently used clothing, prioritizing coats, jackets, scarves, hats, gloves, sweaters, and sweatpants. They will also be accepting donations for care packages of toiletries and essential items.
Where: To coordinate a drop off location, contact @_blackmenunited on Instagram or @blackmuJC on Twitter.
Who: Women Rising, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides services and resources to individuals experiencing domestic violence, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and other risk factors.
What: The charity has set up a donation system until 12/31 to allow donors to choose how they’d like to help the women and families living in the shelter for the rest of 2020. Options include covering the cost for a one-night stay for a family seeking safety and comfort to providing groceries for a month for a family getting ready to leave the shelter and go back out on their own.
Where: Click here to see donation options to help a family in need.
Gift of Time
Send a Holiday Card to a Senior
What: Take some time to send a holiday card to your neighbor to make them feel special and remembered during a time where people can be forgotten. Through Councilman Solomon, sign up to receive a senior’s name and mailing address to send a non-denominational card in the Downtown area. In conjunction with Councilman Solomon, Councilwoman Prinz-Arey is also hosting a card bank for seniors in Ward B.
Serve Jersey City
Who: Serve Jersey City, part of the Cities of Service coalition of mayors who commit to address local issues through impact volunteerism.
What: Serve Jersey City aggregates volunteer needs throughout Jersey City, making it a one-stop-shop for volunteer opportunities. You can choose what you’re interested in volunteering with, such as environment and sustainability or youth and senior services, and see a list of available events, organizations, or positions that pertain to that interest that would love your help now and in the future.
Where: Visit https://volunteer.jerseycitynj.gov to see what’s available now.
For more donation and volunteer options during the holidays and beyond, click here to check out our extensive directory of local charities and non-profits who would love to hear from you.