UNCONVENTIONAL HOLIDAY GIVING

Did you ever have the urge to give back during the holidays but don't want to do the typical soup kitchen routine? Well, we found five different ways you could volunteer this season that don't require wearing a hairnet.

1. BELLS ARE RINGING. If you truly love Christmas in the city and don't mind the tourists bombarding the New York sidewalks, you probably won't mind ringing a bell for charity while standing on a chilly corner. The Salvation Army has started to recruit Santas for the upcoming season. They're looking for individuals, groups or families to help raise funds for programs near Times Square so gather those holiday enthusiast buddies of yours and starting ringing. Visit SalvationArmyTimesSquare.org for more info.

2.THRIFT STORE SHOPPING At the Housing Works Thrift Shop, volunteers will help raise money to support homeless people living with HIV and AIDS. Volunteers will perform basic retail duties, plus handle customer service, merchandising and donations. And if you're interested in pursuing a future in merchandising, what better way to get firsthand experience while also helping provide housing and social services to the homeless. Log on to HousingWorks.org to get more details.

3. CANstruction If you don't have time to volunteer but want to donate a few cans of food while seeing a one of a kind art show, catch this year's CANstruction exhibition. Watch New York architects and designers sculpt masterpieces such as cars, 10-feet-tall hourglasses, sharks and unthinkable creations with nothing more than cans of food, tape and cardboard. It runs through November 21st at the New York Design Center. For more information, click here.

4. CELEBRITY TOY DRIVE Want to be down with the cool kids? Then join PM Lounge's Holiday Toy Drive. Unik, the owner of the celebrity-friendly club, is leading the second annual drive for children of his native Haiti through the Edeyo Foundation. Last year they distributed 5,000 toys. If you want to join the fun, you can either drop unwrapped toys by PM at 50 Gansevoort Street, or log on to their KB Toys Wish List by clicking here.

5. BABY BUGGY It's great to give toys to underprivileged children all year round- especially during the holidays- but covering their basic needs is just as important. If you're one of those people that love browsing through the baby sections at department stores, volunteering at Baby Buggy might just be the gig for you. If you want to help sort through donated baby clothing, furniture and accessories that will be shipped to various organizations and shelters through out New York, E-mail Baby Buggy Manager Tami S.