While sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with your nearest and dearest is a wonderful feeling, there are many Philadelphians who may not get to enjoy that luxury. So we've compiled a list of organizations who could use your time, donations, or expertise to bring Thanksgiving to underserved communities. Before you put your turkey in the oven or collapse on the couch to watch a football game, consider giving a helping hand. (Do be sure to call ahead and make sure the site has not been filled before showing up on Thanksgiving Day.)
The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger connects people with food assistance and nutrition education, and has partnered with 16 churches and emergency food providers this year to serve holiday dinners until Dec. 31. For many locations, this is the largest meal they'll serve all year, which means they need all the help they can get. Find the full list at hungercoalition.org/holiday-volunteer-opportunities, and don't forget to call ahead to make sure the site isn't already filled. You can also contribute to the organization at hungercoalition.salsalabs.org/give.
Rock Ministries serves more than 5,000 children through sports, arts, music, and mentoring through the Calvary Chapel of Kensington. They're hosting their 10th annual Thanksgiving meal this year from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and still need food donations, as well as volunteers to help with the meal. Register to help and see the list of supplies still needed at therockphilly.org/thanksgiving, and contact Mike Trakalo at 267-333-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org to donate.
If you're looking to burn some calories before Thanksgiving dinner, consider running (or walking) in one of the oldest turkey trots in the Philadelphia area. This turkey trot is in its 25th year and benefits Face to Face, a human-services organization that provides struggling families with health and legal resources, as well as hot meals and child-care services. In the last 24 years, this event has raised more than $2 million for Face to Face. Register for $35 at facetofacegermantown.org/turkey-trot-2017 through Sunday; show up and run for $40 on race day. If you have little ones, they can still participate in the 1-mile fun run. The race begins at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving at the corner of Wissahickon Drive and Northwestern Avenue in Chestnut Hill.
Busy on Thanksgiving but still looking for ways to help? Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, an organization that has been serving the city's homeless for 130 years, is seeking volunteers ages 12 and older to help move holiday food donations into their kitchen after the holiday. To sign up for shifts, email email@example.com.
Looking to put a delicious pie on the table and contribute to a good cause? There's still time to order pies through MANNA's annual Pie in the Sky fund-raiser. The organization, which brings food and aid to people at acute nutritional risk from life-threatening diseases, is selling a selection of pies, including berry, pumpkin, apple, pecan, sweet potato, and a chocolate and caramel cheesecake. Prices range from $30 to $35. Order pies online by through Friday at mannapies.org.
You can also help MANNA by signing up to help deliver pies, or by staffing pickup sites on Thanksgiving. Email Kendl Hommel at KHommel@mannapa.org.
Philabundance is the largest hunger-relief organization in the area, and although it does not need volunteers on Thanksgiving, it's compiled a list of places still looking for volunteers. Find it at philabundance.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Holiday_VolunterList_2017_R02.pdf.
1116 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
3959 Lancaster Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
The Food Bank of South Jersey
1501 John Tipton Blvd.
Pennsauken, NJ 08110
Oaks Integrated Care
770 Woodlane Rd.
Mount Holly, NJ 08060
(Volunteers are also needed to help pack food; email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
128 Berlin-Cross Keys Rd.
Berlin, NJ 08009
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey
Find locations at cfbnj.org/turkey
Chester County Food Bank
650 Pennsylvania Dr.
Exton, PA 19341