As Thanksgiving approaches, we’ve compiled some events and volunteer opportunities for you to be on the lookout for. If you’re wanting to get involved this holiday season, here’s a few ways to pay it forward.
Everything but the Turkey
Hundreds of volunteers come together annually to assist the Edlavitch DCJCC and DC Central Kitchen with preparing Thanksgiving dishes for community members experiencing food insecurity and homelessness. Volunteers can sign up to cook or bake collard greens, yams, green beans, apple crumble, and other side dishes for DC-area neighbors to feast on. If you’d prefer not to cook, you can help sanitize utensils and measure spices (Sat-Mon free, but registration required).
Refugees’ First Thanksgiving Dinner
Last year’s Refugees’ First Thanksgiving Dinner hosted more than 500 people. The traditional gathering provides hot meals to local refugees as an introduction to the beloved US holiday. The heartwarming event serves American and international cuisines, desserts, and appetizers for attendees. You can volunteer by bringing a potluck dish to the Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza to share with everyone (Sun, free, but donations welcome).
Holiday Helpings With Bread for the City
through November 21
location_onShaw and Anacostia
HHoliday turkeys, chickens, and fresh groceries will be distributed to the DC community at Bread for the City’s Northwest and Southeast centers through November 21. New this year, the Holiday Helpings giveaway will include a food delivery service for residents, and music on Fridays at the distribution centers. If you’re interested in supporting this cause, you can make a financial contribution to raise money for the holiday meal kits ($68 will provide a family of four with a holiday meal kit).
Safeway Feast of Sharing
location_onWalter E. Washington Convention Center
The Salvation Army is requesting volunteers to help with this month’s Safeway Feast of Sharing. The annual dining event feeds nearly 5,000 residents at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. You can get involved by signing up to be a table server, food preparer, or post-event cleaner (free, but registration required).
Alexandria Turkey Trot
Race with your family (and your dog) through the Del Ray neighborhood for a good cause. The 48th Alexandria Turkey Trot welcomes walkers and runners to trek the holiday course beginning at 9 AM on Thanksgiving morning. Racers are encouraged to bring two nonperishable food items to donate to Alexandria nonprofit ALIVE! ($20+ for adults, $15+ for ages 13 to 21, $5+ for ages 12 and under).
Turkey Chase Charity Race
The Turkey Chase Charity Run in Bethesda has been happening since the ’80s. Racers can participate in the festive fundraiser by running—or walking—the 10K trail or 2-mile course; there are virtual options for swimming and bike riding, too. The trot proceeds benefit the YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase and the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rotary ($50+).
A Seat at the Table
through November 23
location_onCentral Union Mission
Central Union Mission provides year-round hot meals, medical care, shelter, job training, and other community services to locals in need. For Thanksgiving, the organization is hosting its Seat at the Table program with a mission to provide meals for those affected by poverty and struggling with addiction. You can make a financial contribution to help raise funds for the holiday meals ($3.21 can provide one meal).
America’s Trot for Hunger
Before you eat your Thanksgiving fill, join a 5K race to help raise funds for SOME (So Others Might Eat). The annual DC Trot for Hunger will kick off on Thanksgiving morning at Freedom Plaza. At the end of the course there will be a best-dressed turkey competition, and a family-friendly festival with music and activities. Youngsters under the age of 10 can walk or run in the Little Turkey Race ($45 for virtual, $65 for in-person, $15 for virtual child registration, $35 for in-person child registration).
Arlington Turkey Trot
If you’re an early riser, you’ll enjoy Arlington’s 8 AM Thanksgiving Day trot. The starting line begins at Pershing Drive between Fillmore and Garfield streets, and the course ventures through the streets of Lyon Park and Ashton Heights. Race donations support Christ Church of Arlington in their work to service Arlington County residents in need. Also, registered runners get a turkey trot T-shirt and timing bib ($50 for adults, $25 for ages 6 to 17, free for children 5 and under, registration closes Sun).
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