The Editors

Giving Thanks and Giving Back as a Volunteer

volunteer cooking with kids

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The season that prompts us to pause and give thanks for all we have and all the people we share our lives with is also the ideal time to give back. Volunteering to help those in our communities is a great place to start, and may make for the best Thanksgiving you’ve ever had.


How’s this for ideas to get you going: Drive a senior to a community Thanksgiving dinner, distribute meals to homebound folks, put your gravy-making skills to work at a community meal site, donate and distribute food at your local food pantry, or how about inviting someone you know who may be on their own on the holiday (or any day!) for a homemade turkey at your house?


Check in with organizations in your area, such as food banks, senior centers, the YMCA and YWCA, Girls and Boys Clubs, and churches, synagogues, and other faith-based groups, to see how to put those good intentions to work.


If you’re having trouble finding a local organization, check in with one of these national sites to find volunteer opportunities.


Volunteer Match


Hands-On Network


Here at, we’ve partnered with Share Our Strength, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to end childhood hunger in America. Its No Hungry Kid strategy includes assisting organizations whose work improves access to nutritious foods or that help educate families about these programs. Their Cooking Matters courses demonstrate how to select nutritious and low-cost ingredients and prepare them in great family meals. And the Shopping Matters program provides guided grocery store tours that help families make healthy and affordable food choices. Visit Share Our Strength for more info on these programs, and for how to volunteer in your community.



Giving thanks feels even sweeter when pay it forward.

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