Monica’s Community Picks: 11 non-profits making a difference in NYC

NEW YORK — PIX11’s Monica Morales been ‘making it happen’ in New York City for years.

Now, she’s shining a light on local city groups that do the same.

Monica compiled a list of 11 of her favorite local organizations that are helping everyday New Yorkers and their communities.


For more than 20 years, the Bottomless Closet has helped empower New York City women by helping them enter the workforce while providing them with the tools and resources needed to get back on their feet. This organization provides women with professional attire, resume help, interview prep, and much more.


Since 1999, Exodus Transitional Community has been providing a broad spectrum of services for adults and youth affected by the justice system, leading policy and advocacy efforts promoting positive change in local communities. Its mission is to ensure participants not only become contributing members of society, but helping them meet their daily needs to ensure success and healthy living by helping people rebuild and thrive.


Since 2019, Hood Code NYC has offered free after-school and summer programs for youth in NYC public housing (NYCHA). The organization has taught youth ages 8-18 how to code using various softwares, resulting in a substantial increase in childrens’ self-efficacy and technology-based skills. Hood Code seeks to ensure that children from marginalized communities learn the digital skills necessary to participate in today’s society while also developing new ways of learning, problem-solving and positively contributing to the quality of life in local communities.


The Harding Ford Vision organization has been providing health and wellness services to underserved individuals in local communities, primarily in the South Jamaica Community. THFV is one of the largest pantries in Queens, providing more than 200,000 low-income individuals each year with food and additional resources they need to survive. The program is operated by volunteers dedicated to the community.


The International Institute for the Brain (iBrain) is an independent, non-profit, educational organization providing students with brain injuries or brain-based disorders with access to highly specialized educational opportunities based on the individual needs of each student. The group serves students from ages 5 to 21 across New York City.


Since 2006, the single-issue non-profit organization, Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E, works to prolong the life of NYC’s youth by preventing violence, its social causes, and the costs associated with violence. The organization’s efforts to uplift hurting families as well as prevent future trauma is divided into three areas – victim services, education, and activism.


The New York Common Pantry has been reducing hunger and promoting dignity, health and self-sufficiency to locals across the city since 1980. The charitable organization works toward the reduction of food insecurity through an array of programs with the goal of long-term independence for the 500,000 individuals it serves annually.


The Flushing Food Collaborative seeks to proactively mobilize resource and organize volunteers to ensure those with food insecurity receive assistance. The group was established this past summer as a pilot program to help local residents who needed emergency assistance after the largest food pantry in downtown Flushing was evicted by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) from the Bland Houses.


Music Will, formerly known as Little Kids Rock, runs the largest non-profit music program in the U.S. public school system. The group’s teachers currently serve more than 500,000 students in nearly 600 cities and towns across the country. Its mission to transform lives by transforming music education has grown into a movement with several state departments of education pairing with Music Will to grow music education in their schools.


Getting Out Staying Out (GOSO) partners with people impacted by arrest and incarceration on a journey of education, employment and emotional wellbeing and collaborates with NYC communities to support a culture of nonviolence. Its mission is to create a world where neither a person’s race nor contact with the legal system determines their future. For over 16 years, their work has reduced recidivism and helped participants become contributing members of their communities.


Since 1968, New York Foundation for Senior Citizens has been dedicated to helping seniors in New York enjoy healthier, safer, more productive and dignified lives in their homes and communities to help them avoid the need for premature institutionalization. NYFSC is the only non-profit, non-sectarian organization serving New York’s seniors in all five boroughs. The organization manages 35 social service programs, in addition to more than 900 units of housing, helping tens of thousands of elderly New Yorkers.