120615-N-CI293-036 BALTIMORE (June 15, 2012) Navy Counselor 1st Class Louie Beasley and other Sailors assigned to USS Constitution prepare lunch for guests of Our Daily Bread Employment Center, a charitable feeding facility of Catholic Charities, during Baltimore Navy Week 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Communications Specialist Susan Hammond/Released)

It’s almost the holidays. How can you help?

Worry not. Billy Penn has collected several organizations specifically in need of volunteers on Thanksgiving and others who need them throughout the holiday season. And remember: While volunteers are certainly needed around Thanksgiving and the holidays, they’re also needed throughout the rest of the year. So consider these organizations in the new year as well.

Want your organization listed? Hit us up via email [tips(at)billypenn(dot)com], on Twitter or on Facebook.

Arms of Alpha Service Program

What: Sort donations or serve food, or donate clothing and toiletries.

Where: North Broad YMCA at 1400 N. Broad Street

When: Thursday, Nov. 26

How to get involved: Show up on Thanksgiving Day for the 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. shift or the 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift. For more info, email contactus@odlchapter.com.  

Coalition Against Hunger and partners

What: Serve a holiday meal or help out dozens of food pantries and churches in other ways they need it.

Where: Various churches and community centers throughout Philadelphia

When: Many opportunities on Thanksgiving, as well as the days before and the weeks after, leading into Christmas.

How to get involved: A list of more than 20 places seeking volunteers for Thanksgiving and the holiday season is right here. Contact numbers are given for all locations, and Coalition Against Hunger recommends you call in advance to reserve a spot and to make sure volunteers are still needed.

The Coalition Against Hunger is also always looking for volunteers to help with administrative work, such as counseling people over the phone on how they can use SNAP benefits.

Manna PA

What: Get involved in Manna PA’s “Pie in the Sky” program by helping distribute pies the week of Thanksgiving,  staffing a pie pickup center, deliver meals on Thanksgiving Day or staff Manna PA’s kitchen.   

Where: Manna PA is located at 2323 Ranstead Street

When: Thanksgiving and the days and weeks preceding and following it

How to get involved: Call Michael Rowlands at 215-496-2662 x 110. Check here for more info about the “Pie In the Sky” program.


What: Help an organization that tries to feed the hungry of Philadelphia.

Where: Various locations

When: Various dates in late November/December

How to get involved: Thanksgiving and the days preceding it are booked full with volunteers, but plenty will be needed throughout the holiday season. Check out Philabundance’s calendar for opportunities. The Dec. 1 “Camp Out for Hunger” event at XFinity Live! is especially in need of volunteers.

United Way and partners

What: Wrap gifts, serve meals, spend time with kids or donate

Where: Various locations throughout Philadelphia

When: Many opportunities on Thanksgiving, as well as the days before and the weeks after, leading into Christmas

How to get involved: The United Way has partnered with numerous other organizations and displays more than 20 looking for holiday season volunteers here. Each organization has a listing of how many volunteers it needs and provides more information about the type of volunteering or donations it is looking for.

The Veterans Group Thanksgiving Project

What: Serve a meal to Philadelphia veterans at a group home.

Where: 3209 Baring Street in West Philly

When: Wednesday, Nov. 25

How to get involved: Sign up here on EventBrite. You can also email Jose Martinez at jmartinez@theveteransgroup.org. Volunteers are still needed for the early shifts on Nov. 25.

Mark Dent is a reporter/curator at BillyPenn. He previously worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he covered the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State football and the Penn State administration. His...