The New York Times Neediest Cases

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About The Neediest Cases Fund

For more than 100 years, The New York Times has asked readers for contributions to its Neediest Cases Fund, to give direct assistance to troubled children, families and elders. The money is distributed to individuals through the fund’s eight participating New York charitable agencies, often in small amounts targeted to specific needs. This year is the Fund’s 105th annual campaign and runs from Nov. 13 through Feb. 10. 

Direct Impact

Each profile illustrated by the New York Times is story  of those who benefited from the fund and shows the difference that even a modest amount of money can make. 

Thanks to a collaboration with the New York Times and GoFundMe, 100% of the amount donated will go directly to support one of these great causes. In addition, The New York Times Company pays all administrative costs of the Neediest Cases Fund so that every gift goes directly to serve the needy. 


On Christmas day, 1911, Adolph S. Ochs, publisher of The New York Times, went out for a walk after a big turkey dinner, and encountered a shabbily dressed man on the street. The man said he had just been given Christmas dinner at a Y.M.C.A. but had nowhere to sleep. The publisher looked him over, decided he looked respectable and gave him a few dollars and his card. “If you’re looking for a job,” he said, “come see me tomorrow.”

The encounter left the publisher thinking about charity. Helping a stranger had given him a sense of satisfaction, and he wondered if one man’s feeling might be the basis for a city’s goodwill. The next year, he sent a reporter to several of the city’s private welfare agencies to collect stories about the poor. He had a plan: to publish articles about the Hundred Neediest Cases in New York. The appeal would be made not with a direct request for money but with the facts of their lives. These small chronicles, it turned out, sounded a powerful call.

The campaign began Dec. 15, 1912. Soon other publishers in the United States and abroad adopted the idea that a newspaper could make a general appeal for the needy and thus help established welfare agencies solicit funds. The first year’s contributions totaled $3,630.88. The total now is about $6 million a year, and over the years the Fund has raised more than $282 million.

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a not-for-profit public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to the Neediest Cases Fund are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Federal Identification Number: 13
-6066063. A copy of the Neediest Cases Fund's latest annual financial report may be obtained, upon request, from the Fund or from the New York State Attorney General's Charities Bureau, Attn: FOIL Officer, 120 Broadway, New York, New York 10271.

Beneficiary Organizations

Brooklyn Community Services

The year was 1865. The Civil War had just ended, and homeless, wounded Union soldiers, as well as children orphaned by the war, were living on the streets of Brooklyn. Many of the young boys sold newspapers — the original “newsies.”

A predecessor to Brooklyn Community Services was in its first year of existence. Responding to the need, the organization provided orphaned boys with beds, food and schooling.

The organization’s focus is much the same today. It provides early-childhood and after-school education, youth development, child abuse prevention services, job training and services for people with mental illness and those who are disabled.

It has 25 locations throughout Brooklyn, including the Brooklyn High School for Leadership and Community Service, where at-risk students receive on-the-job training.

Money raised through the Neediest Cases Fund goes to support one-time needs and service development.

Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities was founded in 1917 primarily to help improve the lives of children suffering from poverty, abuse and neglect. It still focuses on children, while supporting families coping with hunger, homelessness and other hardships.

The organization also works to welcome new immigrants to the United States, including refugees hoping to make New York their home.

Catholic Charities is a federation of around 90 charitable agencies in the New York area, serving up to 400,000 people every year.

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens started in 1899 with a concentration on child welfare, serving families in need, particularly those in immigrant communities. While the organization continues to assist immigrants, it has expanded its mission to include, among other things, aiding those with mental illness and housing homeless people.

Money raised through the Neediest Cases Fund goes largely to emergency relief services, especially housing assistance. The organization provides more than 3,000 units of affordable housing.

“We’re not just providing a roof over people’s heads,” said Monsignior LoPinto, the organization’s chief executive. “But also a comprehensive service that helps them rebuild their lives and add stability. We cover A to Z.”

Children’s Aid Society

The founding of the Children’s Aid Society, in 1853, is linked to the development of the American child welfare system. At the turn of the 19th century, many immigrant children who had been orphaned were pushed onto New York City’s streets.

Today, the society focuses on early education, health and wellness, family and home, and social and emotional development at more than 50 locations across the five boroughs and in Westchester County, N.Y.

Money raised through the Neediest Cases Fund provides children with sundry items, from prom dresses to textbooks, that help them live normal lives.

Community Service Society

Community Service Society was founded when two nonprofits merged in 1939: the Charity Organization Society, founded in 1882, and the Association for the Improvement of the Condition of the Poor, in 1843.

Community Service Society helps young people make the transition from school to work, ensuring that they have the tools and knowledge to enter the job market and begin a successful career.

The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies

Founded in 1922, when many of the nonprofits that interacted with government were faith-based organizations, The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies formed to represent the needs of Protestants at a table that then included Catholics and Jews. At the time, the group focused on child welfare.

Today, the federation, which includes 175 member agencies throughout the city and in Westchester, has members of the Catholic, Jewish and Muslim faiths, as well as secular organizations. The groups provide services that including child abuse prevention, help for former convicts re-entering society and H.I.V./AIDS support.

The federation has also worked with city and state officials on efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15.

“We have one foot in the community with our agencies,” Jennifer Jones Austin, the federation’s chief executive, said. “But then we take those lessons learned to affect system change, so our work extends beyond our nonprofits to all New Yorkers.”

International Rescue Committee

Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the International Rescue Committee’s mission is to restore health, safety, education and economic well-being to people affected by conflict and disaster. It works in 29 cities across the United States and in more than 40 countries, including Syria, where the group provided emergency and humanitarian aid to 1.4 million people who were displaced there in 2015.

Last year, more than 23 million people around the world benefited from the efforts of the committee and its partners. In the United States alone, the group helped resettle 9,961 refugees and provided services to many more, including victims of human trafficking.

UJA-Federation of New York

UJA-Federation of New York was founded in 1917, and for 100 years has responded during major events: helping to settle immigrants, rebuilding Jewish life after the Holocaust, supporting Israel, rescuing and resettling Soviet Jews and helping New York City recover after both Hurricane Sandy and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

UJA supports a global network of nearly 100 nonprofits and hundreds of grantees that serve New Yorkers of all backgrounds, as well as Jewish communities worldwide. These partner organizations help address a number of concerns, including poverty.