Tis the season to give back. The holidays (Thanksgiving through New Year’s) typically kick off the busiest donation time of the year. And this year is no different. With some towns experiencing their greatest need in years, any support is appreciated. We have rounded up ways to give back from turkey bike rides to holiday toy drives. Keep reading to see how you can get involved for the 2023 holiday season in New Jersey.
Eva’s Village + NorthJersey.com Holiday Lights Map | North Jersey
Here, visitors can help out a great organization and show off holiday lights at the same time. And for those who go all out decorating for the holidays, be sure everyone can see that hard work. For a small donation of $15, a house can be listed on the official North Jersey Holiday Lights Map created by northjersey.com. Addresses will be accepted through November 15th with the list being published on Thanksgiving Day. 100% of all donations will go to Eva’s Village. Learn more here.
November 16th – 20th
Neighbors are invited to join the children of the Montclair Cooperative School as they collect donations for St. Peter’s Haven. Every morning from November 16-20th, items such as stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and canned vegetables will be collected and donated to St. Peter’s. Learn more here.
Two Town’s Turkey Trot | South Mountain Reservoir, South Orange
Runners and spectators can head over to South Mountain Reservoir to join the towns of Maplewood and South Orange in their Two Town’s Turkey Trot. The day kicks off at 8:30AM with the race beginning at 10AM. Learn more here.
The Human Needs Food Pantry Turkey Drive | 9 Label Street, Montclair
November 18th -19th
The Human Needs Food Pantry is looking to provide a free turkey to all in need this Thanksgiving. Their goal is to distribute 1,000 turkeys. For those looking to help, turkeys and other traditional Thanksgiving food items can be dropped off on the 18th and 19th from 8AM to noon. Learn more here.
The Human Needs Food Pantry Annual Turkey Ride | 148 Valley Road, Montclair
The annual 15-mile Turkey Ride will kick off at The Montclair Bikery. Those participating will bike 15 miles to deliver frozen turkeys to The Human Needs Food Pantry. Get involved by biking, donating, or volunteering. Learn more here.
Newark Community Health Center Thanksgiving Food Drive | 741 Broadway, Newark
Neighbors are invited to join the Newark Community Health Center in giving back to the community this Thanksgiving. Canned food items are being collected now through November 16th with a distribution date of November 21st. Items being collected include canned vegetables, box mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. Learn more here.
New Hope Baptist Church Thanksgiving Day | 106 Sussex Avenue, Newark
The New Hope Baptist Church of Newark is ready for its annual Thanksgiving food distribution. Canned items are being collected now and will be distributed on Thanksgiving Day. Volunteers are needed to collect donations, prepare and serve meals, and clean up. Learn more here.
Catholic Charities Christmas Concert | 386 Livingston Avenue, Livingston
This concert is open to all to benefit Catholic Charities of Essex County. Come in person or join in virtually to hear Chris Pinella and his quartet. Tickets are $50 and $25 respectively. Learn more here.
Covenant House NJ SleepOut | 1 MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford
The community is invited to join Covenant House NJ and NY Giants player Saquon Barkley to raise awareness for youth facing homelessness and human trafficking. This SleepOut event will raise funds to help Covenant House continue its mission of providing youth living through these situations with needed resources. Learn more here.
Ally’s Elves | 880 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona
Back in 2018, Ally Drost became inspired to create holiday cards and hand-delivered them to seniors during the season. On December 9th, this event will be taking place and welcomes people aged 1 to 99 to create a card. Event-goers can drop off between 11AM to 3PM. The Ally’s Elves team will supply all the materials needed to make the cards.
CASA of Essex County Holiday Gift Drive | Essex County
Nearly 650 children in Essex County are living in foster care. Neighbors can help make their holiday brighter by participating in CASA’s Holiday toy drive. A wish list has been created and uploaded to Amazon. Those interested have through December 11th to purchase items on the list for the children. Learn more here.
Missionary Christian Church + Chances Community Center Toy Drive | 242 Jefferson Avenue, Newark
In partnership with the New Jersey Latino American Trooper Society, the Missionary Christian Church and Chanced Community Center want to ensure children in Newark receive what they want for Christmas. Details are still emerging for the drive, but toys will be given out from 9AM-1PM. Learn more here.
Share the Warmth at Toni’s Kitchen | 73 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair
As the winter weather comes in guests of Toni’s Kitchen are in need of items to stay warm. The organization is collecting sleeping bags, outerwear, boots, hats, scarves, and gloves in adult and youth sizes. Donations can be dropped off at their location on weekdays from 9AM -1PM, Saturdays from 9:30AM-12PM or Sundays from 3PM – 5PM. Learn more here.