According to SOME, the number of homeless families living in Washington climbed by more than 7 percent between 2010 and 2011. In response, this nonprofit group that serves the homeless organizes numerous events throughout the year, culminating in the annual 5K “Trot for Hunger” on Thanksgiving morning. In order to accommodate the burgeoning number of runners entered in the Trot, the group has moved the event to downtown D.C.’s Freedom Plaza, and expects some 6,000 runners this year. The kids will enjoy the Little Turkey One Mile Fun Run, so lace up those running shoes and join the growing number of Washington families who make this an annual charity event.
Each Thanksgiving, the Washington JCC holds “Everything but the Turkey,” a huge operation that brings together nearly 500 volunteers to prepare 10,000 meals for people who are homeless and living in local shelters. In accordance with Jewish kosher laws, volunteers prepare all the trimmings needed for a hearty holiday meal except the bird. (Never fear, the turkeys are provided by partner DC Central Kitchen.) Help is needed the Monday and Thursday of Thanksgiving week to prepare stuffing, sweet potatoes, green-bean casserole, healthy snack bags, and much more, all of which will be distributed to 100 social-service groups in the D.C. area with the aid of DC Central Kitchen. Additional details about this year’s event will be available on Washington JCC’s Web site in late October.
At this time of year, amidst all the stuffing and pumpkin-pie recipes, consider giving back to your neighbors by volunteering at the Community for Creative Non-Violence, in downtown DC, the area’s largest homeless shelter. CCNV needs volunteers to assist with its Thanksgiving dinner, including carving the birds, dishing up plates, and chatting with the shelter’s anticipated 2,000 guests. You needn’t sign up in advance. The event starts at 11:30 a.m., so consider donating a few hours of your time to help make Thanksgiving 2011 a memorable day for neighbors who are down on their luck.
This nonprofit group provides meals and other services to DC-area residents living with HIV, AIDs, cancer, and other serious illnesses. This Thanksgiving, scores of volunteers will deliver 3,500 hearty, nutritious meals (including turkey, green beans, roast potatoes, and cornbread stuffing) for 4 to each of its clients.
Food & Friends also organizes the annual Slice of Life event, through which volunteers sell fabulous pies (choose from pumpkin, apple crumb, sweet potato, and pecan, as well as creamy chocolate cheesecake) to benefit the group. Last year more than 200 volunteers sold 3,600 pies, each of which costs $25 and provides three square meals for a needy person. All told, there are 26 locations in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia where you can pick up the pies, which make the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving Day meal.