Updated for 2023
This is the season for sharing in Los Angeles and there are plenty of ways you can help those that need it most. From volunteering your time, your extra food, or a few dollars out of your wallet, you can make a difference in someone’s life. We have curated a list of some great places to “do Good” this Thanksgiving.
Some ways to do good deeds include: serving dinners, passing out blankets, feeding people on the street, helping make hygiene kits, and filling food boxes. And there are so many families and individuals that need your help.
Of course, this is not the only time of year that people need our help, so just know that you can volunteer or donate at any time and it will be welcome. Here is our list of volunteer opportunities in and around Los Angeles.
Places to Volunteer for Thanksgiving in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
1734 East 41st St., Los Angeles, CA 90058
According to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, “one in five people in Los Angeles County experiences food insecurity.” There are many ways to get involved, including making a monetary donation, donating food items, participating in #WeFeedLA – a Virtual Food Drive Challenge, and volunteering at a local food pantry. Every little bit helps. “Every $1 donated provides enough food for 4 meals to feed hungry children, seniors, and families.” Check the website for details.
Los Angeles Mission
303 East 5th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
There are many ways families can volunteer and get involved with the important work being done by the Los Angeles Mission. “The Los Angeles Mission provides nearly 1,500 hot meals every day.” You can make a monetary donation, donate hygiene items or assemble hygiene kits, donate food or clothing, and volunteer. Check the website for all the details.
Corita Day — the date for 2023 is not yet confirmed
Corita Art Center, 5515 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Corita Art Center (CAC) is thrilled to host its first in-person event in over three years to celebrate Corita Day, a day designated by the City and County of Los Angeles to honor the artist, educator, and social justice advocate, Corita Kent. This Corita Day is a day in service to the beloved community of Los Angeles.
The event will feature timed tours of the CAC collection, interactive art-making stations, exclusive access to new merchandise and vintage posters, the assembly of 500 Corita-inspired art kits by groups of volunteers for distribution amongst CAC partners across Los Angeles, and much more! Corita Day is also a fundraiser essential to CAC’s mission of sharing and preserving Corita’s legacy through arts education. This year, CAC is raising $150,000 to support the Center’s ongoing operations. Support of CAC, also supports incredibly talented artists, educators, makers, doers, and too many incredible nonprofit partners to name. Check the website for the date plus more details as they become available.
Union Rescue Mission
545 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
The Union Rescue Mission needs our help to make sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy a special Thanksgiving meal. There are many ways families can help – by serving a meal, donating funds, and donating time. This year, every $3.72 meal donation will be doubled; meaning your monetary donation goes twice as far. And, if Downtown LA isn’t convenient for you, help is also needed at Union Rescue Mission’s Hope Gardens Family Center in Sylmar. Check the website for details.
The Midnight Mission
601 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90014
The Midnight Mission needs our help to make sure they can adequately serve the men, women, and children who will come by for a Thanksgiving meal. There are a number of ways to get involved including making a monetary donation, donating your time, and donating goods (food, clothing, and other necessities).
Additionally, the annual Turkey Trot Los Angeles benefits The Midnight Mission. There is a 5K and 10K option as well as a “Widdle Wobble” for those 12 and under. Races have staggered start times on Thanksgiving morning. Details and registration information are available online.
More ways to Volunteer and Do Good Deeds all year long
– Volunteer at the Holidays
– Volunteer Options for High School Students
– Ways to Help our fellow Angelenos year ’round
– Los Angeles No-profit Charities
Food on Foot
1625 N. Schrader Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
“Every Sunday, Food on Foot volunteers distribute hot, nutritious meals, clothing, hygiene items, and other essential resources” to neighbors in need. On average, more than 280 meals are served each Sunday. There are many ways to help including donating clothing, donating funds, and purchasing items from Food on Foot’s Amazon Wishlist. If you have the time, volunteering takes place each Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Children 6 and older are also welcome to help.) Details and donation information are available online.
Big Sunday’s Annual Thanksgiving Stuffing Event
4351 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029
Big Sunday’s Annual Thanksgiving Stuffing Event is happening on Wednesday, November 22nd from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Each year, Big Sunday collects and packs bags full of Thanksgiving dinner for thousands of people, including vets, homeless families, women in domestic violence shelters, group homes, low-income families with autistic children, food pantries, schools, and more. Volunteers are needed to donate food as well as pack everything up. Plus, all volunteers are invited to “join together for a community breakfast.” Check the website for more details as they become available.
Related: Turkey Trot Races in SoCal (Most have charity components)
Project Angel Food
922 Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90038
Project Angel Food is a “community-funded organization,” preparing and delivering “over one million medically tailored meals each year, free of charge to homes of men, women, and children affected by life-threatening illnesses.” Generally, Project Angel Food needs volunteer drivers on Thanksgiving Day. Be sure to check the website for more information about volunteering at Thanksgiving as the information becomes available. And remember, if you’re unable to volunteer in person, families can still help by making a monetary donation.
