With the holiday and Christmas season rapidly approaching, it’s time to think about maybe doing something good for the community that has given you so much since you moved here.

So how can you help and give back to this amazing place?

There are some fantastic websites all over the internet that will connect you with resources across the city, and let you allocate the appropriate amount of time and skills.

Check out New York Cares for one, which allows you to filter down by how much time you have, where you are, and what issues you care about.

You will also find street kitchens creating and handing out food in the evenings (especially as it gets colder) near Tompkins Square Park and other public areas throughout the city. Say “hello”, introduce yourself, have an idea for when you are available (be specific), and tell them that you would love to help. The worst thing that can happen is that they don’t have any spots open, but they will no doubt point you in the right direction!

Receiving presents at Christmas is something special, but giving something back is a whole other level of spirit, you won’t regret it.