Thanksgiving’s a hectic time. So hectic, in fact, that it’s often easy to forget what the spirit of the holiday is all about: being grateful for the great things we have. With gratitude comes recognition, and there’s no better way to recognize the holiday than to give back to those who need it the most. Check out our list to find out how you can make a difference this Thanksgiving.
889 Harrison Avenue, Boston, NA, 02118
When: Weekdays, especially Thanksgiving week
Rosie’s Place is a center for homeless women and children, and its resources include clothing, counseling services, and dining services. Volunteers are welcome everywhere, but especially in the dining sector, where they help with food prep, serving, and clean up. Volunteers usually arrive between 10:00 and 11:00 am.
Boston Living Center’s Celebration of Life Thanksgiving Dinner
(617) 236-1012 x226
When: Tuesday, November 25th
The Boston Living Center’s Annual Celebration of Life Thanksgiving Dinner provides opportunities for over 250 volunteers each year, including in coat check, serving meals, and many other activities. Servers (aka TIPS Servers) serve meals with the objective of raising $250 in “TIPS” from their friends/family members to be donated towards HIV/AIDS research. Non-server opportunities can be obtainedhere. The Celebration of Life event is free for those living with HIV/AIDS and their loved ones.
American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay Food Pantry
1033 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02118
When: Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9:00am-12:00pm
Bags of food and canned goods are handed out to families in need twice a week at the Food Pantry, but regular volunteers report that Thanksgiving week sees a record number of people in need coming by for food. Helping hands with food bagging and serving are always welcome—especially on the week of Thanksgiving, which is sure to be one of the busiest of the year.
Friends of the Elderly
Northeastern University. Stetson West. 10 Forsyth St., Boston, MA, 02115
When: Thursday, November 27th, 10:00-11:45am.
This program’s motto is that “Nobody should be alone on Thanksgiving.” Take less than two hours to start off your Thanksgiving by making somebody’s day. Friends of the Elderly needs volunteers to hand out food to lonely and isolated elders in the city. Participants and volunteers are paired and encouraged to talk for about an hour. It’s a win-win: give someone an awesome Thanksgiving experience while exposing yourself to some potentially incredible stories and conversations.
Family Gratitude Turkey Trot
Endicott Estate. 656 East St., Dedham, MA, 02026
When: Thursday, November 27th, 5:00am-12:00pm.
Nothing says “I have absolutely NO guilt about devouring this entire turkey” better than a 5 kilometer run! Sponsored by Ripples of Hope, the third annual Family Gratitude 5K will raise funds for the charity’s food pantry, which will then go towards feeding thousands of hungry people on Thanksgiving. You’re encouraged to bring the whole family—even the little ones, who can participate in the kids’ ½ mile!
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