July 18, 2024

Eric Adams’. Community Op-Ed: New Yorkers are Spreading the Love. Here’s how you can get involved

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We all love New York City. And this year, New Yorkers have been showing their love by lending a helping hand as part of our Spread Love campaign. Since March, nearly 30,000 New Yorkers have given more than 235,000 hours of their time to help out our neighbors in need.

Thanks in no small part to the sacrifices of volunteers, our city is back better than ever. Jobs are at an all-time high and crime is down. We overcame the darkest days of the pandemic because of the selfless work of everyday volunteers. But so many of our neighbors — especially young people, families, and older adults — still need our help. Imagine what would happen if every New Yorker committed just one hour a week to an act of service. The result would be transformative.

There are so many opportunities to get involved. It can be as simple as helping an older neighbor shovel snow or pitching in to clean up your local park. If you don’t have time to spare, you can also donate directly to community organizations that support New Yorkers in need. Organizations are happy to take extra food items, clothing, hygiene products, technology, and supplies.

As cold weather approaches, you can also donate winter coats and jackets to keep your fellow New Yorkers warm. Just this past week, we launched the annual New York Cares coat drive, with the goal of collecting and distributing a record 250,000 coats. You can help make history by reaching into your closet and dropping off old or unused coats at a location near you. Find out where at newyorkcares.org/coat-drive.

When you give to others, you won’t just be helping New Yorkers in need — you’ll also be helping yourself. I have felt the joy of giving back firsthand. Every Wednesday, I hand out food to our brothers and sisters in need. It is one of the most meaningful moments in my week. And that’s why we launched the We <3 New York campaign: to help every New Yorker discover the satisfaction of engaging with their communities.

The opportunities to help out are nearly limitless and our city’s NYC Service office can help connect you. At NYC.gov/Service you can easily find volunteer postings near you from more than 500 community organizations across the city. You can search by interest, keyword, location, and more. You can sign up by yourself or with family and friends, because volunteering together is even more fun!

Recent volunteer opportunities include a chance to work with furry friends, helping older New Yorkers take care of their pets. You can also sign up to develop your green thumb by volunteering at a local garden, help neighbors get access to healthy food by working at a food pantry, tutor local high school students in language, or support our newest New Yorkers through an asylum seeker volunteer opportunity.

Love means taking action. Love means serving others. Love means getting stuff done for New Yorkers in need. Now is the time to spread that love to every block and borough. Together we can make a real difference in the lives of our fellow New Yorkers.

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