Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Back on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving means time with family and friends, good food and relaxation. It's also a time of year that presents an opportunity to volunteer at many of our city's charities and community organizations. For those of you who may be dining alone, or have some time available on Thanksgiving Day (who needs to watch the Lions and the Cowboys anyway?), we present a brief and far-from-exhaustive guide to volunteering your time at one of these many worthy causes.

A bit of a disclaimer: if you are interested in volunteering with any of the organizations listed below, it's wise to give them a call or send them an email. It's not uncommon for volunteer spaces to fill up quickly.

One final note: while many people's minds turn to charity and volunteering during the holidays, most if not all of these organizations require year-round volunteer efforts and donations in order to be able to continue to serve a needy populace. Thus, with that in mind, we present a few ideas for spending your Thanksgiving Day:

Over at the Whitman-Walker Clinic, SaVanna Wanzer is looking for volunteers on Wednesday at 4 PM to assist in the preparation and cooking of a charity Thanksgiving dinner. Give her a call at 202-797-3509 if you are interested.

Emmaus Services for the Aging: Every year on Thanksgiving, Emmaus coordinates the delivery of over 150 Thanksgiving meals to needy seniors throughout the city. This year, they will be delivering meals from 10a - noon, and they could use some help. Although their website is out of date (at this point, I've given up hope on the October 2007 newsletter "coming soon") I've been told on good authority that you contact Patricia Hughes at 202-745-1200 if you are interested in volunteering.

Burgundy Crescent Volunteers are going to be busy throughout the day on Thanksgiving. They need volunteers from the ungodly hour of 4:45 am - 7:00 am for "unspecified duties". From 10:30a - 2p they will be serving dinner to the needy at Rosemary's Thyme, located at the corner of 18th and S. From noon - 2p, they are organizing a clothing drop-off, also at Rosemary's (if nothing else, it's a perfect opportunity to clean out your closets). Finally (whew) they will be serving lunch from 10a - 3p at the Green Door Clubhouse, a home for those with mental disabilities. Interested in volunteering for any of these events? Contact Jonathan at jonathan@burgundycrescent.org.

Food and Friends needs volunteers to deliver meals throughout the day on Thanksgiving (shifts are available on the hour from 8a - 11a). They also need volunteers to assist with meal preparation and to coordinate activities on what promises to be a very busy day. Click here to learn more about volunteering on Thanksgiving Day.

The Community for Creative Nonviolence, the nation's largest homeless shelter, is preparing to serve Thanksgiving meals to over 2,000 needy individuals on Thanksgiving Day. If that sounds like a formidable task, that's because it is--and they could use some help with all that needs to be done. Specifically, they could use some assistance preparing food, serving meals and spending time with their guests. No sign-up is necessary, but those who are interested should call 202-393-1909 in advance for information.

Finally, while not specifically Thanksgiving related, while we're on the subject of food, the Capital Area Food Bank is always looking for donations in time and goods to help them fulfill their mission--now and throughout the year. Click here to learn more about what you can do to assist them.

And with that, we would like to wish everyone a safe, happy and enjoyable Thanksgiving. 14thandyou is going to take a bit of a break in order to spend some time with family over the weekend, and we hope you will get an opportunity as well.


sacha said...

Excellent list! Btw--added you to my blog, GoingGreenDC.net

Mr. 14th & You said...

Thanks Sacha-much appreciated.