Seven ways to give back this holiday season

feeding nyc
You can help Feeding NYC feed plenty of families for Thanksgiving, but that’s not all you can do. via Facebook

A few Thursdays from now, the country comes together to stuff its face. Do you really need a fried turkey the size of a small child? Of course you do – along with at least two sides per guest. But while you’re busy eating a few years off your life, remember that there’s people in our community who struggle to get by everyday. Give back the next two weeks by donating your time or money to these seven events and charities.

DOROT Thanksgiving Meal Delivery
DOROT needs some Thanksgiving Santa Clauses to deliver a Thanksgiving meal and a Chanukah gift to New York elderly November 23 between 10am and 11:30am. After you drop off their food and gifts, you will have an hour to spend with them. It’s only in Manhattan, but all the cool stories you’ll here from your visit will be well worth the trip. Preregister here before November 17.

Greenpointers 3rd Annual Soup Bowl Fundraiser
Greenpointers is hosting their 3rd Annual Soup Bowl Fundraiser on November 23 between 3pm and 5pm at Eat (124 Meserole Avenue). Your $25 ticket gets you a bowl of soup from The Splendid Spoon, a handmade bowl by local artists, and beer from Brooklyn Brewery. 100% of the money made off tickets will go to the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry. Buy tickets here.

Feeding NYC
Give a donation or volunteer at Feeding NYC, an organization that arranges and delivers Thanksgiving meals to families in need. They have delivered over 35,000 Thanksgiving dinners in the past 13 years. Buy a Thanksgiving meal box for $35, or if you prefer a more hands on approach, volunteer to assemble or deliver the packages November 25. If you really want to be awesome, you can always do both. Donate or sign up to volunteer here.

Neighbors Together 30 Thanksgivings
Feeling ambitious? Bed-Stuy soup kitchen Neighbors Together wants you and your friends to sponsor one of the 30 lunches or dinners served between Thanksgiving and Christmas during their month long 30 Thanksgivings. An entire meal served to over 200 people will run around $800, so start badgering your coworkers and donate as a group. They’ll send you a photo for your fridge of all the people you helped, and you can reserve a spot to volunteer for the meal you sponsored. You can also give smaller donations individually. Contact the volunteer coordinator by emailing volunteer [AT] or call (718)498-7526 for more information. 

CAMBA 500 Turkeys for 500 Families
Donate a turkey, or four, to CAMBRA’s 500 Turkeys for 500 Families. $30 buys a family of six a turkey and all the traditional sides that make Thanksgiving so great. They even throw in a roasting pan. Check out CAMBRA’s Indiegogo campaign to submit donations before November 28. They have only raised 20% of their $15,000 goal so you still have plenty of opportunity to make a difference.

New York Cares Coat Drive
If you’re brave enough to leave the house on Black Friday, take advantage of all those deals to buy yourself a new winter coat. Then clean out your closet and donate your gently used ones to the New York Cares coat drive. The drive goes from November 17 until the end of December. You can drop off your coats either at the New York Cares Coat Drive Warehouse (157 West 31st Street) during the week between 9am and 4pm or at various other local collection sites that will be announced the 17th.

Doctors Without Borders benefits
Ebola is still a thing, and the brave people at Doctors Without Borders freely give up their holiday to fight it. They works hard year round to provide medical care to crisis-struck communities around the world. Here are two ways to thank them this season.

Support Doctors Without Borders by hanging out at Skylark (477 Fifth Avenue) which is donating 10% of total weekend sales (including food) to the organization until the end of November.  And once your folks get in to town for Thanksgiving, bring all of them over for drinks too. The 14 beers on tap will even please your family’s token beer snob.

If you’re feeling really fancy and charitable, come out for the Doctors Without Borders West African Relief Benefit Show November 19 at 6:30pm at Irving Plaza (17 Irving Place) with performances by Fred Armisen, David Cross, Regina Spektor, Jack Dishel, Ted Leo and many others. All ticket sales will go towards Doctors Without Borders, so buy your ticket here for the $60 general admission or the $110 VIP ticket that includes an invite to a fancy after-party sponsored by restaurateur Ken Friedman of The Spotted Pig. It’s a decent chunk of change, but it’s easier than giving the same amount to DWB by spending $600 at Skylark.