This is the time of year when we get together with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful time of year, filled with loved ones and delicious food. But there are many among us who are not as fortunate as we are. So, in the true spirit of the season, please consider volunteering your time to help out those in need.

Volunteer opportunities are available throughout New Jersey on Thanksgiving Day as well as before and after the holiday. We have pulled together a list of some of the opportunities available for volunteers and their families. You can also contact your local house of worship or your favorite charity for opportunities to volunteer your time.

Oheb Shalom South Orange, NJ

  • Oheb Kitchen – 11/18 – Help bake and cook items that will be used to feed the residents of Isaiah House and that will be served as part of Christine’s Kitchen free hot lunch program on Thanksgiving. Items to be made include apple pies, pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, green bean casserole, etc. Sign up here.
  • Thanksgiving Day – 11/22 – Make and pack brown bag lunches for 300 people in need, distributed through Project Kind. At Oheb Shalom from 10:00 – 11:30am. Sign up here.
  • Thanksgiving Day – 11/22 – Christine’s Kitchen is a free hot lunch program served weekly in the Guild Hall located in the lower part of the Holy Trinity Parish House. The number of guests served each week ranges from 75-100. Please help us with food prep, set up, serving, clean up and just trying to make the Holiday something special for those less fortunate. There will be 2 shifts (9:30 – 11:45 / 11:45 – 2:00), 10 people per shift. Sign up here.
  • Thanksgiving Day – 11/22 – Isaiah House is a shelter and food pantry offering temporary housing and services for homeless youth, adults and families. Isaiah House works diligently to ensure that families remain together rather than being separated in a time of need. Volunteers will help in the kitchen. There will be 2 shifts (11:00 – 12:30 / 12:30 – 3:00), 4 people per shift. Sign up here.


Community Foodbank of New Jersey – The Community FoodBank of New Jersey is hosting its 18th Annual Turkey Drive on November 17 and November 18. Donate turkeys, hams and other holiday trimmings at a site near you. For more info, call 908-355-3663 or go to Turkey Drive.

Atlantic City Rescue Mission – Volunteers are needed to help prepare food for the hundreds of meals that will be served on Thanksgiving Day. Sign up here.

Hoboken Shelter – Volunteers are welcome to help make the holidays a special time for guests of the shelter. Thanksgiving Day volunteers are asked to help with meals, socialize with guests and sort donations. All volunteers must register in advance and are asked to contribute items such as plates, cups, napkins, plastic utensils, coffee, sugar and milk. For more information click here and to register call 201-656-5069.

Salvation Army Spread good cheer on Thanksgiving or any day in November and December by signing up to ring the telltale Salvation Army bell! Spend four hours at an approved location and encourage the community to donate to this worthy cause. Applications are available online.

We wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!


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