Volunteer for Thanksgiving

volunteer thanksgiving

During the holidays, many families are looking for volunteering opportunities but it can be challenging to find locations that are able to accept the help of little ones. When you find a place that looks like it might be a good fit for you family, give them a call. Prepare to talk to them about what volunteer opportunities you find interesting, as well as the ages and abilities of your family members. Although many times that we envision helping in our community on Thanksgiving we bring to mind serving people a meal, there may be other ways that organizations have for us to be helpful as a family team.

Some of the organizations in our area that need help:

  • Christ the Rock, Menasha – Community Thanksgiving Dinner 

    • Thursday, November 23, 2017 – Serve guests or deliver meals. Volunteers under 16 will be limited to select jobs.
    • Register online at www.christtherock.org
  • Outagmie County Volunteer Service – Meal Preparation

    • Thanksgiving Food basket Program – Volunteers provide a Thanksgiving meal or a food basket to a family in Outagamie County.
    • Contact Penny Jane Straus at 920.832.5515
  • Willow Heart Respite and Care Center, Little Chute – Meal preparation and delivery

    • Volunteer to make and deliver a holiday meal for 20-25 to bring to residents on Thanksgiving Day.
    • Call Emily Boyd to let her know that you can help at 920.687.6454 or email eboyd@willowheart.org
  • Brewster Village, Appleton – Holiday Decorating

    • Assist residents in decorating for the holidays. All of the supplies are ready to go, but help is needed to get the decorations up! Volunteers needed late November.
    • Contact Lisa Pingel at 920.832.5406 or Lisa.Pingel@outagamie.org
  • Youth Go, Neenah – Thanksgiving Family Night (November 16, 2017)

    • Volunteers are needed for helping with meal prep during the day and serving dinner in the evening.
    • Contact Angie Mykel at 920.722.1435 or angie@youthgo.org
  • Father Carr, Oshkosh – Meal Delivery and Service

    • Call for for more details:  920.231.2378
  • Homeless Connections, Appleton – Many types of opportunities!

    • In addition to meal service and prep, Homeless Connections also looks for people who are willing to sort and organize donations.
    • Call 920.734.9291 to talk about what might work for your family or visit homelessconnections.net/volunteer-opportunities.


thanksgiving meal


Volunteer throughout the Holiday Season

There are so many opportunities in our community to provide service year round and especially during the holidays. Volunteering can be a great opportunity for family bonding, creating traditions, and stepping away from the shopping and errands that dominate the season.

  • The holidays are a particularly busy time for so many organizations and they need extra hands to manage donations.
  • Delivering meals to families and individuals can be an opportunity to work together as a family team to help others.
  • Many organizations need help set up activities or help kids with games and crafts for holiday celebrations.
  • There are many opportunities to add your voice to a group of carolers or for visiting with folks at local nursing homes.

Families become so busy during the November and December, that sometimes it is only manageable to donate items or money because of the limited time. There are plenty of ways to do that also!

  • Adopt a family with Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services by contacting Alicia Gehri at 920.235.5998 or with Outagamie Volunteer Service by contacting Penny Jane Strauss at 920.832.5515.
  • Appleton Police Department is always in need of children’s books in good condtion, new blankets, and coloring books and crayons to give to victims or families in need during times of crisis.
  • Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha needs gift cards for local attractions and restaurants, as well as board games and activities for mentoring programs, and gas cards for families.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley look for games and sports equipment, arts and crafts supplies, prizes for their prize bin, musical instruments, clothing, grocery gift cards, and various cooking and baking supplies for their Healthy Habits Food Program.


Find More Information:

A great list of organizations for volunteering with your family and of the wish lists of organization and facilities is provided by The Volunteer Center of East Central Wisconsin.

If you are feeling the stir to give back, find your perfect match at The Volunteer Center of East Central Wisconsin. You can take a look at opportunities that have been collected for us that are perfect for those with small children by following this link: Volunteer with Children.


Previous articleResource Fair & Family Fun Expo 2017
Next articleHike it Baby: Never Too Young to Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Liz Schultz
Liz was raised in Wisconsin and returned with her husband and children nine years ago. They've been exploring all of the old familiar places and lots of new ones too. She is an avid fan of coffee, tea, and tacos. When she manages to steal free time without a pile of laundry, she knits like a mad woman.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here