This Thanksgiving, help New Yorkers in need


This Thanksgiving, many students will leave the city and go back to their hometowns to give thanks and break bread (read: turkey) with friends and family. Students planning to spend Thanksgiving in New York might take advantage of the various opportunities to serve those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to enjoy the comforts of the holiday. According to FeedingNYC, 2.6 million New Yorkers can’t afford a Thanksgiving dinner. If you can’t serve on Thanksgiving Day, many ministries and soup kitchens still feel a great need for help during the week around this holiday. This Turkey Day, whether you take up the spoon and serve or help deliver canned goods, here are five ways to help serve those around our great city. Photo from Flickr.

1. Yorkville Common Pantry: The Pantry needs help serving a home-cooked, healthy Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday, November 23, from 3:30 to 6:30pm. Focused on serving healthy meals, it often serves upwards to 350 people from low-income families. You can also serve during the week leading up to Thanksgiving, as it needs volunteers with its weekday meals and to hand out groceries. Sign up here. (8 East 109th Street, 212-410-2264)

2. The Bowery Mission: The Mission is looking for volunteers to serve Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving, and you can sign up here. Slots are left but are filling up, but they still will need help in the days surrounding Thanksgiving. If you can’t serve meals, you can still help out by participating in their Red Door Hunger Drive, which strives to “share God’s love with those who need it most.” A $25 donation will provide 15 complete Thanksgiving meals.

3. New York Cares: Though their Thanksgiving Day opportunities are filled, you can still help out around the holiday. Help prepare meals for those with life-altering illnesses through God’s Love We Deliver on Tuesday, November 26 (sign up here) or put on a Thanksgiving feast for students and their families at PS 636K in Bed-Stuy (November 26, sign up here).

4. Real Life Church: This church in Hunts Point in the Bronx serves a full Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving and needs volunteers to serve from 11-4pm. To sign up, contact or call 718-644-8523.

The Bowery Mission. Photo by Cori O'Connor.

5. Hope For New York: Although the opportunities listed through HFNY are reserved for volunteers from Redeemer Churches and their friends, this list provides numerous ways to volunteer this holiday season, and those not connected with the church can contact the organizations listed here directly. One opportunity includes preparation and serving of a Thanksgiving meal and decorating their Christmas tree on the holiday from 11-4pm at All Angel’s Church (information here).