News & Politics

How to Volunteer on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is about more than just stuffing your face—it’s the perfect opportunity to give back to those in need

Friends, family, food on the table. . . . There are a million wonderful things to be grateful for come Thanksgiving. Hoping to spread the love this holiday? Pay it forward with one of these volunteer opportunities.

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So Others Might Eat Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger
There’s both a 5K timed run and a family fun run, so everyone can participate no matter their athletic ability. The trot benefits SOME’s services for the homeless and hungry, including the thousand-plus meals served on Thanksgiving Day. The run starts at West Potomac Park at 8 AM. Register here.

American Rescue Workers
This shelter and soup kitchen is serving Thanksgiving dinner at 4:30. If you’re interested in volunteering on Thanksgiving Day, call 410-566-3300. You can also donate canned goods, clothes, and blankets, which can be dropped off at 2441 West Baltimore Street in Baltimore or 716 Ritchie Road in Capitol Heights.

Central Union Mission
We know that time is precious during the holidays—help Central Union Mission with the click of your mouse by sponsoring a table for only $1.98 per meal or $19.80 for a “table” of ten people. Click here to make a donation.

Capital Area Food Bank
Donate to Bringing in the Birds With Bucks, which provides Thanksgiving meals to low-income seniors. Each meal ($15) contains turkey, cornbread mix, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, green beans, and corn. The group hopes to serve 2,500 people this year. Click here to make a donation.

SHARE Food Network
Give back to the community by purchasing a food package that will be donated to a person or family in need. Click here to see package options and prices.

Martha’s Table
Martha’s Table is hosting a community Thanksgiving dinner Sunday, November 21. There’ll be turkey, mashed potatoes, fresh veggies, and more. Call 202-328-6608 to ask about volunteer opportunities. The next day is the annual Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway, where the Obamas put in some time last year. To learn more or to donate food, click here.

Salvation Army
Thanksgiving volunteer activities include assembling Thanksgiving baskets for families in need November 16 from 6 to 8 and distributing the baskets to the 300 families Thursday, November 18, from 4 to 7. On Wednesday, November 24 , Salvation Army partners with other organizations for the annual Feast of Sharing dinner at the DC Convention Center, where there are several volunteer opportunities. For more information about assisting at any event, contact Andie Bobb at 202-756-2600.

Alexandria Turkey Trot
The DC Road Runners Club is using its annual race to support ALIVE, which helps the needy in the Alexandria area. 10 to 5 at the Cora Kelly School (3600 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria). Register here.

Virginia Run Turkey Trot
The proceeds from the 5K run or 2K walk support Life With Cancer, a nonprofit that helps cancer patients and their families. It starts at 8 AM at the Centreville Community Center (15355 Wetherburn Ct.). Register here.