Sure, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to enjoy a turkey meal with family and friends. But let’s not forget the true meaning of the season. This year, consider volunteering your time to help out those in need. Volunteer opportunities are available on Thanksgiving Day, as well as before and after the holiday. We’ve rounded up a list of places throughout New Jersey looking for volunteers—read on below for all the details.
Community FoodBank of New Jersey
Where: Sites across NJ
Details: The Community FoodBank of New Jersey is hosting its 17th Annual Turkey Drive on November 18 and November 19. Donate turkeys, hams and other holiday trimmings at a site near you.
More info: Turkey Drive or call 908-355-3663
Family Volunteer Day
Where: Rowan College at Gloucester County, 1400 Tanyard Road, Sewell
Details: Celebrate Family Volunteer Day on November 18 by signing up for an on-site project, creating your own DIY volunteer project or participating in the day’s activities. Families must register at the website in order to participate.
More info: Family Volunteer Day or call 856-415-9084
Atlantic City Rescue Mission
Where: Atlantic City Convention Center, 1 Convention Center Boulevard, Atlantic City
Details: While signups are already full for Thanksgiving Day, the Rescue Mission still needs volunteers to help prepare holiday meals on the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Sign up for sessions running from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm on November 17, 20 or 21.
More info: Atlantic City Rescue Mission or call 609-345-5517
Sparta Evangelical Free Church
Where: Sparta Evangelical Free Church, 429 Lafayette Road, Sparta
Details: Pass it Along’s Family Volunteer Day will take place on November 18 at the Sparta Evangelical Free Church. Families, groups and individuals will decorate placemats, create Thanksgiving cards, make gifts for children in the hospital and more. Volunteers are encouraged to bring gently used coats to donate.
More info: Pass it Along or call 973-726-9777
Thanksgiving Basket Drive
Where: Project Self-Sufficiency, 127 Mill Street, Newton
Details: Every year Project Self-Sufficiency distributes complete Thanksgiving dinners to local families in need. Host a food drive with your neighbors or coworkers to collect food for the Thanksgiving baskets. Turkey donations must be dropped off on Monday, November 20.
More info: Project Self-Sufficiency or call 973-940-3500
Hunger Helpers in Newark
Where: Various locations in Newark
Details: Jersey Cares is seeking volunteers for several shifts throughout the day on Thanksgiving. Tasks include setting up, preparing meals, distributing meals and helping with clean up. All volunteers must be at least 14 years old and are required to register with Jersey Cares in advance.
More info: Jersey Cares or call 973-533-1993
Where: 300 Bloomfield Street, Hoboken
Details: Thanksgiving Day volunteers are asked to help with meals, socialize with guests and sort donations. All volunteers must register in advance and are asked to contribute items such as plates, cups, napkins, plastic utensils, coffee, sugar and milk.
More info: The Hoboken Shelter or call 201-656-5069
Where: Various locations throughout New Jersey
Details: Spread good cheer on Thanksgiving or any day in November and December by signing up to ring the telltale Salvation Army bell! Spend four hours at an approved location and encourage the community to donate to this worthy cause. Applications are available online.
More info: Salvation Army or call your local branch
- Hero (Top) Feature Image © Monkey Business / Adobe Stock
- Additional Images (in Order) Courtesy:
- The Community FoodBank of New Jersey / Facebook
- Volunteer Center of New Jersey / Website
- Atlantic City Rescue Mission / Website
- mangostock / Adobe Stock
- Project Self-Sufficiency / Website
- Jersey Cares / Facebook
- The Hoboken Shelter / Facebook
- The Salvation Army / Website