Los Angeles Charities That Need Volunteers This Thanksgiving

It’s almost that time of the year when we all sit down and say what we’re thankful for before stuffing ourselves with a huge turkey feast. Actions speak louder than words, which is why volunteering your time and effort to the community and those who are in need is undeniably a more meaningful expression of gratitude.

Whether it’s a large commitment or a small gesture, there are countless ways we can share our blessings. If you find yourself in a fortunate position and want to help those in need, here’s a list of local charities that could use your time and effort this holiday season.

#1 Los Angeles Mission

The Los Angeles Mission aims to end the cycle of poverty and homelessness. Aside from providing meals, safe shelter, and hot showers, they offer a variety of services and programs that can help and assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness and addiction. 

With their annual Thanksgiving celebration, they serve more than 3,000 pounds of turkey, 600 pies, 700 pounds of mashed potatoes, and 800 pounds of green beans to those in need. Additionally, they give out tarps and blankets in preparation for colder months. As a volunteer, you may be asked to help with the following:

  • Food preparation, serving, and cleanup
  • Collect, organize, and distribute donations such as food, clothing, gifts, and hygiene items

Please keep in mind that all volunteers must be 16 years or older with an adult. If you’re ready to impact the lives of our friends and neighbors in the Skid Row area, click here.

#2 Gobble Gobble Give

Gobble Gobble Give is a non-profit organization that offers you the chance to make a real impact this Thanksgiving. Operating in countless cities across the country, they’ve been on a mission for more than 25 years, embodying the spirit of giving and the power of community action. They distribute essential toiletries and warm clothing to the homeless on top of feeding more people in more cities every year.

Aside from bringing a dish of warm food, helping hands are needed in the following areas:

  • Help with receiving food donations
  • Transport food to the kitchen or directly to those in need
  • Join fellow volunteers in assembling food and care boxes
  • Organize clothing donations.
  • Create essential toiletry kits from donated items
  • Create bags filled with water, clothes, warm blankets, and food
  • Personally deliver care packages to homeless individuals

By volunteering, you’re not only sharing a delicious Thanksgiving meal but also spreading kindness and hope to those who need it most. It’s a powerful opportunity to be part of a collective effort to make a change and a meaningful way to show gratitude for the blessings in your own life. Click here to volunteer or learn other ways to help.

#3 Meals on Wheels West Los Angeles

Volunteering at Meals on Wheels West Los Angeles this Thanksgiving is an amazing way to make a difference in the lives of home-bound individuals in our community. You can be one of the program’s dedicated volunteers who deliver meals to those who need them most, right to their doorstep.

They offer two nutritious meals per day, five days a week. If required, additional meals to cover the weekend are also available. Besides that, Meals on Wheels West LA provides a daily wellness check for their clients.

By lending a helping hand, you’re not only delivering a warm meal but also care and comfort to those who might be feeling isolated. To join them in spreading nourishment and kindness this holiday season, click here.

#4 Foothill Unity Center

Foothill Unity Center, for more than four decades, served as the primary provider of integrated services in the region that help families and individuals move out of poverty and reach economic stability. This season of gratitude and giving, they help over 2,000 households by delivering Thanksgiving food boxes, holiday food boxes, gifts for children and families, and hygiene kits, clothes, and more for the homeless.

Helping hands are needed with preparing and distributing Thanksgiving food boxes and fresh produce for those who are in need in Monrovia and Pasadena. Other than that, you can also volunteer for their ongoing weekdays at warehouse/food service or distribution days.

Your generous support, time, and effort bring hope and relief to thousands of neighbors in need. If you want to become a Foothill Unity Center Volunteer, click here.

#5 Union Station Homeless Services

Union Station Homeless Services has been serving our community for almost 50 years. This local charity is all about spreading kindness and love this Thanksgiving through their heartwarming annual event, the Dinner in the Park. 

They’re on a mission to provide meals to those who need them the most, including adults and families facing poverty, homeless individuals, senior citizens, and those who may find themselves alone during the holidays. You can be part of this meaningful tradition by volunteering with them. They offer a range of opportunities to contribute, from sorting and preparing food to cooking, packaging, and serving the meals.

Whether you share a warm sit-down lunch or dinner with those in need or lend a helping hand by assembling Thanksgiving meal boxes, this charity provides a purposeful way to give back to the community and make the holidays a little brighter for everyone. Click here to join their efforts and be part of their tradition.

#6 Food on Foot

Founded in 1996, Food on Foot is a nonprofit organization committed to helping low-income and unhoused individuals and families in Los Angeles. They provide nutritious meals, clothing, and opportunities for a fresh start through permanent housing, life-skill training, and full-time employment. Every Sunday, they distribute fresh produce, bottled water, hygiene products, and chicken meals to over 280 individuals in Hollywood.

What’s truly amazing is that last year, they distributed more than 20,000 warm meals. When you volunteer here, you’re not just giving out meals and supplies, you’re building a stronger community. It’s an experience for the whole family, as kids aged 6 and up are welcome to join.

Just make sure to sign up online, and for those under 18, bring a supervising adult. To check out their volunteer opportunities or sign up for their Thanksgiving service, click here.

A Few Final Suggestions…

Aside from volunteering, donating whenever and whatever you can is another wonderful way to make a meaningful impact. Whether that’s by collecting goods for your neighborhood food drive or delivering baked goods to those who work on Thanksgiving (animal shelter staff, firefighters, essential workers, etc.), there is never a gesture that’s too small. This Thanksgiving, let’s keep the tradition of giving alive and celebrate the holidays in a way that truly warms the heart.

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