While preparing Thanksgiving dinner and enjoying a delicious meal with friends and family, it’s often a time for offering thanks for things that have happened over the course of the past year. It can also be a time to think about ways to give to others who might not be as fortunate. Whether it’s donating time by serving a meal, donating clothing to a shelter, or donating money without leaving home, there are several opportunities available to help others in the New York City area.


New York Cares

There are over 1,000 opportunities for volunteers to serve at New York Cares each month with more that are usually available closer to Thanksgiving. Volunteers can pack meals for guests to take home or make kits with PPE that can be delivered to seniors in the area.


City Harvest

A way to volunteer with this organization for the Thanksgiving holiday is by helping to collect foods that would be thrown away that can be used to prepare meals. A mobile market is also offered by the organization so that people in the community can get fresh produce for their families.


Carter Burden Center

The Roosevelt Island location of the organization is typically open on Thanksgiving for those who want to volunteer to help with preparing food, packaging food, and serving food to those who stop by to get a meal. The center has volunteer opportunities for those who want to call seniors in the area and who want to check on them to make sure they have everything that they need so that they don’t have to leave home more than necessary.


Citymeals on Wheels

This organization allows volunteers to take meals to seniors and others in the area who aren’t able to leave home to get food or to engage with others at locations that serve a Thanksgiving meal. Volunteers can email the organization to find out when and where to get started.


Coalition for the Homeless

The Grand Central Food Program is operated by this organization and provides food and prepared meals to those who are homeless in the city. Donations are accepted and are used to purchase items to make meals and hygiene kits.


God’s Love We Deliver

Volunteers can help prepare meals and deliver them to those who are going through serious illnesses, such as cancer or AIDS. They can also help by talking to those who arrive at the center so that they know they aren’t alone.