Things to Do

How to Donate and Volunteer Around DC This Thanksgiving

DC-area organizations are looking for volunteers to donate goods and help prepare meals.

Your Thanksgiving might be packed with cooking, watching the game, and spending time with family, but if you’re looking to give back this year, there are plenty of places to lend a hand. Here’s where you can donate goods or volunteer time during Thanksgiving week.

Thanks for Giving: Food and Turkey Drive
7401 Muncaster Mill Rd., Gaithersburg
Join the Community Outreach Ministry for its annual food drive on November 20 from 11 AM to 3 PM. The group needs turkeys, grocery store gift cards, and fresh produce to provide for the neighborhood. 

2022 Refugees’ First Thanksgiving 
903 South Highland St., Arlington
The African Community Center of the DC Metro is hosting a traditional American Thanksgiving for refugees from around the world on November 20 at 3 PM. Volunteers can bring a dish of their choosing—main course, appetizer or dessert—for the Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving Meal Drive at Pillar Church
1111 South Carolina Ave., SE
Pillar Church is looking for donations for their Thanksgiving Meal Drive on November 21 from 9 AM to 3 PM. The group is requesting Safeway gift cards, stuffing mix, instant mashed potatoes, and more. Donations can be dropped off on any Sunday, or you can email to arrange a weekday time slot. 

America’s Trot for Hunger 
13th St., NW., and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
Proceeds from this Turkey Day event on November 24 benefit So Others May Eat (SOME), an organization that provides DC residents with food, housing, healthcare, and employment training. Join the 5K on Thanksgiving morning, which starts at Freedom Plaza and runs along the National Mall, the Capitol, and other DC sites. Register online for $65.

Salvation Army’s Feast of Sharing 
801 Mount Vernon Pl., NW
Leading up to the event on November 27, the Salvation Army is asking for volunteers to prepare food and sort clothing donations on November 22, 25, and 26. You can register to volunteer online

Central Union Mission 
65 Massachusetts Ave., NW
With just a click of a button, you can help donate a meal to someone in need this Thanksgiving. Giving $2 will help provide a full Thanksgiving dinner through the organization’s Turkey Day program A Seat at the Table.

Capital Area Food Bank 
4900 Puerto Rico Ave., NE; 6833 Hill Park Dr., Lorton; 9610 Gunston Cove Rd., Lorton
You can give food or make a donation to support the food bank’s mission. (Every dollar will provide two meals.)  The pantry accepts unopened, non-perishable goods that are high fiber and low sodium and sugar. Drop off food at the DC location on Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 3 PM or the Virginia locations on Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 2 PM.

Martha’s Table’s Annual Community Harvest Dinner
1474 Columbia Rd., NW; 2375 Elvans Rd., SE 
Volunteer shifts for the dinner are filled, but you can still help out through food and clothing donations. For food, follow the organization’s guidelines for how to make sandwiches and trail mix, or donate non-perishable goods. For clothes, Martha’s Table is currently looking for winter. Book a time to drop off donations online

DC Central Kitchen Thanksgiving Donations 
425 2nd St., NW
DC Central Kitchen delivers 5,000 meals around the DC area every year, including Thanksgiving baskets. You can support the efforts through donations online or at the organization’s FRESHFARM stand at the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market. Funds helps the community kitchen purchase more produce ahead of the holidays.

Holiday Helping with Bread for the City 
1700 Good Hope Rd., SE; 1525 7th St., NW
Volunteer your time at either the Northwest or Anacostia location and pack up Holiday Helpings bags. The bags include a turkey, Thanksgiving sides, and a $75 debit card for recipients to spend as they want. Sign up for a time slot online

Editorial Fellow

Keely recently graduated with her master’s in journalism from American University and has reported on local DC, national politics, and business. She has previously written for The Capitol Forum.