Thanksgiving is the perfect time to donate your time, services or goods to those who are in need. Whether its delivering meals to the elderly, serving hot food to those experiencing homelessness or bringing joy to those in assisted living facilities, there are lots of opportunities for you to help make the holiday special for less-fortunate Houstonians. Below is a list of organizations and charities that are in need of volunteer efforts this Thanksgiving.
For some 20 years, Operation Turkey has worked to ensure everyone gets a warm meal on Thanksgiving Day. At various locations throughout Houston, help prepare, package and deliver food to those less fortunate on Thanksgiving day. Is your spirit of service at odds with your jam-packed holiday schedule? No worries, attend the Turkey Tailgate at Grace Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, Nov. 27 for a chance to give back. Sort through donations and prepare food for the big day.
Thanksgiving Super Feast
The SUPER FEAST is held annually on Thanksgiving & Christmas Eve Day at the George R. Brown Convention Center, where thousands are served with not only traditional hot nutritious meals but also clothing, household items, shoes, blankets, coats, jackets, flu shots, medical examinations, food baskets, haircuts, new toys, vehicles, and more.
Additionally, information is also available on affordable housing, educational and employment opportunities, where applicable information is also presented on City Wide’s Life-Recovery Programs and a path that ultimately leads to a way off the streets.
The Super Feast model has been organized in communities nationwide where local partners help us meet the specific needs of individuals and families who are in need during the Holiday Season at convention and community centers.
Interfaith Ministries – Meals on Wheels
Interfaith Ministries coordinates meal deliveries to the city’s homebound elderly through its Meals on Wheels program.
More than 4,200 Houstonians depend on the Meals on Wheels service for food every day. For some community members, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time. Sign up to bring meals to area residents, along with a little cheer and some much-appreciated company. Meal pick-up begins mid-morning, and most volunteers have completed their assignment by early afternoon.
If you’re looking for slightly longer-term volunteer opportunities, the Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston’s Refugee Services Program is always looking for individuals or families to serve as mentors for newly arrived refugees — helping them practice their English, showing them around Houston, and generally providing emotional support as they acclimate to their new city. And what better way to help them acclimate than by inviting them to a good, old-fashioned Houston Thanksgiving?
Houston Food Bank
Volunteer Houston coordinates special projects each Thanksgiving Day for local nursing homes, hospitals, and other long-term residential institutions. One way volunteers can help is by creating special holiday cards for residents. Hand-make your own from scratch using colored markers or construction paper, or buy a bunch from the store.
Fill out each one with caring messages, wishing the future recipient happy holidays, and bring them to Volunteer Houston so they can be distributed to where they’re needed most. This is an especially great activity to do with young kids. Thousands of cards are needed, and each one will bring a little smile to the face of those who might be cut off from family connections due to health or circumstances.