This is the season for sharing in Los Angeles and there are plenty of ways you can help those that need it most. From volunteering your time, your extra food, or a few dollars out of your wallet, you can make a difference in someone’s life. We have curated a list of some great places to “do Good” this Thanksgiving.
Some ways to do good deeds include: serving dinners, passing out blankets, feeding people on the street, helping make hygiene kits, and filling food boxes. And there are so many families and individuals that need your help.
Of course, this is not the only time of year that people need our help, so just know that you can volunteer or donate at any time and it will be welcome. Here is our list of volunteer opportunities in and around Los Angeles.
The LA Regional Food Bank is running #WeFeedLA, a Virtual Food Drive Challenge, and they need help. Launch a virtual fundraising team and help feed hungry Angelenos at this time of need. Every $25 raised helps provide 100 meals.
Each Thanksgiving, the Los Angeles Mission serves “over 3,000 pounds of turkey, 700 pounds of mashed potatoes, 800 pounds of green beans and 600 pies to our neighbors experiencing homelessness.” Families can find a number of ways to volunteer and help out – by donating time, goods, and funds. Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age. Because of the effects of COVID-19, the Los Angeles Mission needs our help even more. Check the website for information on how you help – by donating funds, purchasing items from the Amazon Needs List, and donating items for Hygiene Kits.
The Union Rescue Mission needs our help to make sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy a special Thanksgiving meal. There are many ways families can help – by serving a meal, donating funds, donating time, and more. And now, families can take advantage of the 2x the Thanksgiving Rescue program – when families donate funds, “each gift you give will go twice as far” through a matching grant. Check the website for details.
The Midnight Mission needs our help to make sure they can adequately serve the men, women, and children who will come by for a Thanksgiving meal. There are a number of ways to get involved including making a monetary donation, donating your time, and donating goods (food, clothing, and other necessities). Check the website for details on how to get involved.
This incredible organization has given out food, clothing, shoes, and blankets every Sunday in Hollywood for over 20 years. On Thanksgiving Day, they are planning to distribute more than 500 meals. So your family can help on Thanksgiving Day and/or pick a Sunday to volunteer. Children 6 and up are also welcome to help! Details and donation information are available online.
At Big Sunday, they operate under the belief that “everyone has some way that they can help somebody else.” Big Sunday’s Annual Thanksgiving Stuffing Event is happening online this year, on Sunday, November 22nd from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm. Volunteers will be “packing bags together, listening to music, hearing from beneficiary nonprofits and one another.” Additionally, Big Sunday will also need help (outside, masked, and socially distanced) on November 23rd through November 25th putting the finishing touches on the bags as well as distributing them. Check the website for details.
Project Angel Food needs volunteer drivers to help deliver Thanksgiving meals. 2000 meals are expected to be delivered on Thursday, November 25th. This is a great way for families to spend time together, giving thanks and giving back to the community. Masks, your own car, and a few hours are all that are required. Details are available online. (And if you’re unable to volunteer in person, families can still help by making a monetary donation.)
“This fall PATH will be distributing hundreds of Thanksgiving meal kits to individuals and families impacted by homelessness to ensure that everyone in our communities can enjoy a special holiday meal.” Families can help in a number of ways including assembling the Thanksgiving kits and donating funds. All details are available on the website.
For over 20 years, Gobble Gobble Give has delivered food, clothing, and toiletries to the homeless on Thanksgiving morning. This year, Gobble Gobble Give is only happening in certain cities, and in southern California that includes Santa Monica, Downtown L.A., and Santa Ana. There are multiple ways to help, including assisting in the days leading up to Thanksgiving as well as on Thanksgiving Day. Monetary donations may also be made online. Check the website for the most up-to-date information on how you can help.
For over thirty years, the Westside Community Celebration has been making Thanksgiving a holiday that all can enjoy. Usually, guests would be treated to a Thanksgiving meal as well as free haircuts, blankets, hygiene kits, a resource fair, children’s carnival, and more. This year is different though. Instead of the traditional dinner and celebration, gift cards and blankets will be distributed to the needy members of our community. Families can help by donating funds online.
Because of COVID-19, the Westside Food Bank has not yet announced plans for Thanksgiving. However, help is still needed. Families can pitch in by donating funds and/or food, hosting a food drive, and more. Check the website for the latest information and details on how you can help.
Metropolis believes in “Changed Hearts, Changed Lives, Changed City.” This year, Thanksgiving at Metropolis is anticipating serving between 500 and 600 guests which means they need all the help they can get. They are looking for monetary donations as well as donations of food, hygiene kits, and certain items of clothing. Check the website for details and to register to get involved.
Union Station Homeless Services has ben hosting its annual Dinner in the Park event for over 50 years. This year’s Thanksgiving celebration will look different because of COVID-19, but there are still lots of ways to help make Dinner in the Park a success. Families can help by offering their time, their cooking skills, and donating funds. Details are available online.
Foothill Unity Center in Pasadena also needs our help. On Monday, November 22nd and Wednesday, November 24th this organization will be distributing Thanksgiving Food Boxes to home-bound seniors and disabled individuals. They will also be hosting a “boutique for the homeless with food and hygiene kits, clothing, and more.” Families may assist by donating items, volunteering on-site, and/or making a monetary donation.
LA Family Housing strives to make the holiday season bright for thousands of people experiencing homelessness, and they offer multiple ways to get involved. You can choose to donate a reusable shopping bag filled with Thanksgiving food items or donate holiday dessert treats for guests being served at Bridge Housing and Project Roomkey Sites. Find out more information and register on their website.
Hope of the Valley needs our help. Their goal is 81,667 meals by Thanksgiving! “Each $2.05 meal you provide is so much more than a plate of food. It’s an opportunity for people to change their lives. To end their hunger. To put homelessness behind them.” There are also volunteer opportunities available. Check the website for details.
“Nearly 650 meals are served each day to those in immediate need.” Long Beach Rescue Mission has a goal that it needs help to achieve – 18,000 meals by Thanksgiving. Families can assist by donating funds online. Volunteer opportunities are listed online. But note, that at this time, volunteers must be over the age of 16.
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