20 Ways to Give Back in NJ This Holiday Season

It's the season of service! Donate your time or goods at these giving events.

volunteer opportunities nj
Courtesy of United Way of Passaic County

The holidays are a great time to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Whether you donate toys, coats or cash or choose to get more hands on by volunteering at a soup kitchen or wrapping collected gifts, no deed is too small.

Here, a list of volunteer and donation opportunities around the state:

Warren/Sussex/Passaic Counties

Dec 7–8: Proceeds from vendor booth sales at the annual Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market benefit local charities. Interested in volunteering at the market? Fill out this form or contact Rebecca Chiappinelli at [email protected].
Sat, 10 am–9pm; Sun, 10 am–5 pm

Dec 9: Centenary University Alumni Association hosts a holiday toy drive and party. RSVP at [email protected].
6 to 9 pm; an unwrapped toy or $10 donation is required for entry.
Bae McNally’s Irish Pub, 109 Grand Ave, Hackettstown.

Dec 16–18: The United Way of Passaic County’s Winter Wishes program seeks Santa’s helpers to sort toys and fill orders for recipient non-profits. Register by December 13 with Caroline Schneider at [email protected]
9 am-noon or 1–5 pm.
Public Safety Academy, Wayne.

Bergen/Essex/Hudson Counties

Thru Dec 13: Jersey Cares is looking for volunteers to help with their annual gift-giving program, Frosty Friends. Volunteers respond to letters from children ages 3 to 16 as well as purchase and deliver gifts. Contact Meagan Mulligan at 973-533-1993 for more information.

Dec 14 & 16: Jersey Cares also needs volunteers to sort and deliver coats at various drop-off points across the state. Sorting takes place on Saturday, December 14. Distribution is on Monday, December 16.

Every Tues, Thurs, Sat: The Jubilee Outreach Community Center, a community-serving program in Orange’s Epiphany & Christ Church always needs volunteers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to help in the soup kitchen.

Morris/Union/Hunterdon Counties

Dec 7: Uniquely Made is hosting its 5th Annual Toy Drive at the Holiday Inn-Clark (36 Valley Rd., Clark).
11 am–3 pm; $10 minimum donation or a new unwrapped toy or gift card.

Dec 8: Cammarota Real Estate (510 Blvd, Kenilworth) in partnership with the Frances Foundation is collecting unwrapped toys for Pediatric Cancer Warriors.
9 am–3 pm.

Somerset/Middlesex/Mercer Counties

Dec 7: Fans are encouraged to bring unwrapped toys to the Somerset Patriots’ annual holiday toy drive (TD Bank Ballpark, 860 E. Main St, Bridgewater). Santa will be on site to take photos!
10 am–noon.

Dec 9–14: Rise is accepting gifts, gift cards and cash donations for children and families. Donations can be made online, dropped off at the main office (116 N. Main St, Hightstown), or First United Methodist Church (187 Stockton Street, Hightstown). If interested in collecting, sorting and distributing gifts, contact Maitiel Jimenez at 609-443-4464.

Dec 11: The American Society of Highway Engineers of Southern New Jersey is hosting a holiday toy drive. Donated gift cards, books, unwrapped toys and children’s clothing will go to HomeFront NJ.
5–8 pm.
Hamilton Manor, 30 NJ-156, Hamilton.

Monmouth/Burlington/Ocean Counties

Thru Dec 12: Galleria Dental (100 Rt. 9 North, Manalapan) is collecting new toys and gift cards for children in need.

Thru Dec 13: Mantoloking Police Department (202 Downer Ave., Mantoloking) is accepting donations for a holiday toy and food drive. Donations accepted 24 hours a day.

Dec 17: Join the NJ 1752 Club for a holiday party and toy drive at Tre Colore Pizzeria & Restaurant (480 New Jersey 33, Millstone).
Noon–2 pm; $25, plus an unwrapped gift for Toys for Tots.

Camden/Gloucester/Atlantic Counties

Dec 14–17: The Center for Family Services is calling on volunteers to donate a gift or sponsor a child as part of the Holiday Gift Project. Volunteers are also needed to help sort and pack gifts.

Thru Dec 20: Ocean Casino Resort (500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City) is collecting new and gently used coats.

Salem/Cumberland/Cape May Counties

Dec 7: The YMCA of Vineland (1159 E Landis Ave) is hosting a Jingle Bingo night in support of its annual giving campaign.
6 pm; $25, must be 21 or older to play. Email [email protected] for more info.

Thru Dec 13: Meals on Wheels of Salem County (90 Market St., Salem) is collecting small non-food gifts to distribute to their clients. Contact Teresa Christoff at [email protected] with any questions. People can also support the organization by shopping through smile.amazon.com to donate 0.5 percent of their purchase.

Thru Dec 13: Java Dog Coffee and Tea (198 Route 45, Salem) is hosting a toy drive for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Toys and cash can be dropped off between 9 am and 3 pm.

Dec 14, 18–20: The Boys and Girls Club of Vineland is looking for volunteers to help serve food, organize toys, and set up at various holiday events. Call Director Chris Volker at 856-692-4190 for more information.

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