Thanksgiving Volunteer Opportunities: 10 Ways to Give Back This Year
5. Westside Thanksgiving
This community dinner and celebration has been going strong since 1982, welcoming not just the homeless, but low-income families, seniors, students and singles as well. Dinner is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Thanksgiving Day. But it's not all about the food -- it's also a full day of free services, including basic medical consultation, eye exams, haircuts, children's entertainment and clothing giveaways, too. westsidethanksgiving.org.
4. Food on Foot
Since 1996, Food on Foot has been distributing more than 200 meals a week in Hollywood, with an annual Thanksgiving Day celebration to boot. Each guest gets a new sleeping bag and bus tokens in addition to a Thanksgiving meal. The nonprofit still has a few spaces left for volunteers, so register now. foodonfoot.org.
3. Westside Food Bank
This volunteer organization provides meals to clients of social service agencies on the Westside, with most of the food coming from donations. For its first annual turkey drive, the Westside Food Bank still needs nearly $7,000 to purchase 500 turkeys at $15 apiece. westsidefoodbankca.org.
2. Union Station Homeless Services Thanksgiving Dinner-in-the-Park
Pasadena's massive potluck already has enough volunteers, but Union Station Homeless Services still has quite a few items on its Thanksgiving dinner wish-list, including cans of green beans, gravy, mushroom soup, bags of lettuce and more. Drop off food at 412 S. Raymond Avenue anytime before November 22 and on Thanksgiving Day. Use the car drop-off lane on Fair Oaks Boulevard, south of Green Street. unionstationhs.org.
Wikimedia Commons George Henry Durrie (public domain)
1. Temple Beth Hillel's Thanksgiving Feed the Hungry Dinner
Like a lot of the others, this Jewish reform congregation already has enough helping hands, thanks to the temple community and volunteers at the East Valley Regional Food Bank. But Temple Beth Hillel still wants to encourage guests to come, and it appreciates any monetary donations made payable to Temple Beth Hillel Brotherhood to help defray costs of the annual Thanksgiving dinner. tbhla.org.