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Donate goods, money or your time

It’s that time of year when giving back is a gift.

We have put together a list of organizations where you can donate new or used items, money or your time. For more information, please contact the charities directly.

BLESSINGS IN A BACKPACK With more than 13 million children in the US at risk for going hungry, this Kentucky-based group helps feed elementary school students in more than a thousand schools across 45 states. A $130 donation can feed one child on the weekends for the entire 38-week school year.

CARDS FOR HOSPITALIZED KIDS This organization collects cards for children. Everyone is encouraged to make all types of cards, regardless of age, location or artistic ability. It is an easy, yet meaningful way to make a difference. Contact them directly for more details.

CHILDREN INCORPORATED This organization has been helping children in need in the U.S. and abroad since 1964. For $30 a month, you can sponsor a child, and the money will help fund their food, clothing, healthcare, and education. You can also make a one-time donation to various programs including Warm Clothing Fund, Hope in Action Fund, or Higher Education fund, among many others.

CHiPS  CHiPS supports people who struggle with hunger and homelessness. They provide shelter for a small group of young mothers and their infants, and accept gently used clothing for women, men, and infants. You can also make a financial donation and directly support the young mother’s shelter program and soup kitchen.

COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER This New Jersey–based nonprofit was started in 2008 and has raised enough money to fund 100 research grants and 41 new treatments for children battling cancer.  Consider making a financial donation, buying cookies on the website or hosting a cookie event. The money will fund research for improved and less toxic treatments for pediatric cancer.

GOOD + FOUNDATION  This charity, formerly known as Baby Buggy, works with community-based organizations to get new and gently used clothing and gear for babies and children up to age 14 to NYC families in need.  

GOODWILL Goodwill accepts gently used clothing, household items, and toys. Proceeds from stores help to provide job training and other services for local community members in need.

HOUR CHILDREN THRIFT SHOPS  This organization accepts new and gently used clothing, housewares, and more items. They do not accept stuffed animals or used toys.  The sales help incarcerated women and their children in maintaining strong bonds throughout prison stays and as they re-enter society. The thrift shops also provide recently released mothers with a workplace to earn money and life skills to begin the rebuilding process.

HOUSING WORKS Housing Works is a convenient, city-wide organization that accepts all kinds of donations, including gently used goods, furniture, books and media.  If you have a furniture donation, fill out a request for pickup, and all other donations can be easily dropped off at one of their many locations. You can also donate a financial contribution. The funds provide lifesaving services to homeless, low-income and marginalized men, women, and youth. 

LITTLE ESSENTIALS  This NYC organizations accepts donations of goods for local families in need, including diapers and baby wipes, car seats, strollers, baby carriers, and in-season clothes for children up to age 5. Donations may be dropped off.

NEWBORNS IN NEED The North Carolina-based charity accepts infant supplies, including gently used hats, booties, clothing, and toys.  These items are donated to premature, sick, or impoverished babies in hospitals, shelters, and families across the U.S.   

NYC MAMMAS GIVE BACK This NYC organization began when one mother helped a homeless mother-to-be by providing her the essential baby gear and support she needed for her new baby. They provide infant essentials and support to agencies and shelters serving homeless pregnant woman and families in need. They accept financial donations, as well as new and gently used baby items and clothing.  

ONE SIMPLE WISH Working with partner agencies, this organization grants wishes to children and young adults impacted by foster care, abuse and neglect.  Scroll through the website to learn and grant a child’s wish.  In the past 10 years, One Simple Wish has impacted more than 55,000 children.   

PAJAMA PROGRAM . The Pajama Program has delivered millions of pajamas, as well as books, to kids in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico. They accept financial donations as well as new pajamas and books to support a comforting bedtime routine for all children in need.

PROJECT LINUS This Missouri-based group has provided more than 7 million security blankets to children who are seriously ill or have experienced trauma. The site lists chapters in all 50 states that accept drop-offs of new handmade blankets and crafting supplies.  

POWERMYLEARNING This national education nonprofit aims to strengthen the relationship between students, teachers and families so that every child succeeds through their innovative programs. You can donate computers – both laptops and desktops – as well as tablets, printers, and other hardware to help increase access to technology in the homes of low-income students.  You can also send a financial donation or volunteer your time.

PURPLE HEART FOUNDATION This organization has been supporting military veterans and their families for over 60years. You can give a financial donation or donate gently used items. Donations can be arranged for pickup. Check the website to see a list of acceptable donations.

