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Giving back for the holidays (while sipping on a terrific cocktail-in-a-can)

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

As the end-of-year holidays approach, dreams of burrowing deep into your couch–maybe with a favorite drink in hand–are probably swirling in your head.

Of course, you could take a more proactive approach to enjoying your time off. And everyone knows that one of the best ways to feel good is to give back.

In that spirit, I'm listing just some of the many local organizations that caught my eye and heart this year–and could use our donations.

And to put a festive spin on the occasion, why not pour yourself a chilled can of Hochstadter's Slow & Low Rock & Rye? I first discovered this easy, delicious take on the Old Fashioned at new-wine-store-on-the-block Hamilton Wine House. It's a lovely cocktail to sip on while deciding which of the following organizations to help.

Helping people

Through its clubhouses–like its newest, the beautifully renovated Public School 186–this organization's mission is to help kids "reach their full potential as responsible members of the community."

This seven-year-old organization "exists to end the severe problem of good food-access and its links to the drastic rise in diet-related diseases, particularly in Harlem and the Bronx."

A "24-hour-a-day transitional shelter with in-patient and out-patient rehab and counseling services" serving the Harlem community. I recently read a moving article about this shelter in the New York Times, inspiring me to add it to my list here.

An organization whose mission is helping kids "to lead healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition."

The YMCA's goal is to "empower youth, improve health, and strengthen community." Its donation page allows you to support any branch you wish, including the Harlem Y.

Helping the arts and the earth

Teaching all of us about climate-threatened birds via murals painted throughout John James Audubon's old Harlem neighborhood.

Offering a wide range of dance and music classes to local children, the school is now also a performing arts center.

Currently closed for renovations, this museum highlights the art of Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures.

Harlem's museum devoted to artists of African descent will be closing soon as it builds its new home. Make a donation now to help it reach its goals on time.

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