Giving thanks and giving back: Where to volunteer in Brooklyn this Thanksgiving

volunteer at Thanksgiving meal
This Thanksgiving, give back to your community with Brooklyn’s nonprofit organizations!
File photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means organizations across Brooklyn stand ready for volunteers eager to make a difference! From creating festive art to packaging and delivering meals, there are many avenues for Brooklynites to come together give back to their community. Here are a variety of opportunities to lend a helping hand this November:

Help run state sen. Zellnor Myrie’s Harvest Fest November 18

Taking place on Lincoln Road, volunteers aid in event setup, crowd management, and distributing turkeys and fresh produce to the community. This is an inclusive event welcoming participants ages 14 and above to support the community’s needs during the harvest season!

Distribute holiday meals at Operation Gobbler Giving Nov. 20

Reaching-Out Community Services distributes turkeys and trimmings to over 700 families in need, and volunteers play a pivotal role in ensuring families have the necessary items for a Thanksgiving celebration! Secure your spot as a volunteer to distribute food — or, if you don’t have the time, chip in with some funds to help pay for a family’s meal!

Thanksgiving volunteers at table
Reaching Out Community Services needs help distributing turkeys and trimmings to hundreds of Brooklyn families. File photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Fill the Fridge with The Service Collective — Nov. 21

The Service Collective works to empower youth to help out their neighbors with community and volunteer projects all year long — and ahead of Thanksgiving, they’ll be working to fill the Brooklyn Heights Community Fridge with festive foods! Help cook a three-course meal to stock the fridge for community members. A $25 donation per participant is suggested. 

Create Art for Meal Bags  — Nov. 21

Kids and families can join a communal art project organized by The Service Collective and Heights & Hills to create artwork for meal bags, bringing joy to homebound seniors receiving Thanksgiving meals. More than 250 tasty meals will be delivered in the beautiful bags! 

Prepare and drop off Thanksgiving meals for CHiPS Nov. 20-22

Community Help in Park Slope needs some help putting together a festive feast for its food pantry guests and residents of its women’s shelter! Help prepare a special Thanksgiving meal  by dropping off a dish at 200 4th Avenue. This effort aims to create meaningful holiday memories for those in need. Fill out the form prior to preparing your contribution!

Decorate delivery bags, prepare food, and deliver meals with God’s Love We Deliver  Nov. 23

God’s Love We Deliver will be mobilizing a massive effort to deliver Thanksgiving meals this year, and needs volunteers to drop off meals, decorate delivery bags, and prepare food. It’s a chance to directly impact the lives of individuals by ensuring they receive warm meals and festive cheer. Thanksgiving Day volunteers will pick up meals from distribution centers at Concord Baptist Church and Industry City and deliver them directly to clients’ homes!

north brooklyn angels
Donate funds to help the North Brooklyn Angels cook and give out meals as part of their annual Neighbors Giving Thanks event!File photo courtesy of North Brooklyn Angels

Give a Neighbor a Turkey at the Fort Greene Food PantryOngoing

Support the Fort Greene Fresh Pantry by providing turkeys and traditional sides to visiting families. This initiative ensures that families from Farragut, Whitman, Ingersoll and Atlantic Terminal Houses can feel the holiday warmth and partake in Thanksgiving festivities! 

Donate to and volunteer for Neighbors Giving Thanks — Ongoing

North Brooklyn Angels is coordinating their annual Neighbors Giving Thanks feast! This year, the organization plans to hand out more than 1,000 frozen turkeys and fully-prepared holiday meals to families in need, and will serve more than 500 sit-down dinners at four locations on Thanksgiving Day. Due to rising food costs, the North Brooklyn Angels need a little more financial support this year — and keep an eye on their social media channels for volunteer opportunities!