This Thanksgiving, families throughout the Twin Cities will gather at the table and be thankful for what they have, despite the rough economic climate. But Thanksgiving can also be a time for people to help those less fortunate themselves: here is a list of ways you can help on Thanksgiving Day and beyond.
• Feed people — Aeon, Simpson Housing Services , and the Salvation Army all have opportunities to serve meals on Thanksgiving. You can also donate a food basket to Our Savior’s Housing (call Maryellen Skan at 612-872-4193 ext 25) or a Thanksgiving bag to Volunteers of America (contact Kristin Cook at 952-945-4039 or firstname.lastname@example.org). If preparing food is not your forte, you can simply donate non-perishable goods or cash to the Neighborhood House food drive.
• Drive and deliver — Meals on Wheels (call Lee Beecroft: 651-699-5404), Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly, and Store to Door (651-642-1892) are all looking for people to help out bringing food to those who are unable to drive.
• Work off some of those mashed potato calories while raising money to fight hunger — Catholic Charities, Emergency Food Shelf Network, Greater Twin Cities United Way, Hope for the City, and Hunger Solutions are sponsoring a “Walk to End Hunger” on Thanksgiving Day at the Mall of America. Participants raise pledge money and can form their own teams or walk with one of organizations. Volunteers are needed as well for the event and should call Julie Dyste at 612-340-7443. (And watch for information on the downtown Minneapolis Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning — coming soon!)
• More volunteer opportunities — Hands On Twin Cities and Volunteer Match.
Sheila Regan is a theater artist based in Minneapolis. When not performing or writing, she serves as educational coordinator for Teatro del Pueblo.