Giving Back During the Holiday Season

The holiday season brings a time to reflect on the past year, reunite with family and friends, and celebrate the many cultural and religious holidays that take place at the end of the calendar year. It is great opportunity to focus on the things that are most important to us and to teach our children the true spirit of this season. Donating time, gently used items, non-perishable foods, or money to a non-profit organization helps many families around the Greater Rochester Area as the temperature drops!

Let us help to lead by example through spending time at a Soup Kitchen, donating an unwrapped toy to your favorite toy drive, or sending some money to an organization or family member in need. Check out some of our favorite December fundraisers and organizations if you are looking for ways to get involved!


Annual non-profit fundraiser early each December focused on helping over 550 Rochester-area organizations. “The entire nine-county Greater Rochester region was encouraged to make an end-of-year gift to help advance their philanthropic passions. More than 600 501(c)(3) not-for-profits serving Animals, Arts & Culture, Community Benefit & Economic Development, Education, the Environment, Health, Human Services and Religion participated to receive donations.”

Toys for Tots

Over the 61 years of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, Marines have distributed more than 332.5 million toys to 158.7 million needy children. This charitable endeavor has made U.S. Marines the unchallenged leaders in looking after needy children at Christmas. Over its 61 year life span, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has supplemented local toy collections with more than 55.5 million toys valued at more than $284 million; plus has provided promotion and support materials valued at over $3.2 million

Pirate Toy Fund

Headquartered in downtown Rochester, NY and founded in 1995 by local children’s entertainer, Gary the Happy Pirate, the Pirate Toy Fund is the only non-profit organization of its kind in the United States. To date, we have distributed nearly 250,000 toys, and continue to actively pursue new avenues to expand our mission. Gary was inspired to found this endeavor by a special friend, Christie Simonetti.


Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN) is a not-for-profit, interfaith, culturally-competent organization that assists homeless families to achieve sustainable independence by supporting them with tailored services including shelter, food, personalized case management, and a diverse network of caring volunteers.

Villa of Hope’s Holiday Wishes Program

Villa of Hope’s Holiday Wishes program relies on the goodwill and support of the local community each year at holiday time to fulfill the wish lists of the youth and families we serve in order to give them a holiday celebration that they may not otherwise be able to experience.

Willow Domestic Violence Center

The Purple Box Campaign is a toy drive for children and families living in Willow Center’s emergency shelter. One in 3 women and one in 4 men are affected by domestic violence. Over 70% of these crimes are witnessed by children. A simple gesture of providing new toys during can give a child in crisis a sense of normalcy and hope. The items on the wish list must be new as they are holiday gifts.

Adopt A Family Program

Willow Center families have survived trauma and abuse, and are just beginning their journey to a safe and empowered life. Many are still in crisis mode, living in our emergency shelter in hiding from their abuser. Their lives have been disrupted by violence, and by relocation. The children in our shelter are away from everything familiar to them – their home, their toys, their friends. By providing gifts for these families, you are also helping strengthen relationships, restore a sense of normalcy, and help a family as they begin healing.

Please contact Larissa at (585) 232-5200 x230, or email for more information.

Open Door Mission

Being homeless or hungry, battling addictions or just barely making ends meet is a crisis anytime, but at Christmas — away from family and friends — it’s even harder. Even in a shelter full of people or a crowded dining room, you can still feel alone and forgotten. We need your help today to make this the best possible Christmas for hungry, homeless men, women and children here in the Rochester area.

St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center

Each year St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center puts together a Wish List of items they need for the holidays and in the coming year.

“We are always in need of help and supplies. If you can contribute in any way, please contact (585) 325-5260 for more information about our Wish List. See our Contact Us page for our location.”

All kinds of volunteer opportunities are available at schedules to meet your needs!


Contact them at (585) 325-5260 or

Bethany House

Bethany House was founded in 1977. A Catholic worker house of hospitality, Bethany House provides shelter for homeless women and children without expecting payment through Social Services; all of their support is through donations. The Sisters of Saint Joseph, have been connected with Bethany House for several years as volunteers and board members.  To learn more about the people Bethany House helps CLICK HERE.

Current Needs of Bethany House are the following:

• Diapers (particularly larger sizes)
• Formula
• Coffee & Powdered Creamer
• Clothing for women and children
• Diapers (particularly larger sizes)
• Materials for newborns (blankets, “onesies”, strollers, etc.)

These are just a few of the fabulous organizations in and around the Rochester Area that could benefit from donations or volunteerism this holiday season. Please join the KT585 Team in giving back for the holidays!


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