Volunteering for Thanksgiving in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Where to Volunteer in Minneapolis and St. Paul at Thanksgiving

Looking to volunteer this Thanksgiving? Do you want to volunteer to serve Thanksgiving meals, to deliver food to local families, or help in another way? One of the best gifts you can give this Thanksgiving is your time. Here's where to find local Minneapolis/St. Paul and Twin Cities non-profit organizations and charities who will greatly appreciate you volunteering your time to help local people and animals in need this Thanksgiving.

Popular holiday volunteer opportunities fill up fast, so if what you want to do is already taken, remember that there's all of the next year to volunteer too, and it will help needy folks just as much.

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    The Salvation Army is one of the most prominent non-profit organizations during the holidays, and they need plenty of people to help out at Thanksgiving and Christmas time. Many of the opportunities don't need any experience, just the willingness to help out. The Salvation Army needs people to prepare and serve Thanksgiving meals, deliver Thanksgiving food baskets, distribute winter coats, and many other tasks. Apply online for volunteer positions at the Salvation Army's website.

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    Little Brothers is a non-profit helping out seniors around the Twin Cities. Many volunteers are needed to help with Holiday meals, bringing seniors to the Prom Center in Oakdale where the Thanksgiving meal is held, and delivering meals to people who can't travel. You can also volunteer to be a companion to a older person - small things like paying social visits, bringing small treats, writing letters, baking cookies, make a big difference.
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    Volunteer are needed to prepare and serve Thanksgiving dinners, and if you would like to involve friends, family and co-workers, you can organize a food drive at your work or church for Catholic Charities' needy families.
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    People Serving People is a homeless shelter in Minneapolis. Serving holiday meals is a popular volunteer activity at this time of year, but if all the volunteer positions are full, consider signing up and volunteering some time in the new year?

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    Delivering meals to home bound disabled and elderly people in the Twin Cities is the classic for Meals on Wheels volunteer position. But you don't need to drive to help out: Meals on Wheels also needs people to help with many other tasks, like preparing food, and office support work.
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    Kaposia helps seniors and disabled individuals find and keep employment and to be active in the community. During the holidays, cheer giving volunteers are needed to help make greetings cards, assist with holiday parties, bring friendly pets to Kaposia's center, and help take seniors on a day trip to Macy's Santaland.
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    Lutheran Social Services is looking for volunteers to help feed local families. You can also recruit friends, classmates, or co-workers for a food drive to benefit Lutheran Social Services' clients.
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    Neighbors, Inc, is a South St. Paul community organization helping low income families. They have a large wishlist of food items and gifts you can donate that will be distributed to needy families, and also need volunteers for several holiday-related tasks.
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    One of the best ways to help a homeless shelter like Simpson is to organize a donation drive. Rally co-workers, family, classmates, or group members to put together holiday food baskets, buy gifts or winter clothes, or even to buy, cook and serve a meal at the Simpson shelter.

    Another way to help at this time of year is at the annual Homeless Memorial Service, held on December 20, 2012. Volunteers are needed to help set up the event, or simply be there to remember the large numbers of homeless people, and also homelessness advocates, who died during the year.

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    Vail Place is an organization helping adults with mental illness lead independent lives. For the holidays, volunteer to bake pies and other holiday treats, serve a holiday meal, at Vail Place shelters in Minneapolis and Hopkins.
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    Want to help local families with their Thanksgiving meal? It's as simple as picking up some grocery items and bringing them to the Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul. Donating a bag with non-perishable ingredients before November 22 will help make a local family's Thanksgiving dinner.

    Or, volunteer to help make and serve a Thanksgiving dinner at the Union Gospel Mission.

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    NorthPoint Health and Wellness is looking for volunteers to distribute frozen turkeys and Thanksgiving side dishes to families around North Minneapolis.
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    The Good Samaritan Society provides shelter and support services for seniors. Help out by putting up holiday decorations, accompanying seniors on holiday shopping trips, and spending time with seniors, many of whom don't have family near.
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    Lyngblomsten, a senior residential home and support services non-profit, welcomes volunteers to help seniors make holiday gifts, tree ornaments and cards, wrap gifts, bake cookies, and generally spread seasonal cheer.
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    Second Harvest Heartland is a food bank serving thousands of Twin Cities residents, and they need many hands to help with organizing and distributing food to needy people.
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    During the Holidazzle Parades in Minneapolis, the Emergency Food Shelf Network will be collecting non-perishable food and cash donations, and for every dollar and every pound of food, Ameriprise Financial will make a matching donation to the food bank.

    The annual Lights in the Park in St. Paul's Phalen Park is a display composed of over a million animated lights. Entry to drive through the park and see all the displays is $8-$10, depending on which day you visit, but all profits are donated to local food banks.

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    More Ways To Volunteers during the Holidays

    If you want to serve a holiday dinner, check with your local churches and community organizations to see if they are serving a holiday meal.

    If you'd like to donate food for a holiday dinner, food banks across the metro area will be glad to accept non-perishable holiday foods, but in good time, to ensure that they can be given to needy families in time for Thanksgiving.

    Or, plan ahead for Christmas. How about donating a toy which will go to a child who may otherwise not have a gift to open on Christmas morning? Toys for Tots has over 100 toy drop-off locations in the Twin Cities for new, unwrapped toys.

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    How About Not Volunteering This Holiday Season?

    The holidays are the most popular time of year to volunteer. In fact, many volunteer opportunities fill almost as soon as they are announced.

    How about making a commitment to volunteer your time next year, when there's just as much demand on social services, but far fewer volunteers? Committing a few hours a month for the next year will be just as helpful to our community, there's a much wider range of opportunities available, and searching for an volunteer placement will be one less things to do during this busy holiday season. Just remember what you pledged to do, once the new year is here. Volunteer Match is a great place to start looking for an organization that would love the skills and enthusiasm you have to offer.

    Happy Holidays!