This Thanksgiving week, rather than bombard you with bold-faced price drops and digital wacky inflatable arm-flailing tube men, we figured it would be much more satisfying to encourage our nationwide carsharing community to give back to their local one by volunteering with friends.
We’ve highlighted a handful of organizations around the country that can always use the help of good volunteers—especially during the Thanksgiving holiday season. So call up your friends, reserve a ride for the carpool, and start a new “Friendsgiving” tradition by planning a fun day of service in your community. We guarantee you'll more satisfied after volunteering than you would gorging yourself on turkey and stuffing.
Wheelchair Foundation (Danville, California)
Located about 30 miles east of downtown San Francisco, the Wheelchair Foundation aims to fight immobility by providing free wheelchairs to every child, teen, and adult who needs one but lacks the means to acquire one. Since its founding in 2000, the Foundation has delivered or committed more than one million wheelchairs worldwide.
The San Francisco-Marin Food Banks works to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin County by serving more than 141,000 people each week. There are plenty of ways to get involved, including volunteering at a pantry, helping out in the Food Bank warehouse, and hosting a food drive with your friends and co-workers.
Upcoming event: Safeway Feed the Need
On November 23, volunteer with your friends at your local Safeway to spread the word about the Feed the Need Drive and gently encourage shoppers to purchase a bag of groceries for donation to the Food Bank. Learn more here.
Friends of the Urban Forest promotes care for street trees and sidewalk gardens throughout San Francisco.With more than 60,000 trees planted, FUF has been beautifying SF neighborhoods since 1981.
Upcoming event: Planting Support | Excelsior
Saturday, December 7
8:00am - 12:30pm
Assist with delivering trees to their planting locations, help out with watering the trees. No experience needed!
Meals on Wheels of West LA provides nutritious meals and companionship for individuals who struggle to plan, shop, or prepare meals for themselves, often due to disability or advanced age. Volunteers help ease isolation for these individuals, delivering meals every weekday between 10:30am and 12:30pm.
To inquire about volunteer opportunities with Meals on Wheels of West Los Angeles, visit their office in Brentwood or contact them by email or phone.
Jersey Cares is a volunteer network that brings together dozens of non-profit organizations and connects volunteers with hundreds of opportunities each year.
Create a volunteer account so you can express interest in upcoming activities, then check out the calendar to see what opportunities are available this holiday season, including food deliveries during Thanksgiving week.
826CHI amplifies the voices of more than 3,000 Chicago students each year through creative writing workshops, after-school tutoring, homework support, and more. Apply to become a volunteer and attend a New Volunteer Orientation to get involved.
Upcoming event: New Volunteer Orientation
Saturday, December 14
10:00am - 11:30am
We Are Family DC is dedicated to reaching out to isolated seniors in the city with free services, companionship, and advocacy. Volunteer opportunities include delivering groceries, visiting seniors in their homes, providing transportation, and more.
Upcoming event: Columbia Heights & Parkview Grocery/Thanksgiving Delivery
Tuesday, November 26
12:00pm - 5:00pm
As the largest the largest hunger-relief organization in New England, the Greater Boston Food Bank distributes more than 60 million pounds of nutritious food each year to people in Eastern Massachusetts who don’t have enough to eat.
Volunteer opportunities include inspecting and sorting fresh produce and packaging food boxes for seniors. Register online to become a volunteer.
Upcoming event: Giving Tuesday Party
Tuesday, December 3
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Purchase tickets to this annual fundraiser to secure healthy holiday meals to those in need during the holiday season.
Trees Atlanta supports and protects the city’s green infrastructure through planting, conservation, and education. Thanks to group volunteer activities every Saturday year-round, Trees Atlanta has planted more than 133,000 trees in neighborhoods around the city. Register to volunteer here.
The largest not-for-profit builder in the world, Habitat for Humanity combines the efforts of families and volunteers to build affordable homes in low-income communities in cities across the world. The San Diego group has been active in the area since 1987. Volunteer opportunities include helping build or rehab a home, coordinating group build days, volunteering at a ReStore location, or assisting with administrative needs.
Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver empowers young people with opportunities to achieve their academic and leadership potential in a safe, supportive, and fun environment.
BGCMD offers a few different, high-impact ways to get involved: Academic Advocates to help with after-school tutoring at a club, while Club Corps volunteers may help students with internships, assist with the reading program every week, or coach sports teams. Click here for more information about volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver.