Families: Volunteering for Thanksgiving

Children look forward to Thanksgiving because they know Christmas will soon follow. For many families, volunteering for Thanksgiving allows them to give back to their community rather than merely being interested in what they’ll receive later in the year. Consider these ideas to help you find volunteer opportunities around you.

Where do you find volunteer opportunities? You’ll want to find something your family can do which is close to home. Check your local telephone book to see if there are food banks, missions, homeless shelters or similar organizations. Pay attention to newspapers which may advertise churches or other groups which are offering free meals for the day.

Your local chamber of commerce may also have some ideas of where your family can volunteer. Of course, you can also research on the internet to find organizations which may seek help during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Most large cities of the country have ways to help the less fortunate. Look in your local telephone book to search for a food bank. These organizations run on the efforts of volunteers who spend time stocking shelves with food and then giving it out to those in need. Families with children of all ages would be welcomed to volunteer at a local food bank at any time of the year, not just during Thanksgiving.

There are food kitchens throughout the country for those who may be homeless. Many churches, synagogues or mosques will prepare a Thanksgiving meal for those who may not have homes of their own to cook a proper meal or are living in a shelter. Finding one of these “soup kitchens” to volunteer in on Thanksgiving may help your children learn to be more thankful for what they do have.

They may also prepare a box of food to deliver to shut-ins or those who can’t afford to purchase the makings for a Thanksgiving meal. If this is the case, they may need people to help prepare the boxes and drivers to deliver them. Some organizations will prepare the meal and then deliver hot meals to seniors who have limited mobility. There are many opportunities to help if you look around.

Maybe your family wants to do something more personal as a means of volunteering. There are many people confined to a nursing or retirement home. Many of them feel their families no longer care about them. Your family may want to consider ‘adopting’ one or more people at a local home, not only for Thanksgiving but for the entire year. You may find you receive as much joy and love as you are willing to give.

Volunteering doesn’t have to be an activity your family does during Thanksgiving. There are many organizations which provide services to the less fortunate throughout the year. They would be thrilled to have your family volunteer during the holiday season, but would welcome your family’s involvement at any time you are willing to help.

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