Whether it's donations, money or time, charities are always in need of some extra help - especially during the holiday season.
Here are five organizations helping out New Yorkers that could use a hand this season.
New York Cares Coat Drive
What it does: This charity collects new and gently used coats to be distributed to low-income men, women and children in New York.
How can you help? After you unwrap that warm new coat over the holidays, make some space in your closet by donating a few of your lightly used coats. The drive ends on Dec. 31, so you'll have more than enough time to help a fellow New Yorker stay warm this winter. There are also numerous stores that offer a discount for donated coats, so you can do good while saving money.
Toys for Tots
What it does: This charity, run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, has been distributing toys to needy children (typically under the age of 12) since it began in 1947.
How can you help? When you're out shopping for toys for your niece or nephew, pick up something extra for Toys for Tots. Donate any new, unwrapped toys at one of the 700 drop-off locations around the city in all five boroughs. Toys for Tots also accepts donations of cash and vehicles.
Food Bank for New York City
What it does: The Food Bank makes a three-pronged attack on hunger, providing food distribution, income support and nutritional education for the needy.
How can you help? You can donate money and food, and you can also volunteer. The Food Bank's website allows you to set up a virtual food drive and then invite your family and friends to help you achieve a specific fund-raising goal.
New York City Clothing Bank
What it does: The Clothing Bank collects and distributes clothing, toys and other useful items to needy New Yorkers. While the organization receives money and donations from clothing manufactures and other contributors, it still needs help from individual New Yorkers in its quest to provide these items to 250 nonprofit and government agencies that, in turn, will deliver them to about 80,000 low-income city residents.
How can you help? The Clothing Bank accepts donations of money, new toys and clothing. In the past, the group only took new clothing, but due to greater need, it now accepts gently used items.
Women in Need
What it does: This charity offers housing and aid to women (and their families) in New York City, including a place to live, job training, alcohol and substance abuse treatment, child care, and domestic abuse services.
How can you help? Women in Need accepts donations of gently used coats and career clothing (though they all must be dry-cleaned). The group is also in serious need of donations of cash as well as new clothing, baby items, undergarments, shoes, toys, books and toiletries. It also needs volunteers, either as individuals or in groups.