This time of year brings families together to celebrate, but not everyone is so lucky as to be able to celebrate this season. If you would like to donate your services or a make a contribution to one of the following well-respected and organized holiday helpers, they are registering volunteers now. These organizations have a long history of matching giving volunteers to assignments that greatly benefit the surrounding Los Angeles area and bring even more warmth to families during the holidays.
Food on Foot
1625 N. Schrader Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Price: $100 adults/$100 children
Hours: Nov. 22, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Food on Foot has humble beginnings. Jay Goldinger started by simply handing out meals from the trunk of his car to the homeless. These efforts have grown into a non-profit organization that now feeds more than 250 people each week. This Thanksgiving, volunteers can aid low-income and homeless families by volunteering to distribute a Thanksgiving meal. Volunteers and their donations will benefit these populations by providing them with a sleeping bag, nutritious meal and bus tokens. Food on Foot has coordinated this event for the last 15 years, and each year it is a success. All parties that are interested in attending must register in advance on Food on Foot’s website. Families can also donate clothing or money. All of the proceeds go toward purchasing food or gifts cards to buy groceries for families. Members of Food on Foot’s $98 and $225 clubs do not have to pay any additional charges to volunteer at this event. Food on Foot is asking that volunteers fill out volunteer form online.
Fred Jordan Missions
445 Towne Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Hours: Nov. 22, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fred Jordan Missions has been providing food and other needed resources to the United States and all over the world by founding orphanages, schools, missions and hospitals to care for the needy. To be a part of this effort to help those in need, join the Fred Jordan Missions’ Thanksgiving Street Banquet. It is a wonderful experience that will benefit thousands of people. Members of the community will come together to feed thousands of homeless people for this holiday celebration. Families with few resources will be served a hearty turkey dinner with meal sides and refreshments. Volunteers help make this annual event successful by working as greeters, helping set up, assist with preparing meals, and clean up. Volunteers can take a morning or afternoon shift.
Los Angeles Mission
303 E. 5th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Hours:Nov. 21, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The 2012 Thanksgiving Celebration hosted by Los Angeles Mission is another fabulous occasion to dedicate efforts to. Well-known celebrities and public officials join forces to supply food and other basic necessities for families that are struggling financially. Thanks to Los Angeles Mission, Wells Fargo and volunteers, men, women and children can enjoy a healthy meal, listen to holiday music, be surrounded by caring people and receive hygiene products, blankets and other assistance. Volunteers must sign up in advance. There is a limited availability.
World Impact Los Angeles
2001 S. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Hours: Dec. 1, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For a unique holiday volunteer opportunity, link up with World Impact Los Angeles as it celebrates Christmas by driving charter buses filled with families from Los Angeles to the Oaks camp. At this event there will be games, arts and crafts, hay rides, and adventure activities for groups to enjoy together. To top it off, holiday meals are included with all of the trimmings. Families will be given handmade crafts and a food basket. Volunteers help lead craft stations, prepare snack bags, serve in the kitchen, assist in adventure activities for teens, clean up, and stock and prepare cookies and hot chocolate. For those who are in the giving spirit, financial donations to cover the expense of the charter buses are being accepted as well.
Santa Monica Venice Christmas Run
2600 Barnard Way
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Hours: Dec. 8, 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Santa Monica Venice Christmas Run is an event not to miss. It is Los Angeles’ largest holiday running event. This event is fun because runners can wear their favorite holiday outfits and compete in a costume contest and it’s open to even the little ones. Dogs are allowed to be a part of the race as well. Participants will be running through Venice and on the Venice boardwalk to Santa Monica to raise money for the Harvest Home. Harvest Home provides housing for pregnant mothers and their children in the Venice area. This organization has been operating for more than 35 years, and it’s filled with fellowship, high spirits and fun. Help is needed with late registration, volunteer check-in, water-station assistance, starting-line help, chip removal, food and drink supplies, a Santa Claus, shirt distribution and festival activities.
Cassandra Bautista is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.