give-back-this-thanksgivingLooking to volunteer this Thanksgiving? There are many opportunities around the Austin area where you can spread a little love, kindness and support. Bring the whole family and give back to your community!

Central Texas Food Bank (Through November 23) – The food bank provides approximately 300 families a year with the food they need. They are looking for volunteers to help sort food donations and prepare them for distribution. Shifts are about 2 to 3 hours long Monday through Saturday. Ages 8 and older.

HOW TO SIGN UP: Sign up and view available shifts at CTFB’s sign-up page.

Austin Empty Bowl Project (November 20, 11 am – 3pm) – At the November 20 event, attendees purchase a handcrafted bowl for $20 and local restaurants fill them with soup. All proceeds will go to benefit the children’s hunger programs at the Central Texas Food Bank, Meals on Wheels and other programs across the region. Entertainment includes live music. They are seeking volunteers ages 16 and up willing to work at least 2 hours at the event. Anyone wishing to create a bowl must meet certain qualifications.

HOW TO SIGN UP: Sign up and more information can be found on the Austin Empty Bowl Project event page.

HEB Feast of Sharing (November 22, 3-9 pm) – This event takes place at the Parmer Events Center and provides about 14,000 Thanksgiving meals to hungry individuals in Austin. They need 1,400 volunteers, at least 14 years old, to help plate and serve food, do crafts with children and other tasks.

HOW TO SIGN UP: All information about parking, minimum ages, and volunteer roles is available at Hands On Central Texas.

Operation Turkey (November 23 – 24) – This grass roots volunteer organization serves those less fortunate every Thanksgiving. They need volunteers to help cook, prepare, package and deliver thousands of hot meals and other necessities. There is no age limit to volunteer.

HOW TO SIGN UP: All information about sign up and logistics can be found on the Operation Turkey page.  

Gobble Gobble Give (November 24, 10 am – 1 pm) – This event provides meals to the homeless in the Austin area. Volunteers are needed to bring premade meals, toiletries, clothing and blanket, as well as to help coordinate with preparation, sorting, and distribution of donated goods.

HOW TO SIGN UP: Information about the event and how you can volunteer can be found on their event page.

Meals on Wheels (November 24) – Meals on Wheels provides hundreds of holiday meals. Volunteers just need to have a drivers license and able to deliver as many meals as they can handle on Thanksgiving Day.

HOW TO SIGN UP: Learn more about volunteering for Meals on Wheels here.

ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot (November 24) – This five mile race is one of the largest Turkey Trots in the country! All proceeds benefit Caritas of Austin, which provides support for local refugees, low income and homeless people. They need 650 volunteers to help with packet distribution, staff a water table and more. Of course, you can also sign up to run the race!

HOW TO SIGN UP: All information about sign up and logistics can be found on the Turkey Trot Event page.

Other Opportunities:

The Salvation Army has events all throughout the holidays. Learn more about how to volunteer for them on their event page.

Caritas of Austin also has volunteer opportunities throughout the year helping to provide services and supports to people across the Austin area. Volunteer opportunities can be found on their website.

What are your favorite ways to give back to the community?


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