Thanksgiving is a great time to volunteer and reach out and help the homeless and the hungry. The Washington, DC area has lots of charitable organizations that need volunteers to prepare, serve and cleanup holiday meals for the poor. You can also make a donation or participate in fundraising events. If you’d like to help, here are some organizations to contact.
SOME (So Others May Eat)
On Thanksgiving Day, this organization holds its annual Trot for Hunger beginning at 8:30 a.m. at West Potomac Park in Washington, DC. DC Mayor Adrian Fenty is the Honorary Chair of the 5K fun run and family walk that benefits programs for homeless women, children and men.
Food and Friends
This organization provides meals to support men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-challenging illnesses. Volunteers assemble and deliver Thanksgiving meals.
Capital Area Food Bank
Make a monetary donation or help the Brown Bag program deliver Thanksgiving food baskets to needy senior citizens. This is the largest, public nonprofit hunger and nutrition education resource in the region.
Bread For the City
WHUR DAY (at the Old Post Office Pavilion) is a food drive, cash drive, and telethon to benefit Bread for the City's Holiday Helpings Program, providing Thanksgiving meals to low-income families. Volunteers collect canned food and cash donations and load and unload trucks of food.
Salvation Army – National Capital Area
Donate money or host your own personalized Red Kettle to gather donations from others. The international Christian organization strives to improve the lives of the needy and provide holiday meals.
Washington DC Jewish Community Center
Volunteers prepare the Thanksgiving meal for people in need in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Bring family and friends to make stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, desserts and more.
Turkey Trots in the Washington, DC Area
A variety of organizations sponsor turkey trots, runs and walks to raise money for the needy. Participate on your own or organize a group and get some great exercise at the start of the holiday season.
For more volunteer activities, see a guide to local Volunteer Centers, agencies that coordinate programs in each city or county around the region.