Last-Minute Volunteer Opportunities for Thanksgiving Day

By Heather Holland on November 27, 2013 8:17am 

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 DNAinfo has found organizations that are still looking for help on Thanksgiving Day.
Volunteer Opportunities for Thanksgiving
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NEW YORK CITY — As you give thanks, give back.

While many soup kitchens in the city have already filled their Thanksgiving Day volunteer slots, there are still a few last-minute opportunities to help.

Options include helping a local charity serve a Thanksgiving meal, packing groceries that will be delivered to the needy, and donating food, toys and winter coats.

“Volunteers may be dishing food onto plates, carrying them into our chapels, serving as waitresses, and making sure people have drinks, utensils or napkins,” said James Winans, an administrator at the Lower East Side's Bowery Mission. “We will do our best to put them to work.”

DNAinfo New York has found a handful of organizations and businesses that are still looking for help on Thanksgiving:

The Bowery Mission, 227 Bowery (between Prince and Rivington streets), Lower East Side

The Bowery Mission, which serves as many as 7,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day, already has 600 volunteers registered for this year, but would be happy to have more, Winans said.

Volunteers should expect to work about two hours, either helping to serve dinner or packing and delivering food to the church's partners in all five boroughs.

For those who’d rather donate, the Bowery Mission is accepting coats, gloves, scarves, toothbrushes, new underwear, shampoo and toys to package into “blessing bags,” which will be given out to those who come for the meal on Thursday.

Meals will be served at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Additional meals will be added based on demand.

Volunteers are free to show up on Thanksgiving Day without registering beforehand, Winans said.

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, 181 Lexington Ave. (at 31st), Kips Bay

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ will be giving out 1,000 free meals to the needy on Thanksgiving Day, in front of its Kips Bay location.

The restaurant will need volunteers to help package the food in the kitchen — the meals will include pulled pork sandwiches, mashed potatoes and bottled water — as well as to transport the food outside and begin handing it out at noon.

Volunteers are asked to arrive early at 11:30 a.m.

To volunteer, contact Leigh Shirvan at leigh@diningentertainmentgroup.com

Masbia Soup Kitchen Network, 1372 Coney Island Ave., Midwood

For those looking to volunteer in Brooklyn and Queens, Masbia Soup Kitchen Network still needs help serving food and packaging groceries in its three soup kitchens on Thanksgiving Day.

“Everyone is welcome,” Alexander Rapport, executive director of Masbia, said Tuesday.

“At our main kitchen [in Midwood]…volunteers will be prepping the five pallets of fresh produce we are receiving tomorrow from the Food Bank of NYC. We will freeze the prepped vegetables…to make soup and side dishes.”

In addition to bagging vegetables and assembling groceries, the soup kitchen will need help cooking a turkey meal on Thursday morning.

Locations needing help include the Masbia Soup Kitchen at 1372 Coney Island Ave. in Midwood, another kitchen at 4114 14th Ave. in Borough Park and another at 98-08 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park.

The main kitchen on Coney Island Avenue will be serving meals from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and the rest will be serving from 2 to 9 p.m.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Avi at volunteer@masbia.org or at (718) 972-4446 ext. 209.

St. George’s Church, 209 E. 16th St. (between Third Avenue and Rutherford Place), Gramercy

St. George’s Church will be serving a community Thanksgiving meal at noon on Thanksgiving Day at the Olmsted Hall.

Space for volunteers is limited, but for those who want to help can call the church office at (646) 723-4178.

CHIPS, 200 Fourth Ave. (between Degraw and Sackett streets), Park Slope

Although CHIPS, a soup kitchen based in Park Slope, has all the volunteers it needs for its Thanksgiving Day meal, it's still looking for food donations.

The organization is accepting donations of pies, cookies, cupcakes, cooked food and canned food on the day of its Thanksgiving feast, which will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For those looking to volunteer on Christmas Eve, CHIPS is also looking for helpers for its holiday party on Dec. 24.

To donate or volunteer, contact Denise Scaravella at Denise4chips@gmail.com.

St. John's Bread and Life, 795 Lexington Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant

St. John's Bread and Life will not be open on Thanksgiving, but it’s already recruiting volunteers for the Christmas season.

The church will be distributing food and toys to 2,000 families in December as part of its Sponsor a Family program, and 400 volunteers are needed to sort, assemble, load and distribute the gifts.

St. John's will have two shifts for volunteers from 9 a.m. to noon and noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 14 and 15.

Those who’d like to help can contact volunteer coordinator Jennifer Stephen at jstephen@breadandlife.org.

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