Ghandi once said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” 

There is nothing wrong with malls, we all need a new scarf/tie/pair of gloves/etc.  every so often…but if  you are looking for something with greater meaning, how about supporting a change you, or a loved one would like to see in the world?

Wherever you or your loved one is, there are non-profit (501c3) organizations that would welcome donations of both time and money, at any time of year. Kids or teens pledging volunteer time as a gift to a parent/grandparent could pay great dividends to all concerned.

There is no shortage of good causes. The typically most at-risk seniors and women with young children are now joined by all the other segments of the population, all in need of the most basic support-food and shelter. Here are some local organizations, and links to their websites to get you started/inspired.

Meals on Wheels is both a local and a national program, started originally to serve the elderly and otherwise home bound. They operate year round, bringing prepared meals, as well as companionship to those they serve.

Food Bank of Westchester The statistics are sobering; almost 200K  Westchester residents are hungry, or at risk of being hungry; and 83% of them are either seniors, or under the age of 18.

Formerly known as FoodPATCH, Food Bank for Westchester collects,  warehouse and distribute 6 million pounds of food a year, supplying 95% of all the food for approx 200 front-line food providers county-wide: soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, day care centers and other hunger-relief centers in Westchester.

The Bridge Fund  Founded here in Westchester in 1991, and since has been the model for organizations in NYC, CT and MA;  The Bridge Fund aids working poor families/individuals who are in imminent danger of losing their housing.  Last year they handled almost 2800 requests for help, and ultimately prevented  312 evictions and foreclosures

All of what they do, and the individualized way they do it doesn’t fit this 5-8 sentence format, so I would urge you to click the link above, and find out more about them.

Furniture Sharehouse  Near and dear to my heart, Furniture Sharehouse collects and re-distributes clean and serviceable furniture free,  to clients of about 3 dozen local agencies.

Started in April 2007, they crossed their 1000th Westchester family served in September.

 Pets Alive is the new name of the Elmsford Animal Shelter. Still the only no-kill shelter in the area, they merged with Pets Alive rehabilitation sanctuary in Middletown NY earlier this year.

They support animals, and the people that want to adopt them. Again, their programs and needs are varied, please click link above to find out more.