Ways to give back during Thanksgiving

Jackson Jones

Thanksgiving is a holiday that many people celebrate to appreciate what they have. It’s the perfect time to give back to the community as well, considering how many people in Louisville lack basic necessities. Fortunately, there are various organizations that you can contribute to in order to help fight this issue.

IRAP Donation Drive

IRAP’s donation box can be found in center hall. (Jackson Jones)

Directly at Manual, the Immigrant and Refugee Assistance Program is accepting donations of winter clothes throughout November and December. They’re accepting items like gloves, long sleeve shirts, jackets, pants, and hats. To donate, there is a box located at center hall and is pictured to the right.

Dare to Care

Dare to Care is a Kentuckiana-based food bank that is a perfect organization to support during this time. According to their website, they “provided 21.7 million meals to our community” last year.  

There are a variety of ways that people can get involved with Dare to Care. They have a Community Kitchen program that helps feed the less fortunate. These kitchens dot the region and offer multiple shifts, allowing flexibility for service hours. There’s multiple different roles to choose from, many of which don’t require any special culinary skills. 

They also have temporary pop-up food vendors like Mobile Pantries and Markets which travel to different neighborhoods that are considered food deserts. The Mobile Pantries have volunteers pass out food and shoppers to deliver food to the pantry. The Mobile Markets are large trucks filled with various food items, which need volunteers to assist shoppers. 

Additionally, there’s positions available to volunteer in their warehouse where they sort the food donations they receive. Shifts usually last 2-3 hours. 

Patrons may also donate money or food to the organization, so even people who don’t have much available time can still help out. 

Bellewood and Brooklawn

Bellewood and Brooklawn is a joint foster care organization that supports the youth of Louisville, especially those who weren’t given the best start in life. They have two locations in Louisville and one in Bowling Green. The locations include facilities like on-site schooling and Private Child Care.

One way to support the children at Bellewood and Brooklawn is by donating gifts listed on their wishlist. Gifts include toys, clothes and other essential items like sheets, pillows and microwave meals. Direct monetary donations are also welcome and could even be done as monthly payments. 

Of course if someone isn’t able to contribute financially, then volunteering is also an option. Volunteering pportunities include helping with blanket drives and assisting with their Thanksgiving dinner.  

Senior Nutrition Program

As a part of the Meals on Wheels organization, the Senior Nutrition Program helps provide seniors (ages 60 years or older) who are unable to leave their home with meals. They deliver food from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Patrons can donate, and all information about donations can be found here. These donations are essential to the program and allow them to continue feeding more of the community. 

Additionally, people are able to volunteer to physically bring the meals to the seniors. Not only does this service provide the homebound elderly with a reliable source of food, but it also gives them much appreciated social interaction. 

These are just a few examples of how to help make a difference during this time, but there are many other programs to help the community across Louisville as well. Overall, giving back to the community is a large part of the holiday season and is vital to the wellbeing of the city. Without volunteers and contributors, many people would spend the holidays without the essentials they deserve.