READER TO READER This national nonprofit has donated over $75 million worth of books and computers. They have built computer labs in New York City, on the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Nation, western Massachusetts, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Kenya, Kosovo, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, and Trinidad & Tobago. They accept financial donations along with books and computers. Visit the website to make a donation to a program of your choice.

ROOM TO GROW This organization provides baby items to families in need. They accept baby gear, clothing, toys, and other items.  You can also give a financial contribution.  Learn how to make an in-kind donation, drop-off hours, and locations in New York and Boston

ST. MARY’S CHURCH St. Mary’s Episcopal Church accepts gently used clothing, shoes, and home goods. Donations support local families in need. The church picks up donations from select areas across the city. Visit the website to schedule a pickup.

THE BOWERY MISSION  The Mission has impacted the city by providing over 500,000 meals, 100,000 nights of shelter and over 100,000 items of clothing to people in need.  You can help by volunteering, raising funds, donating goods or money.  

THE SALVATION ARMY   The Salvation Army thrift stores support citywide Adult Rehabilitation Centers and accept a variety of donations, including gently used clothing to major appliances and furniture.  You can even schedule a pickup online.

THE THRIFTY HOG  This NYC shop is operated by Hearts of Gold, whose mission is to help homeless mothers get back on their feet and transition into permanent housing. The shop’s revenue goes to fund Hearts of Gold’s missions. They accept new and gently used clothing, as well as toys and home goods. Donations can be dropped off at the store. Check the website for more details.

U.S. MARINE CORPS RESERVE TOYS OF TOTS Every fall, this program kicks off its annual nationwide toy drive.  They distribute 18 million toys to nearly 7 million children in need. Donate a new, unwrapped toy – and drop it off at the closest collection site near you.

ZAENAH’S BLANKET FOUNDATION  This Bronx-based nonprofit aims to reduce the infant mortality rate by distributing blankets, clothing, and other essentials to newborn babies born to families in need. The organization picks up donations of gently used clothing and baby gear. Visit the website to arrange a pickup.

FAO Schwarz Returns to NYC 

FAO Schwarz is coming back in the form of a whimsical experience, set to open in Bergdorf Goodman and remain open through Dec 31! 

SThe Art of Mechanized Puppets

​​​Video credit: Mashable 

Haruki Nakamura is a Japanese designer who adds a mechanical touch to the ancient art of Kirigami, an origami-like technique that uses cuts in addition to folds. 
Nakamura creates whimsical paper creatures that move in innovative ways when prompted by human touch. These paper puppets come alive when either pressed, poked, or prodded in certain places. You’ll find a wide variety of paper dolls either performing amazing acrobatics,  showcasing disguises or coming out of their shells.

Nakamura only sells his paper creations  via his online shop, and only ships within Japan. However, if you’re interested in learning more or want to create your own, check out Karakuri: How to Make Mechanical Paper Models That Move, or Kirigami: The Art Of Folding & Cutting Paper.

Haruki Nakamura: Website | Shop

Railbiking in the Adirondacks

North Creek Revolution Rail

If you’re visiting the Adirondacks, don’t skip the railbiking excursion with Revolution Rail Co. 

What is Railbiking?

Railbiking is a fun new activity that allows you to ride the railroad tracks and explore the Adirondacks along the banks of the Hudson River. It’s the ultimate scenic adventure trail on a railbike. you can either rent a quad or a tandem bike, depending on your group.

How does it work?

Once you’ve reserved your date and time, you have to check in at the historic North Creek Railroad Station. The Revolution Rail Co team will take guests on a short shuttle ride to the departure location.   After a short safety briefing, the tour guides will lead the railbikers further north on a 6 mile round trip cruise. The entire trip takes about 2 hours. 

 Are kids allowed on the railbike?

Kids age 4 and up can ride in their own seat, using our seat belts. Toddlers can ride in either a front-mounted child carrier, or on their own seat with a 5-point harness. Infants can ride with mom or dad in a front-mounted child carrier (like a Baby Bjorn).

​How much does it cost?

A trip on a quad bike, which seats four people, costs $130.

A trip on a tandem bike, which seats two people, costs $70.

For more details, contact Revolution Rail Co.:

3 Railroad Place
North Creek, NY 12853


Kiehl’s & Disney team up for the Holidays 

kiehls disney collaborationJust in time for this holiday season, Kiehl’s and Disney are teaming up to donate 100% of the net profits of the new Disney x Kiehl’s collection (up to $100,000) to Feeding America.

To raise awareness for Feeding America, Disney and Kiehl’s are partnering up. It’s staggering to know that one in six kids in America do not know where their next meal is coming from.

