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The holidays are almost here, and your altruistic side is calling. But what to do? Sure, serving meals on Thanksgiving is a wonderful gesture, but let’s face it: Everyone wants to show up that day, and help is needed year-round. These seven local nonprofits offer opportunities to make an impact well beyond the holiday season.

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Girls Inc. of NYC/Facebook

Empower Young Women With Girls Inc.

Toy drives are a great way to give back around the holidays, but there?s something the city?s underserved girls could use even more: your expertise. Create future leaders by facilitating workshops with Girls Inc., which provides educational programs in the areas of math, science, financial literacy, multicultural appreciation, and health and safety.

120 Wall St. (at South St.); 212-531-7620 or

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Take a Pup for a Walk With Sean Casey Animal Rescue

You love dogs, but the cruel realities of New York apartment living dictate that a pet of your very own isn’t in the immediate future. But all hope isn’t lost. By volunteering as a dog walker at Sean Casey Animal Rescue, you can get your puppy fix and help out, too. Win-win.

153 E. Third St. (at Fort Hamilton Pkwy.), Brooklyn; 718-436-5163 or

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Bust Out your Green Thumb at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

If you’re the type that likes to get your hands dirty, it’s time to go outside and give back. Although peak garden season is over, volunteers are needed year-round at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for hands-on horticulture projects. Bonus: You’ll be the first to have the scoop when cherry blossom season finally comes around.

1000 Washington Ave., Brooklyn; 718-623-7200 or

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City Harvest/Facebook

Fight Hunger with City Harvest

Whether you’re collecting donations of excess food from local green markets or distributing fresh produce on the weekends, volunteering with City Harvest is likely to give you a decent workout—a huge benefit during those sluggish winter months. Plus, you’ll be joining a network of people who are giving access to healthy food in underserved areas. Score.

6 E. 32nd St. (at Fifth Ave.); 646-412-0600 or

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Getty Images

Provide Essentials with Coalition for the Homeless

Homelessness has reached record highs in NYC, which is especially concerning as the temps get lower. But you can be part of the solution by volunteering with Coalition for the Homeless. In addition to running on a toy drive for children during the holidays, volunteers distribute food, clothing, blankets and other necessities every night of the year.

129 Fulton St. (at Nassau St.); 212-776-2000 or

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Getty Images

Make a Senior Citizen’s Day with Visiting Neighbors

Kids aren’t the only ones in need of holiday cheer; it’s a particularly difficult time of year for senior citizens without families. Make a difference by becoming one of Visiting Neighbors’ “elves.” You’ll deliver gifts, spend time with seniors and probably learn a thing or two. (Elf costume optional.)

3 Washington Square Village (at Wooster St.); 212-260-6200 or

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Tim Eddy for CITYarts

Restore a City Mural with CITYarts

You don’t need a wing of the Met named after you to make an impact on the city’s vibrant art community. You can help restore, create or re-create public art across the city with CITYarts. Prepare to make your mark (literally) and help area youth in the process with the organization’s ongoing projects.

77 Bleecker St. (at Broadway); 212-966-0377 or

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