It’s Thanksgiving – DON’T Volunteer


We love that Thanksgiving is about GIVING and spending time with family. But we wanted to offer a little advice this year if you’re thinking about volunteering over the holiday.

If you’re lucky, you will have four days off to be thankful, eat too much pie and watch football. We challenge you to use 3 of those 96 hours to help a local cause.

But please don’t volunteer on Nov 26 – Thanksgiving.

Stay home and be thankful for your loved ones and let everyone else visit the local soup kitchen. Then on Friday, Saturday or Sunday grab your family or friends and spend a few hours giving back.

Not all non-profits will be open over Thanksgiving weekend, but organizations like homeless shelters, food banks and resource centers are open year round and can use the extra help.  Specifically, homeless shelters and soup kitchens may just need help cleaning up from the whirlwind of Thanksgiving.

If you’re in LA, below are some specific places that can use your help.  If you’re somewhere else in the US, check out and for ideas in your hometown. Or you can simply hit the streets and take some leftovers to an area in your town where you know people gather.

And then don’t forget about the other 364 days of the year non-profits would LOVE your help!

Food Forward
Nov 28 & 29 | Various Times

Volunteer during the holidays with Food Forward! We’ll be at 16 Farmers Markets across Los Angeles on Saturday and Sunday, and we need your help! Our volunteers collect fresh produce from farmers and donate all of it to local food banks.  We’re at Farmers Markets in Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pasadena, Burbank, Mar Vista, Alhambra, Hollywood, Calabasas, Studio City, and more!

Email or sign up online.


Tree Musketeers
Nov 28 | 10am – 12pm

Join Tree Musketeers volunteers, staff, and Youth Managers on Saturday, November 28th as they give Tender Loving Care to trees in El Segundo.

More info online or email them directly.



There are also causes that will need help AFTER Thanksgiving to help sort all the donations they will receive during the holiday. So don’t be shy – help afterward as well.  Here are specific causes who will definitely need an extra hand:

LA Food Bank
Monday – Friday 8:30am – 12:00pm & 12:30pm – 3:30pm
Saturdays 8:30am – 12:00pm
Age Requirement: 14+

LA Food Bank distributes donated food to 700 agencies across Los Angeles who are helping to end hunger. Volunteers work in the warehouses sorting fresh produce, canned items, non-food items, and assembling packages for LA Food Banks programs.

You can sign up online or email Jeff directly.


MEND Poverty
Tu, Th, & Fri 8:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 12:00pm

With dignity and respect, powered by volunteers, MEND’s mission is to break the bonds of poverty by providing basic human needs and a pathway to self-reliance. MEND can use help in many different ways – from gardening to sorting food to dental hygienists to translators. Once you visit, you won’t be able to stay away!

Sign up online.