Nothing quite represents the start of the holiday season like the month of November. While we prepare for the upcoming holidays, planning trips to visit family and getting a head start on gift shopping, it can be easy to forget that there are many people who live in our community who are not as fortunate as we are. This Thanksgiving, consider showing your gratitude by helping families in need:
So Others Might Celebrate
So Others May Eat is a community-based organization that helps the poor and the homeless in D.C. by providing food and clothing, as well as job training and health care to its clients. Lace up your sneakers for the annual Trot for Hunger, volunteer to prepare meals or staff the dining room, or donate healthy, nonperishables for the SOME pantry. Whether you give in kind or give your time, you get the chance to make an impact.
How Many Metric Tons of Coleslaw is That?
Every year, the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center hosts its Everything But The Turkey (EBTT) program to prepare thousands of Thanksgiving meals for those in need. The program takes place from November 20-22, and volunteers can sign up to prepare side dishes such as green beans, stuffing, coleslaw, and more. The food that is prepared will be distributed by DC Central Kitchen to more than 88 homeless shelters and community kitchens in the area.
DCCK is also looking for their own volunteers to help with food preparation and crop gleaning, so sign up to cut, chop, peel or harvesting produce that would otherwise go to waste.
Coats of Arms
There are more than 15,000 homeless people in DC, and winter is coming. In an effort to help individuals stave off the cold, several organizations are holding coat drives. If you have any gently worn winter coats, mitten, or hats that you would like to give away, here are some resources:
- Link Against Hunger -- donate winter gear at Sterling United Methodist Church, or volunteer with the distribution process on Nov. 19.
- Catholic Charities of DC is in particular need of coats sizes XXL and up, as well as unopened packages of socks. Or volunteer to help with organizing donations.
- Thrive DC is collecting winter-wear, socks, underwear, thermals, sleeping bags and blankets. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-503-1528. Thrive also seeks volunteers to serve meals, provide administrative support, and help clients in the computer lab.
- Learn how to organize your own coat drive.
The mission of The Holiday Project is to spread cheer among people in nursing homes and hospitals by arranging visits and bringing the holiday spirit directly to the residents. Participate in visits on Thanksgiving and sing-a-longs in December.
I Think I Can
Capitol Area Food Bank has several opportunities to give back throughout the upcoming months. Give canned goods and other nonperishable food items at Giant or Harris Teeter, or purchase a $5 bag of wellness items at Shoppers. All events are happening through November and December.
While the holidays are a wonderful time to donate your energy to helping others, the need for volunteers is year-round. Do not be discouraged if an organization has reached its maximum number of volunteers around this time of year. Your help after the new year will be just as beneficial as it would be in November and December. Do good feel good!
This blog was compiled by Daily Do Good interns Daria Craciun and Dajzia Fratiello