The holiday season is the perfect time to give back and help others in need, and with Thanksgiving on the horizon, the time to get involved is approaching quickly. Across the five boroughs, community efforts have been made to serve under-resourced populations and provide them with basic necessities- particularly with food and clothing. For anyone interested in getting involved, there are plenty of options offered on where to volunteer on Thanksgiving in New York City.
Reaching-Out Community Services
For over three decades, Reaching-Out Community Services, Inc. (RCS) has been providing desperately needed aid to low-income individuals and families. RCS’s Thanksgiving volunteer opportunity- Operation Gobbler Giving- distributes turkeys and trimmings to more than 700 families facing hardship in the city. To save time, singing up in advance is recommended.
Westside Campaign Against Hunger
Westside Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH) has made massive efforts to ensure as many people as possible have access to healthy, nutritious holiday foods throughout November. This year, the group is looking to supply at least 13,000 families with food- including vegetarian options. Donating $75 provides a family with a holiday meal and volunteering opportunities are avaible for individuals who are at least eighteen years old. WSCASH is looking for assistance in the pantry, the clothing closet, the kitchen, or the mobile market.
God’s Love We Deliver
This organization delivers food packages to thousands of individuals and families during the holiday season- with a particular focus on those living with chronic and fatal illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and cancer. Volunteers must have their own car as deliveries will be made to people in their homes. Registering to participate in advance is crucial since there is a cap to the number of volunteers they can accept, and certain neighborhoods fill up fast.
Citymeals on Wheels
The Bronx suffers from higher food insecurity and chronic poverty rates, with 25% of elderly residents specifically being at added risk due to being homebound. Citymeals distributes much-needed nourishment borough-wide from their Hunts Point headquarters and volunteers are also able to provide companionship and make handmade cards to go with the homemade meals. Volunteers of all ages are welcome but those under the age of eighteen must be accompanied by an adult.
Staten Island residents in need are well-served by Project Hospitality’s comprehensive care- including food, shelter, and mental health services, among other forms of assistance. Project Hospitality accepts volunteers starting at age sixteen and will host a Thanksgiving dinner on November 20th at The Hilton Garden Inn. Sponsorship opportunities for the dinner are available on their website.