Want to give back to your community this Thanksgiving? Here’s how

Volunteer at food drives, animal shelters, community cleanups and more

Food items, water and more were brought in to the Salvation Army during Tuesday's supply donation drive. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and with 54.6 million people predicted by AAA to be traveling, this year is forecast to be a big one.

While most people are already beginning preparations for the big day by buying their bird and stocking up on the necessary ingredients for a stress free day of family, at the same time over half a million people across Central Florida are classified as food insecure according to Feeding America.

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For many, the holidays are the perfect time to give back to the community and there are a plethora of opportunities in the Central Florida area for you and your family.

Salvation Army

  • You can click here to find the closest Salvation Army location to you.
  • Salvation Army presents many different opportunities to volunteer including food distribution, providing hot meals and clothing.

Meals on Wheels

  • This is the only Meals on Wheels program available in the Central Florida area and is one that focuses on the local senior citizen community.
  • In Orange County alone, one in six seniors struggle with hunger which equates to about 16,000 older adults, nearly enough to fill the Amway Center.
  • You can volunteer to deliver some of the over 350,000 meals the organization distributes every year as well as enrich the lives of the people you meet, according to the organizations website.
  • Click here to sign up to volunteer.

Community Kickball Event and Free Turkey and Canned Food Giveaway

  • If you can’t get out to volunteer for organizations like Salvation Army or Meals on Wheels, maybe think about heading over to Barnett Park in Orlando for a community game of kickball.
  • On Nov. 22 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. this annual family friendly game of kickball will be held, in addition to over 500 free turkeys given out and a canned food distribution, according to organizers.
  • You can reserve a spot for free by clicking here.

Thanksgiving Box of Love Food Drive

  • This event is being hosted by IDEAS for Us and the Spirit of Joy Ministries which will take place on Nov. 19 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kaley Square Community Center.
  • This Thanksgiving holiday food drive provide “Boxes of Love” for Central Florida residents in need.
  • Volunteers will be asked to build these boxes which will include things such as canned goods, instant mashed potatoes, powdered drink mix and either brownie or cake mix.

Thanksgiving Food for Families

  • Southeastern Food Bank will be hosting a Thanksgiving food drive on Nov. 24 at 8 a.m. at West Orlando Baptist Church.
  • Organizers say they are looking for volunteer delivery drivers to help distribute food to people in need.
  • You can click here to register as a volunteer.

Thanksgiving for the Homeless

  • The City of Orlando will be hosting a Thanksgiving event on Nov. 19 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Lake Eola Park.
  • Organizers said this community outreach program will be distributing a Thanksgiving meal, clothes, haircuts, and assistance with job placement, food stamps, housing and more to the homeless.

If you can’t get out to any of these events but you still want to volunteer to help your community, other options include cleaning up trash in a local park, helping out at an animal shelter or even running a turkey trot.

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About the Author:

Rachel joined ClickOrlando.com in September 2022.