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Helping Out for the Holidays

News Story

There are plenty of opportunities to make the holidays a little brighter for those in need. Plus, did you know that full- and part-time employees get paid time off for volunteering? Read on to find out more!

The holiday season is approaching, which means it’s officially time to ramp up the generosity. Pace prides itself on a commitment to giving. Did you know that the University offers paid time off for volunteering, both for full-time and part-time employees?

The Center for Community Action and Research (CCAR) provides community service and civic engagement opportunities, which are open to all Pace students, faculty, and staff. In addition to a year-round calendar of events both on- and off-campus, the CCAR can work with your department or division on a volunteering project.

Below, we’ve provided a short list of holiday volunteering opportunities for faculty and staff that will help you work toward goodness as we close out the year.

Holiday Season Volunteering Opportunities

New York City

New York Common Pantry: The largest community-based food pantry in NYC, the New York Common Pantry enables participants to choose culturally appropriate and well-balanced food packages. Volunteers can help at various programs as groups or in an individual capacity.

The Food Bank of New York City: This well-established food bank has hundreds of opportunities through the holiday season for you to help provide food to your fellow New Yorkers. Volunteer or donate today!

New York Cares/Holiday Coat Drive: New York Cares runs volunteer programs for 1,300 nonprofits, agencies, and public schools across the city. They also run a holiday coat drive where you can donate to someone in need.

Pajama Program: The Pajama Program provides new pajamas and books to children all over the country, many of whom are waiting to be adopted and live in temporary housing facilities. Volunteers participate in reading sessions and pajama presentations, located within walking distance from Grand Central Station.

Read Ahead: Have 50 minutes every other week to make a meaningful difference in the life of a child? Read Ahead is recruiting Pace students, staff, and faculty to become mentors beginning in January 2019 at nearby PS 1. Help students at this high-need school unlock their full potential through mentoring relationships based on a love of reading.


Volunteer New York: A one-stop resource devoted to increasing volunteerism and community engagement in the greater Westchester area, the core mission of Volunteer New York is to inspire, mobilize, and equip individuals to strengthen the quality of life in our collective community.

Hillside Food Outreach: To donate a holiday meal to an individual or family in need, look to Hillside outreach, which has been providing food and supply to underprivileged individuals since 1993. Make a donation today!

Pleasantville Cottage School: The mission of the Pleasantville Cottage School is to help meet the child welfare and mental health needs of children and their families in the New York metropolitan area. Volunteer opportunities range from tutoring, mentoring, companionship, the “lunch ladies” program, and many more.

Rockefeller State Park Preserve: Rockefeller State Park Preserve is always seeking volunteers for help with charity events, beautification maintenance, and educational programs. Fill out a volunteer application and get started!

Both Campuses

New York State Mentoring Program: Make a difference in a young person’s life. Staff, faculty, and students are needed as mentors in a unique, structured, school-based, one-to-one model aimed at helping students at risk of dropping out of school graduate. Placements are within easy commuting distance of Pace University. For more information, email Janet at the NYS Mentoring Program or leave a message at (844) 348-6976. The program is a valued partner of the Center for Community Action and Research.

Self-help Community Services: For seniors, life can easily become isolating. Help them connect, learn, and play. Self-help Community Services is looking for virtual volunteer facilitators to lead class discussions/activities and educate seniors on a topic of your choice, including games, exercise, computer training, cooking, etc. This is an ongoing placement, but scheduling is flexible—weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or even sporadic classes at a time that works for you. For more information on being a volunteer facilitator, please email Carmella Chessen or call at (718) 559-4378.

For additional volunteer opportunities and information the 2019 holiday season, visit the CCAR website.