Anyone Know of any Thanksgiving Volunteer Opportunities?

Photo by PoPville Flickr user rosiedawn

“Dear PoP,

I was just wondering if you had heard about any volunteer opportunities in the neighborhood on Thanksgiving. I’ve gone through the lists of volunteer opportunities on Washington Post, Washingtonian, Idealist, ServeDC, etc. and all of them are completely booked up with volunteers and aren’t accepting any more people. It’s great that there’s such an outpouring of support this holiday season (and that organizations are only taking on the # of volunteers they can actually use), but I was just wondering if there weren’t some less well-publicized volunteer opps that could still use some helping hands (or cars) this Thanksgiving.

Any suggestions from you or readers would be appreciated!”

14 Comment

  • I am surprised a place such as the United Way couldn’t direct you to opps to give time in the area. The United Way just recently spoke at our organization, saying that they were something like $17 million short of what the giving community really needs, and every dollar counts.

    So Other Might Eat? I was told they need lots of folks to help sort clothes this holiday season for giveaways. And daily to serve breakfast and lunch over on 71 O St NW off North Capitol. Likely need drivers.

    My sister’s place?

  • I have plans for Thanksgiving, but if someone could suggest a volunteer opportunity for Christmas Day I’d appreciate it.

  • People need help all year round, so if you get shut out on Thanksgiving, take that energy and pitch in on other days. You’ll make even more of an impact!

  • I’ve volunteered in the past at the Green Door on 16th St on T-Day. Usually though, the volunteer opportunities fill up quickly.

  • Help is needed on Wednesday to help serve about 130 homeless and hungry Washingtonians at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, 16th and Park, NW. Setup begins at 1:30, serving at 4:30. Bring a dish or bring some helping hands.

  • I applaud your interest in doing a good deed. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, Thanksgiving is pretty much the worst day of the year because everyone and their step-cousin is also looking to volunteer somewhere on Thanksgiving Day. It’s the one day that most organizations have no problem getting volunteer help. But organizations often struggle on other days. Every day of every year there is at least one (and often several) feeding programs in operation in this city – Miriam’s Kitchen (meals); DC Central Kitchen (food collection); and many others. You might try volunteering at one on another day. I can assure you that you will be doing just as much good as if you volunteered on Thanksgiving and your help might be appreciated even more.
    If it’s company you are looking for, you could always go to one of the feeding programs and share in the meal. The guests might appreciate your fellowship Then hand a nice donation to the organization.
    Good luck and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  • This article from yesterday’s NYT may be instructive – If you really want to make a difference, you can be of the most help any other day of the year – and your dollars can really make a HUGE difference.

  • just noticed that 14th & You has a post up about volunteer opportunities – (which coincidentally also talks about the dinner for the needy @ rosemary’s thyme that PoP mentioned in another post)

  • That NYT article reminds me of a conversation I had with someone when I came to DC over a decade ago to be a lawyer at a private firm. I told this person – a local attorney – that I wanted to do pro bono work, particularly criminal defense. She told me that there really wasn’t a need for volunteer attorneys for criminal defendants because if you’re arrested for a crime and can’t afford a lawyer, the court will give you one for free. She advised me that my pro bono efforts would be better put to use in fora where people are not entitled to a lawyer and most don’t have one because they can’t afford them – landlord-tenant disputes, immigration proceedings, small claims court, consumer disputes, social security hearings, etc.
    Feeding programs get all of the attention this time of year but there are lots of other needs that are not being met.

  • Try the DCJCC on 16th Street as well as DC Central Kitchen, Miriam’s Kitchen, and Martha’s Table.

  • I applaud the want to help but i want to reiterate the fact that its terrible to be poor/hungry/sick/illiterate/down on your luck every day of the year not just on thanksgiving/christmas. Use some of that want to do good on the 3rd Thursday in March when everyone and their brother isnt volunteering and it still sucks to be poor/hungry/sick/illiterate/down on your luck.

    Better yet volunteer once a week to tutor a child, read to an old person, serve a meal.

  • Burgundy Cresent volunteers has a few activities scheduled that day. Check out link ->>

    Of note is the dinner for homeless and needy at Rosemary Thyme restaurant at 18th & S Sts. NW in Dupont.

    If you’re really ambitious, there is also Food & Friends preparation starting at 4:30 am Thanksgiving day.

  • Thanks everyone for telling me that volunteers are needed every day. I served as a volunteer EMT for around 6 years. I would still do that if I had enough time.

    I do some volunteer work for a local non-profit on a regular basis (but that’s work I do mainly from home, in front of a computer.)

    I’m always off Christmas Day, and since I don’t celebrate Christmas I thought I would try to spend the day volunteering.

    When it gets closer to Christmas, I’ll look around for organizations that need people that weekend.

  • I’ve volunteered in the past at the Green Door on 16th St on T-Day. Usually though, the volunteer opportunities fill up quickly.

    As a member at Green Door, I am proud to thank you IMMENSELY.

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