Thanksgiving with a side of charity


While you loosen your belt buckle to make room for that third serving of stuffing and gravy, here’s a gentle reminder that there are many in the Bay Area who could use a little of your time.

The number of those in need always increases during the holidays, said St. Anthony’s spokesman Karl Robillard to the Chronicle:

“It’s such a tough time of year for so many people, especially if you’re isolated or don’t have a family. It’s a challenging time. People need support not just through meals, but emotionally.”

If you want to spend a few hours sharing your smile, driving skills or just some cash, check out some of these do-gooder opportunities coming up this week:

Deliver meals with the Salvation Army

Help deliver Thanksgiving meals to 5,000 homebound individuals. As a meal delivery driver, you must bring a passenger to help assist you with meal deliveries. Open slots are 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. All meals must be delivered by 11 a.m., so you’ll have plenty of time to get home and stuff yourself silly. Pre-register here.

Donate turkeys (or money) to food banks

The San Francisco Food Bank, which caters to social service agencies like St. Anthony’s and St. Vincent de Paul, is experiencing a turkey shortage. They are short more than half of the 3,300 birds they need to distribute to their 202 agencies. Donate cash (to be doubled by FedEx) or contact the agency to find out how to donate turkeys.

Oh yeah, Second Harvest needs turkeys too. Second Harvest, the largest food bank in the Bay Area, serves Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. They are half way to the 12,000 turkeys needed this holiday season. And the Alameda County Community Food Bank holds volunteer orientations every Wednesday to get you started.

Show the Tenderloin a little tenderness

A Thanksgiving Day block party in the TL aims to deliver 10,000 hot meals to homes, serve 300 at a sit-down Turkey Day meal and deliver 500 grocery bags. Want in on the action? Just donate your time and a $25 registration fee to San Francisco City Impact. The fee goes towards funding the event. The party goes from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Be a friend to the elderly (it will be you one day)

Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly seeks caring brothers (and sisters) to help make an elderly person’s day. With all other positions filled, they now need volunteers to help deliver meals and make home visits — the most important part!

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact or call (415) 771-7957 for more information.

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