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HomeSponsoredDoing Good in Rye: 11 Great Ways to Give Back in 2021

Doing Good in Rye: 11 Great Ways to Give Back in 2021

(PHOTO: Fiona Dogan and Christa Liddy at Woman’s Club of Rye bake sale for Children’s Philanthropy at the 2019 Rye Recreation Halloween window painting in downtown Rye.)

Special promotional content provided by Fiona Dogan of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s in Rye

By Fiona Dogan of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s

Rye is an amazing city. We have so much to be thankful for, which is why so many of us want to give back.  Living here, we feel we have a responsibility to care for our community—its people, parks, and beaches; its library, museums and schools and public spaces.

Over the past 25+ years, I’ve seen my neighbors step up in so many ways to support each other and help those in need. They’ve sponsored youth sports teams and food drives, participated in park cleanups or just lent a helping hand to the elderly. When the going gets tough, people in Rye have each other’s backs.

As we find our way through this pandemic together (hopefully, walking to the light at the end of the tunnel!) many of us will be looking for new ways to get involved. While volunteering looks a little different now, there are many ways to show your support for Rye and its citizens. Whether you’d like to contribute your time, money or just lend a hand, check out the list below of nonprofit and community organizations which strengthen the fabric of our community. Though we are still socially distanced — we’re all in it together.

  • #1 – RyeFIRST: Food banks are experiencing huge surges in demand due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Organized by Rye’s first responders and MyRye.com, RyeFIRST helps those in Westchester who are suffering from food insecurity. Your donations will directly support Feeding Westchester, which distributes healthy food to our neighbors in need. Learn more.

(PHOTO: Fiona Dogan and Deborah Golub along with youth volunteer (center, no ID) at the Woman’s Club of Rye bake sale held during the 2018 Rye Recreation Halloween window painting in downtown Rye.)

  • #2 – Woman’s Club of Rye: As a long-standing member, I’ve been involved with WCR’s Children’s Philanthropy branch which support projects to benefit local children, women, the elderly, and others in need. It’s a wonderful group of smart women committed to important work. New project ideas are welcome! Learn more.
  • #3 – The Rye YMCA: With a focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, the Rye Y helps to improve the health and well-being of our entire community. It offers financial aid to enable kids and families from all backgrounds to enjoy its programs. Check out their volunteer and giving opportunities. Learn more.

(PHOTO: Fiona Dogan and Linda Darer at the Rye Arts Center “Play with Your Food” event before the pandemic.)

  • #4 – Rye Arts Center: Simply put, the Rye Arts Center adds energy and beauty to our community. Through art classes, dance workshops, music lessons, a public art initiative, and community outreach programs, this nonprofit organization inspires interest and participation in the arts, and funds area outreach programs for adults and children. Become a member and you’ll receive discounts to programs and the knowledge that you’ve helped to provide community access to high-quality fine arts, musical, and cultural programs. Learn more.
  • #5 – Rye Youth Council: Through after-school and in-school programs, this nonprofit helps to empower youth to meet life’s challenges with confidence. Leadership training, peer mentoring, employment and career services and community service help local youth get involved and start civic participation habits when it matters most—their formative years. Parent and caregiver programs work to strengthen families, too. Learn more.
  • #6 – Rye City Lions Club: As the oldest service organization in Rye, the Lions Club has a rich history of supporting individuals who live or work in Rye and nearby in a variety of ways, including the provision of large-print books at the Rye Free Reading Room for seniors and the visually impaired; sponsoring attendance at Rye Town Camp for children in need; organizing coat drives; and so much more. Learn more.

(PHOTO: The Rye community turns out for philanthropic events. Photo taken pre-pandemic.)

  • #7 – Friends of Parks Groups: Want to roll up your sleeves and help keep our parks clean and beautiful? Join a Friends group for the Rye Town Park, Rye Nature Center, Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary, or Marshland Conservancy. They each offer several ways to get involved in efforts to preserve and enhance our precious green spaces.
  • #8 – School PTOs: After I moved my family from Brooklyn to Rye, joining the Osborn Elementary School PTO was one of the best moves I made. Not only did I make friends and get to know my children’s teachers, I volunteered on community outreach committees that helped families in need and helped to plan programs that enhanced the educational experience for all students. Busy moms may find this to be the perfect way to be involved locally.
  • #9 – Soul Ryeders: This volunteer-driven organization has evolved from a team of walkers raising funds for cancer research to one that helps those affected by all types of cancer through their diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and survivorship. Through health and wellness groups, individual support, and programs like the Wig Exchange, scores of people have been supported on their cancer journey. Learn more.
  • #10 – Rye Rotary: Rye City Rotary is part of a global network of Rotary Clubs, which provide service opportunities, networking, and so much more. In the past year, our very active chapter coordinated the donation of thousands of masks and collected food for local food pantries. Joining the Rotary is a great way to meet your neighbors and make a difference. Learn more.
  • #11- SPRYE: Described as “a social network for the next generation,” SPRYE aims to create a support systems for older adults and their peers. The organization provides a way for seniors to connect to services such as transportation, social and cultural programs, and caregiving in order to allow them to remain independently living in their own homes. Learn more.

Fiona Dogan is a top-producing real estate agent at Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty in Rye.


  1. Fiona Dogan
    Thank you so much for a thoughtful article such as this. There are so many honorable organizations in Rye that do so much for our city and the surrounding towns and we are grateful that you felt the Rye City Lions Club are worthy of such a mention. We wish you continued success in your real estate business and welcome opportunities to work with you to help our community in the future!


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