November 26, 2013
Thanksgiving will always be one of the key holidays within everyone’s heart. It is the season of good harvest and coming together as a family to celebrate America’s history. It has also become the season of giving back. According to USA Today, in 2012 there were still well over 600,000 people who were homeless throughout our country. Some of them right in our backyards. With all of this holiday cheer filling our hearts more and more everyday, why not focus our love and care to people who need it throughout the holiday season? Here are some local charities in the South Coast that are giving back for Thanksgiving. These charities welcome love and support from everyone and would appreciate volunteers who are willing to bring joy to people who are less fortunate.
A great way to raise money for food pantries while being active during the holiday is by participating in Fairhaven’s Turkey Trot 5k! The race is organized by the Fairhaven High School Class of 1999 and will start at 8a.m on November 28, Thanksgiving morning. It is a 5k which equals out to be around 3.1 miles. The race starts at Cushman park on Bridge Street and goes straight down to Fort Phoenix. There will be Fairhaven police to make sure all volunteers will be safe while crossing major intersections and as well as Turkey Trot volunteers to guard the minor roads. You can register online now until November 24. You can register in person on November 26 from 4p.m to 8p.m. That is when everyone who has already signed up will be picking up their numbers and t-shirts. You can also try to sign up on Thanksgiving morning between 7 to 7:45 a.m but supplies of numbers and t-shirts will be limited. Tickets are $20 for adults, $25 starting November 20 and youths (12 and under) will always be $10. The Fairhaven Turkey Trot has raised over 15,000 of canned goods to support local shelters so sign up for a great cause that is great family fun!
Mercy Meals and More is one of the many shelters in the greater New Bedford region that supplies breakfast, clothing, books and temporary emergency shelter. They are a full year round organization and are always taking donations. All breakfast meals are free and a donation box is available for anyone who is able to make a contribution. They have an average of 100 meals that are served each day that cost around $3.00 per meal. They are a ministry that strives to meet the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of the homeless community. They appreciate any form of volunteer time, especially during the holiday seasons. If you would like to donate or volunteer for Mercy Meals and More, contact Reverend Russ Chamberlain.
The American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts will open their food pantries and distribute food to clients on Thursday from 1p.m to 6p.m in New Bedford. They are one of the most diverse service organizations in America and focus on 181 cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts. They are the largest food pantry in New England and also provide emergency shelter. 95% of their workforce are volunteers, so during this Thanksgiving season, it is very important to them and the 4.9 million residents they serve, that they have enough staff to get everyone food for the holiday. They are located on Kempton Street, so come on down to volunteer!
There will also be specific charities and food pantries designed for the elderly in Marion and Dartmouth. Dartmouth’s Council of Aging is running low for their food pantry and are seeking donations. The COA food pantry is available for all Dartmouth residents and they are open Monday through Friday from 8:30a.m to 4p.m. They will be providing a free homemade turkey dinner on Thanksgiving day. They will have coffee and pastries at 9:30 a.m and the dinner is served at 12:00p.m. For any homebound elders, the COA are available for home deliveries.
Marion’s Council of Aging will also have a Thanksgiving dinner to all tri-town elders on November 24. Old Rochester Regional Junior High students will be providing the dinners and all the tickets are free. Just like Dartmouth’s, all homebound elders will have their meals delivered.
A great place to volunteer or donate to would be to your local Salvation Army. For New Bedford, you can contact the Salvation Army if you have any items you would like to donate. They are especially looking for volunteers during Thanksgiving for their food pantry. Also, Saint Anthony’s of Padua Church, just like almost any local church, will have their food pantry open during the holiday season. Each church will have different days and times for their food pantries to open but Saint Anthony’s is every Thursday from 12p.m to 1:30p.m, alongside their soup kitchen. It is very important that the local community can volunteer and especially donate to Saint Anthony’s food pantry.
Recently, on November 15th, someone broke into Saint Anthony’s food cooler that stored all their food for their pantry. There was extensive damage to the door and over $400 to $500 dollars worth of food that was stolen. They ask if anyone in the community might know something about this crime, to contact the police department at 508-961-4584 immediately. Saint Anthony’s food pantry has always been a huge part of the hungry and homeless community in New Bedford so during this critical Thanksgiving season, they ask for food donations and any information you might have about this terrible crime.
The best way to donate to local charities is to find a cause that you are passionate about and volunteer or donate as much as you can! Thanksgiving is the holiday for being together and giving and believe me, nothing could be more joyous than giving to those who need it most. So don’t forget to check in with the New Bedford Travel Guide for any further charities during the holiday season!
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