w80th & west end avenue - map it here
Life is hard in the streets of New York City. It's an uphill battle. And there is something about someone carrying his entire life in a shopping cart, hunting for empty bottles to make a living, that commands respect.
If you have a free weekend, a few hours during the week, or just want to volunteer on a regular basis, New York Cares is a wonderful non-profit in NYC. They centralize a series of volunteer initiatives, each ones organized by a team leader (someone like you and me). Each month, they publish a calendar with all the volunteering activities: from preparing sandwiches at a soup kitchen, to raking leaves in the local park, to painting a mural in a high school, dancing with the seniors, helping writing a resume, et cetera, et cetera. The great thing about it is that it is very flexible: it can be a once a year thing, once a month, or every week, really what you have time for. It is also a great way to discover different neighborhoods of the city. There's no reason why helping out shouldn't be fun too.