Like any foodie, Thanksgiving easily makes my list of favorite holidays alongside Halloween, Yom Kippur... are we seeing the food trend here? But above all the eating and time with family, Thanksgiving is a time of year to be thankful and give back.
So while Thanksgiving for many of us is about spending time with loved ones, stuffing our faces until the food coma hits, and having a specific family member critique my pumpkin pie (you know who you are), let's give back a little more this holiday season in Boston.
My grandmother stressed to me the importance of giving back at a young age, but being at college has made it hard to find volunteer opportunities. And above finding the opportunities, it's even tougher to find ones that work with a busy college schedule.
Here's a list of 6 flexible volunteer opportunities in Boston to do around Thanksgiving.
1. Serve meals at Women's Lunch Place.I think the concept for this organization is incredible. The Women's Lunch Place focuses on providing a safe and resourceful sanctuary for women going through difficult times while treating them with the utmost respect and dignity. While the volunteer work is not Thanksgiving-centered, you can sign up to prepare and serve lunch during the month of November here.
2. Deliver meals to homebound seniors or take them to a party.Celebrate Thanksgiving with LBFE and senior citizens who are either homebound or don't have anyone to spend the holiday with. You can either volunteer to deliver meals and packages to seniors who are unable to leave their house on Thanksgiving day, or chauffeur seniors to a party and socialize with them, sign up here.
3. Run and bring canned food.I choose to avoid running at all costs, but if you're one of those people who enjoys it you should sign up for the Charles River Turkey Trot on November 19th. There's a 3.1 mile and 5.5 miles race along with a canned food drive, sign up here.
4. Distribute food at the American Red Cross Food Pantry.The American Red Cross helps "almost 13,000 families across the Massachusetts Region receive a five-to-seven day supply of nutritionally-balanced groceries from our pantries and mobile distributions." They have a bunch of spots during the month of November where you can pack bags for distribution. So grab a group of friends and sign up here.
5. Distribute Thanksgiving meals to families in need in the Somerville community.Help pick up food from the Greater Boston Food Bank for the Elizabeth Peabody House's annual Thanksgiving basket giveaway which gives over 300 families in the Somerville community everything they need for a Thanksgiving dinner. There are only four more days to help, sign up here.
6. Do something for your community on Giving Tuesday.
For those of you who want to continue making a difference after Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday (November 29) has become a day recognized for giving to kick off the holiday season. Whether you want to give back time, money, or resources the movement has something for everyone.For any of my fellow Boston University hockey fans, the Travis Roy Foundation is one of the great foundations associated with this movement.
Additionally, Boston Cares is a great resource to find volunteer opportunities year-round (I used it for most of these suggestions). Here's hoping your Thanksgiving is spent doing good, putting up with family, and eating way past the point when you're full.