Thanksgiving week is the perfect time to volunteer!
A few of the big feasts around town already have all the volunteers they need. The Star of Hope‘s meal at its shelter, Gallery Furniture‘s feast, Promulgate‘s meal at Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen, the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Meals on Wheels event, and the Thanksgiving Big Super Feast at George R. Brown Convention Center have all said that they can’t accept more volunteers. The Katy Area YMCA Turkey Dash volunteer registration has closed.
But here are some other Thanksgiving-related projects to consider:
TXU Energy Turkey Trot
This annual 5k run takes place on Thanksgiving morning, and attracts more than 15,000 runners. The money raised benefits BakerRipley, a community development organization that serves more than a half million people in our area. Many more volunteers are needed. More info is here.
Operation Turkey – Houston
Operation Turkey’s Turkey Tailgate is “the volunteer party where we smoke 300+ turkeys. We accept donations of clothing, care packages, and drinks to distribute with meals Thanksgiving Day. We also stage food and supplies at P.F. Chang’s for Thursday’s event.” It takes place on Wednesday, November 22nd, from 7 AM-7 PM.
Then, on Thanksgiving morning from 8 AM to noon, hundreds of volunteers prepare, package, and deliver food to the homeless and less fortunate throughout Houston. Locations are P.F. Chang’s, 18250 Tomball Parkway; VFW Post 8790, 1560 Foley Street; and Grace Presbyterian Church, 10221 Ella Lee Lane. More information is here.
Houston Food Bank
The Food Bank is holding a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on Monday, November 20th, from 6-9 PM.
Volunteers age 6 and older are invited to come for a short volunteer shift followed by a screening of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and a “Snoopy-style Thanksgiving feast full of pretzels, popcorn, and jelly beans.” Volunteers are encouraged to donate $5, which is the equivalent of 15 meals, or 5 canned items to help feed neighbors in need. The Food Bank’s description is here.
Interfaith Ministries Meals on Wheels
Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston is providing 11,000 holiday meals for seniors, and needs volunteers to deliver the hot meals on Thanksgiving Day. More information and route registration is here. In Houston, the event will be held in the north parking lot of First Presbyterian Church at 5300 Main Street. In Galveston County, please go to the Wayne Johnson Community Center, 4102 Main Street, LaMarque, TX 77568.
Please arrive by 9 am to claim your delivery route. Families and children are welcome; there will be an area where children can participate in games and make Thanksgiving cards for the seniors who will receive meals.
HEB Thanksgiving Day Parade
Houston’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade needs volunteers, age 16 and up. Positions include Seating Ushers/Crowd Control, ADA Seating Ushers, Costumed Character (Training Required), Banner Carriers, Back Lot/Staging Volunteers, Balloon Handlers, and Volunteer Headquarter Assistance. More information is here.
Children’s Activity Center Thanksgiving
Children’s Activity Center is a faith based, Christian children’s ministry that serves “at-risk kids in Houston’s toughest neighborhoods.” On Thanksgiving Day it will serve a traditional dinner to the neighborhood kids and families that attend its services. Volunteers are needed to set up and decorate, serve tables and beverages, visit with children and families, and clean up.
CAC also needs macaroni and cheese, gravies, corn, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, soft drinks, CapriSun, and desserts. Food can be delivered the morning of Thanksgiving Day from 9-11 AM. Volunteers can start arriving at 9:30 AM; clean-up crew needed from 1-1:30 PM. More information is here.
Promulgate is asking for donations of canned goods for the homeless and hungry; you can drop them off at Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen. More information is here.
Northwest Assistance Ministries is closed on Thanksgiving Day, but through December 15th NAM is collecting refrigerated or frozen turkeys, along with dry and canned goods, for those in need of holiday meals. NAM’s holiday food “Wish List” is here.
Also, remember that you can always drop off cookies, fruit plates, thank-you cards, and/or other treats for first responders who are working on Thanksgiving. Do you have other suggestions about places to volunteer during Thanksgiving week? Please post a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!