Donating your time or resources can be a great way to spend time during the holidays, whether you’re looking to escape from your overbearing family or to warm yourself with the good feeling of helping others. Here are some places you can volunteer or make donations in Philadelphia this holiday season.
Where: Southwest Philadelphia
When: November 22 and 23
Operation Turkey is an entirely volunteer-run non-profit with a simple mission: to give homeless people and the less fortunate a complete Thanksgiving dinner. They’re looking for volunteers for two shifts this week. At their Wednesday night Turkey Tailgate, you can help smoke turkeys, get things set up for the big day, or drop off donations of clothing and toiletries. On Thanksgiving morning, volunteers will prepare, package, and deliver meals.
When: November 23
This one is for the avid bakers out there. This Kensington church serves Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of folks near the epicenter of the opioid crisis. While they already have enough volunteers to serve food, they’re still taking donations of cakes and pies.
When: November 24 and beyond
Formerly known as the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, Philly House has been serving meals and providing aid to unhoused people for over 140 years. While volunteer opportunities are pretty booked up on Thanksgiving, they’re still looking for volunteers for meal service on Friday and plenty of other upcoming days–they serve meals 365 days a year.
Where: Logan Square
MANNA delivers meals to people living with serious illnesses that are tailored to their unique medical and nutritional needs. Volunteer opportunities are all booked up this week, but they’re always looking for help preparing and delivering meals, especially during the week before and after Christmas.
Where: East Kensington
A Franciscan ministry devoted to “radical hospitality,” St. Francis Inn serves meals six days a week and distributes clothing from an adjacent storefront called Marie’s Closet. They’re fully staffed with volunteers for Thanksgiving week meals, but have an ongoing need for people to help prepare and serve meals and work at Marie’s Closet.
If none of these opportunities is speaking to you, the Coalition Against Hunger has a list with several more organizations around the city seeking volunteers and/or donations during the holiday season.