In case you haven’t heard — it’s our 13th season!
(Pretty amazing, right?)
Well, it’s also a little spooky to Rach, who’s a touch superstitious when it comes to the number 13. So our team decided to do something about that.
Throughout the season, we're highlighting and rewarding 13 amazing people — and for this episode, the entire audience counted as one of the 13.
And what made them so special? The fact that they’re volunteers — the true champions of the holiday season — who have given a combined total of 425,584 hours of their time to those in need.
425,584 hours — which, when you count it up, is over 48 years!
They've delivered meals to the hungry, taken care of animals, mentored kids, provided disaster relief, and on and on!
"Everyone in this room gets that giving is better than receiving," says Rach, tearing up. "Everyone in this room is a hero and a rockstar to us."
And you know we treated them like heroes, too — with some VERY cool holiday gifts! You can see all the goodies they scored HERE, but before you do that, take a minute to learn a little bit more about all of the organizations (22 total!) these giving people are a part of, and the inspiring work they’re doing with them.
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home.
For people living with severe illness in the New York City metropolitan area, God’s Love We Deliver provides nutrition therapy, and cooks and home delivers medically tailored meals.
3. Art Start
Art Start nurtures the voices, hearts and minds of New York City's underserved youth through consistent creative workshops inside homeless shelters, alternative to incarceration programs, and partnering youth agencies.
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is dedicated to providing “a different kind of healing” to seriously ill children and their families, free of charge. We are a community that celebrates the spirit of childhood, the sound of laughter and the feeling of endless possibility.
Literacy Partners strengthens families through a two-generation approach to education. With our free classes, low-income parents in New York City develop the literacy and language skills they need to succeed in today’s world.
Since 1915, the Orange County Volunteer Firemen’s Association has served the community through fire rescue and education.
As New York’s largest emergency food program, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen serves a hearty and nutritious meal to 1,000 homeless and hungry New Yorkers every day.
iMentor matches every student in our high schools with a committed college-educated mentor, equipped to guide that young person on their journey to college graduation.
Food Bank For New York City warehouses and distributes free food for over 1.5 million hungry New Yorkers each year.
North Shore Animal League America is the world's largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization. With your help, we can save defenseless animals each day.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation's leading industry-based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. We fund the social service work of The Actors Fund and award grants to AIDS service organizations nationwide.
12. Project Happy
Project HAPPY’s mission is to promote the well-being of New York City’s children, youth and young adults with disabilities by providing them with individual and team sports and recreational activities.
Citymeals on Wheels provides a continuous lifeline of nourishing meals and vital companionship to New York City’s homebound elderly.
Animal Care Centers of NYC is the only open-admissions animal shelter in New York City and takes in on average 30,000 animals every year.
Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe place to learn and grow – all while having fun. It is the place where great futures are started each and every day.
16. Red Cross
Red Cross volunteers and staff work to deliver vital services – from providing relief and support to those in crisis, to helping you be prepared to respond in emergencies.
As the nation’s largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 5 through young adulthood in communities across the country.
18. GROW NYC
GrowNYC is a hands-on non-profit which improves New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
AHRC offers individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities a wide range of programs, services and supports tailored to meet their specific needs.
Henry Street Settlement delivers a wide range of social service and arts programming to more than 50,000 New Yorkers each year.
21. City Harvest
Now serving New York City for over 35 years, City Harvest is the world's first food rescue organization, helping to feed New Yorkers who are struggling to put food on their tables.
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of nearly 2 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer.