This Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for what you have, and for what you didn’t lose. People are pulling together across the region after Hurricane Sandy, helping those who were hungry and in need before the storm, and coming to the aid of the newly displaced.
There are many ways to give a little of yourself to the greater good this holiday week, whether through a donation or volunteering — on your own or teamed up with your family or friends. This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, so in the comments section, please let us know of other places and people in need of helping hands.
Across the Region
- The American Red Cross needs volunteers this week at fixed distribution sites to hand out food and disaster relief items. Sign up here. Financial donations are always welcome. Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- Occupy Sandy is running grassroots operations across New York City, Long Island and New Jersey. Follow their Twitter feed for constant updates on what is needed and where, and check their website for a list of urgent needs.
- The United Way is seeking donations but does not need volunteers. They are also running Operation Turkey Coney Island and by raising $15,000 by Friday, they will be able to feed the 1,000 people they’ve invited to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Any funds raised over its goal will be given to the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund, which will aid people along the entire Eastern Seaboard that were impacted by the hurricane.
- Host a Thanksgiving Dinner for a Family: A Facebook page has been set up for people who want to cook a Thanksgiving meal for a family in need. Other holiday donation ideas are also listed on this page, which mentions groups or restaurants that can share a meal with families.
- Thanksgiving food items are needed in Coney Island. Through its initiative Coney Recovers. the nonprofit Alliance for Coney Island is requesting holiday fixings as well as diapers, baby food, toilet paper and blankets. Bring items to MCU Park Parking Lot at 1904 Surf Avenue between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m (next to the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball stadium). One-hundred volunteers are needed on Thanksgiving Day. Fill out this form if you’re available.
- Occupy Sandy is collecting turkeys, heating pads and other warming devices for the residents of Coney Island. Bring items to donate on Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. or come volunteer on both days from noon to 3 p.m. at Coney Island Generation Gap, 2904 Neptune Ave. For info, contact Pamela Harris of the Coney Island Generation Gap at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- OpenTable, the Food Bank of New York and the Food Network, are hosting “Our Table Is Yours, Thanksgiving Dinner For Hurricane Sandy Relief” at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan for 1,000 New York City seniors and families who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy on Wednesday, Nov. 21. The Food Bank of New York is also accepting donations.
- Every year, FeedingNYC collects donations of funds and food to distribute to needy families in New York City shelters. Because of Hurricane Sandy, the need is even greater this year. Volunteers are no longer needed this year, but donations are gladly accepted.
- BKGirlsGiveBack is looking for volunteers to prepare, serve and deliver Thanksgiving dinner for New Yorkers affected by Sandy as well as first responders. Its Twitter page is frequently updated with volunteer needs of other groups as well.
- Rockaways Council Member James Sanders, Jr. of the 31st Council District is looking for volunteers on Thanksgiving day. Call 718-471-7111.
- Promaster Gourmet in Staten Island is collecting prepared dishes to distribute to Hurricane Sandy victims on Thanksgiving from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Drop off items at Promaster, 1888 Hylan Blvd. If you would like to donate a dish, contact Alexis Garbarino at 917-560-5974 or email@example.com.
- The Greenpoint Church in Brooklyn is hosting Thanksgiving and needs volunteers. All you need to do is show up. A full schedule is available on the website.
- Marvel US Management is looking for volunteers to help serve Thanksgiving feasts at three locations in Plainfield. Volunteers are needed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and monetary donations, canned goods and toy donations are being accepted at Freehold Boxing and Fitness in Freehold. If you’re in a band, entertainment is also appreciated! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732-570-9467.
- Free Thanksgiving dinners are being hosted for victims of Hurricane Sandy all over the state. The Asbury Park Press has compiled an exhaustive list, and volunteers are needed at many of the dinners.
- Share your table with those in need through Tablesharing, which is matching displaced people and out-of-state utility workers away from their families with a place at the Thanksgiving table in a welcoming home. Fill out the form is you’d like to host someone or more than one person.
- Liquid Church, a Christian ministry based in five New Jersey towns, needs volunteers to serve Thanksgiving meals to thousands of families. They’re also organizing groups of volunteers to clean out devastated homes and distribute relief supplies.
- The New Jersey Community Food Bank has a list of food donation sites for Thanksgiving items to be distributed by those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
- Volunteer to help fill bags with food for delivery to needy Long Islanders. This is an annual event in Rockville Center is hosted by the business Mid-Island Collision and has new importance this year. Contact Nicole Tirino at email@example.com to sign up to help through 2 p.m. on November 21.
- Food Not Bombs’ 7th Annual Thanksgiving Bonanza is going on this whole week in Hempstead. Volunteers are needed as well as monetary donations.