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article imageHow and where to volunteer at Thanksgiving or all year round

By Mike White     Nov 24, 2014 in Lifestyle
As Thanksgiving approaches are you thankful you can pay all your bills and buy groceries? Are you glad you can choose your leaders, have a free press and worship God freely? Want to volunteer to help others at Thanksgiving? Here are some ways.
A number of charities and other online sources list ways to show your thankfulness by helping others. There are plenty of opportunities. While it may be very close to the season, many organizations would be happy to have volunteers who want to show they are thankful any time of the year, not just at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Volunteering at other times of the year might truly show thankfulness.
Because many people tend to volunteer at Thanksgiving, and the less fortunate often spend time with family at the holiday season, it is often good to prepare to prepare to serve months in advance. Sometimes the chance to help does come up quickly, even at the last minute, however.
The National Coalition for the Homeless on its official site has a local directory for homeless shelters for every state in the country and many cities in those states. The directory can be found by clicking references than directory. Many of the people who operate the homeless shelters are looking for volunteers throughout the year, but at Thanksgiving they would be especially grateful to have people to serve meals to those who may not have a way or reason to celebrate the season otherwise.
The National Coalition for the Homeless actually consists of not only people who want to help the homeless but also those who have once been homeless or still are. The group's mission is to prevent homelessness and end it and protect the civil rights of affected individuals.
The organization works to guarantee the right to shelter and affordable housing for all experiencing homelessness--men, women, and children.
Your local Meals on Wheels program would welcome volunteers who want to provide a meal to those who may not have family and friends to eat with this season. By going to the website, one can type in his local zip code and find local branches of the program in his city or nearby.
You can send a letter or care package to troops who will not be at home at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Information can be found on
Ever think about people who have to work on Thanksgiving, like the police or firefighters? According to, some of those people would appreciate a meal on that special day. They might be thankful to know that people appreciate the sacrifice they make. You could call the non-emergency dispatch number and let them know a meal would be waiting for someone in public service who would stop at your home.
Do you know how many elderly people spend Thanksgiving Day alone at a nursing home? Many of these have children who live a long distance away.
Besides serving the local homeless shelter, you could prepare a meal for the less fortunate at your local Salvation Army.
Another way of serving American troops is to serve veterans. The Department of Veteran Affairs will find a way for you to serve, including providing transportation for veterans to appointments, to serve as a greeter at a local office, and in many other ways.
According to, other ways to help include calling the volunteer coordinator at your local hospital and preparing Thanksgiving or Christmas cards for children, preparing cards for inmate in your local jail or nearby prison, and making baked goods and taking them on Thanksgiving to the police department, fire department or animal shelter.
While many volunteers are already involved in helping others for Thanksgiving, you may find others who would still appreciate your service. Even if not, many charities would appreciate your help year round.
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