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH)
Serving Greater Los Angeles
People Assisting the Homeless serves 150 cities in 5 regions including Orange County and Greater Los Angeles. There are many ways to get involved and help including donating funds, volunteering your time, hosting a Donation Drive, and purchasing items for a Welcome Home Kit. (“Each week, PATH helps move 22 people into a new home.” Kits include home goods, bedding, kitchen items, and cleaning supplies.) Check the website for more information about Thanksgiving as details become available.
Feeding America wants to help connect families with organizations that need help at Thanksgiving — and all year long. The website offers tips on “How to Give Back This Thanksgiving,” including hosting a virtual food drive, volunteering in your community, sending a Thanksgiving card, and more. Check the website to get started.
Socks4Souls Thankful to Give on Thanksgiving Day — not yet confirmed for 2023
532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
Thankful to Give on Thanksgiving Day 2022 is a special community outreach program happening on Thanksgiving morning at 9:00 am. Volunteers are asked to bring donations including hygiene kits, socks, blankets, and/or bottles of water. However, even if you don’t have any donations, you’re still invited to volunteer. Volunteers will walk a total of two miles, roundtrip, as you walk from Pershing Square to 5th Street and San Pedro, “areas where people are in need; living outside of shelters.” There are no age restrictions at this event. Register online.
Thanksgiving Community Dinner and Distribution — not yet confirmed for 2023
Open Arms Food Pantry and Resource Center
Leimert Park Plaza
4395 Leimert Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008
Open Arms Food Pantry and Resource Center is hosting a Thanksgiving Community Dinner and Distribution event on Tuesday, November 22nd from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. They will be “providing families with free donations including infant care items, hygiene kits, blankets, toys, groceries and supermarket gift cards.” Monetary donations are needed to make the event possible. Be sure to check the website for volunteer information and all the details.
Fred Jordan Missions
Fred Jordan Missions hosts an annual Thanksgiving Feast, providing a “hot, traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings” to ”hundreds of hungry men, women, and children on the streets of Skid Row.” Families may donate funds to be used for the Thanksgiving Feast. Also, be sure to check the website as more information becomes available regarding volunteering at the Thanksgiving Feast.
Volunteer on the Westside
WestsideThanksgiving Community Dinner and Celebration
West LA Civic Center
1645 Corinth Ave., Los Angeles, CA
For over four decades, a special Thanksgiving Day community celebration has brought together thousands of people. This Celebration includes “a wonderful sit-down Thanksgiving dinner, a huge clothing area, medical, optical and dental services, live music, companionship, and so much more — all free!” There are many ways for families to get involved. Donate funds, donate your time to assist the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, volunteer on Thanksgiving Day, and/or donate goods. Check the website for all the details.
Westside Food Bank
1710 22nd St., Santa Monica, CA 90404
The Westside Food Bank has many ways for families to get involved and help. Families may donate funds and/or food, host a food drive, and more. Remember, “every dollar you give helps provide 4 meals to our most vulnerable neighbors: children, families, seniors, veterans, people experiencing homelessness, and others who urgently need help.” Check the website for the latest information.
Volunteer in Pasadena
Dinner in the Park 2023
Union Station Homeless Services
825 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91104
Union Station Homeless Services has been hosting its annual Dinner in the Park event for over 50 years. “Dinner in the Park is a beloved holiday tradition that brings the community together over celebratory meals.” There are a number of ways for families to get involved including hosting a food drive, volunteering to prepare, cook, sort, and serve, and more. Details are available online. Volunteers must be at least 13 years old.
Foothill Unity Center, Inc.
191 N. Oak Ave., Pasadena, CA 91107
790 W. Chestnut Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016
Foothill Unity Center, with two locations, will be hosting special Thanksgiving events on Wednesday, November 22nd, and Friday, November 24th. They plan on helping over 2000 families. The organization will be distributing Thanksgiving Food Boxes to home-bound seniors and disabled individuals. They will also be hosting a “boutique for the homeless with food and hygiene kits, clothing, and more.” Families may assist by donating items, volunteering on-site, or making a monetary donation.
Volunteer in the Valley
LA Family Housing
7843 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood 91605
“LA Family Housing helps people transition out of homelessness and poverty through a continuum of housing enriched with supportive services.” They offer multiple ways to get involved including donating goods, donating funds, as well as special volunteer opportunities specifically tailored to youth volunteers. Check the website for details.
Hope the Mission
Multiple locations across SoCal
Hope of the Valley needs our help, and there are many ways to get involved. Donate goods, funds, and/or your time. In addition, Drumstick Dash LA 2023, described as “LA’s largest Thanksgiving 5K/10K run,” happens on Thanksgiving morning and benefits the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. You can find all the details as well as registration information online.
Volunteer in Long Beach
2023 Thanksgiving Campaign
Long Beach Rescue Mission
1430 Pacific Ave., Long Beach, CA 90813
At the Long Beach Rescue Mission, a little really goes a long way. Every donation of $2.20 “provides one hungry person with a traditional Thanksgiving meal … served with a hearty helping of hope for a better future.” In addition, when families donate funds, they’ll receive a Thanksgiving Recipes Booklet.
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