For all excited buyers who are eager to help the world (and their skin), shop this awesome collaboration:  the Special Edition Collection For A Cause ($45, donates 350 meals), the Special Edition Creme de Corps Grapefruit Whipped Body Butter ($38, donates 355 meals), the Special Edition Scented Hand Cream Trio ($35, donates 310 meals), and the Special Edition Hydration Essentials Gift Set ($29, donates 210 meals).

Body Energy Stickers to the Rescue you’re feeling tired, anxious or distracted, would you be willing to apply a sticker and skip your latte?

Body Vibes are the latest wellness trend. They are smart stickers programmed to deliver natural frequencies to balance the body.

Through a proprietary technology, frequencies are recorded and stored within the sticker. The key is to properly apply the sticker to your bare skin. Once applied, the sticker begins broadcasting stored frequencies which then begin to influence the cells in your body. This causes a balancing effect, restoring your body to its optimal electrical frequencies.

There are stickers for mental focus, mood lift, anti-anxiety among others. If you want to give them a try, go for the Sacred 6 Variety Pack.

“The cell is a machine driven by energy. It can thus be approached by studying matter or by studying energy. In every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.”

– Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Laureate in Medicine

Digital Ocean Playground in Times Square


Image credit: National Geographic Encounter

The National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey has opened in Times Square.  You will walk-through a 60,000-square-foot space, and experience virtual interactions with sea lions, rays, dolphins and see virtual humpback whales, great white sharks and Humboldt squids. The experience lasts about 90minutes.

You’ll be guided through awesome animation, huge projection screens, immersive sound and an interactive technology room with touch screens, holograms and games.

Tickets go on sale July 11, and all tickets are attached to time-slots. The experience opens to the public in October 2017.

National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey experience at 226 44th St ( $39.50, seniors $36.50, children 12 and under $32.50.

Amazon Launches a STEM Club


Amazon has launched a new monthly subscription program for kids. This program includes highly curated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) toys that will encourage kids to learn through play.

What’s in a box?

Amazon editors work closely with smart brands to handpick the best STEM toys. From programmable robots to crystal kits and chemistry sets.


How much does it cost?

A STEM Club Toy Subscription costs $19.99/month plus applicable taxes. You can cancel your subscription at any time.
For more details go to the site.

Trump Exploring Panel On Vaccine Safety

vaccinevia Trump Exploring Panel On Vaccine Safety – Disability Scoop

WASHINGTON — Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has warned of a discredited link between childhood immunizations and the development of autism, has accepted an invitation from President-elect Donald Trump to lead a commission “on vaccine safety and scientific integrity,” he told reporters Tuesday.

A Trump spokeswoman would not confirm Kennedy’s comment.

Kennedy, son of the late U.S. attorney general, said the president-elect “has some doubts” about vaccine policies but said both of them were in favor of vaccines.

“His opinion doesn’t matter, but the science does matter, and we ought to be reading the science and we ought to be debating the science,” Kennedy said. “Everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have … (are) as safe as they possibly can be.”

Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump transition team, said only that the president-elect was “exploring the possibility” of a commission, but that no decision has been made.

“The president-elect enjoyed his discussion with Robert Kennedy Jr. on a range of issues and appreciates his thoughts and ideas,” Hicks said. “The president-elect looks forward to continuing the discussion about all aspects of autism with many groups and individuals.”

Read More on Disability Scoop.

Study: For Those With Autism, Fixations Can Be Beneficial


via Study: For Those With Autism, Fixations Can Be Beneficial – Disability Scoop


Parents and teachers should do more to embrace the preferred interests of those with autism, researchers say, pointing out that such aptitudes can be calming and form the basis for careers.

Individuals on the spectrum often display intense interests in topics like computers, animals or trains. Traditionally, many experts thought that such preferences might inhibit social development.

However, in a new study looking at the experiences of 80 adults with autism ages 18 to 70, researchers said they found otherwise.

Parents and teachers should do more to embrace the preferred interests of those with autism, researchers say, pointing out that such aptitudes can be calming and form the basis for careers.

Individuals on the spectrum often display intense interests in topics like computers, animals or trains. Traditionally, many experts thought that such preferences might inhibit social development.

However, in a new study looking at the experiences of 80 adults with autism ages 18 to 70, researchers said they found otherwise.

“Many of our study participants referred to their preferred interests as a ‘lifeline,’” said Kristie Patten Koenig of New York University who led the study published this week in the journal Occupational Therapy in Mental Health.

Overall, 92 percent of study participants said that their interest areas provide a calming effect for them.

What’s more, the vast majority — 86 percent — said they have a job or are in school or other training that’s related to their preferred area.


Read More.