Wondering how or where to volunteer on Thanksgiving in South Florida? To get through the holidays, hundreds and thousands of isolated senior citizens and families will need your support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, it’s time to be a good neighbor.
Here’s what you can do as a volunteer this holiday season.
10 Great Volunteering Opportunities
Meals on Wheels
Volunteers are almost always welcome at Meals on Wheels—especially on Thanksgiving and during the Christmas season. You have several volunteering options through Meals on Wheels:
Last year, over 500 OAA-funded Thanksgiving meals were delivered to senior citizens in the Miami area. The demand for home-delivered meals will surely increase this year, as will the demand for meal delivery volunteers. Set aside a couple of hours on Thanksgiving morning to help pack or safely deliver food to those within your community. You could very well save a life.
It doesn’t take much to become a volunteer, either: if you’ve got a valid driver’s license, car insurance, and a reliable form of transportation, you can apply. We recommend a vehicle large enough to transport several dozen pre-packaged meals, like a Honda Odyssey or Honda Pilot. Not only do they provide enough space, but they’re also fitted with tri-zone climate control, allowing you to keep food warm in the back while you keep cool in the front. You can even deliver big bags of dog or cat food for companion pets with the Pilot or Odyssey!
Sign up to volunteer at mowsoflo.org.
Friendly Visitors Program
Meals on Wheels’ Friendly Visitors Program aims to reduce the social isolation and feelings of loneliness or hopelessness plaguing the senior-citizen community. To accomplish this goal, program volunteers spend valuable time with socially isolated seniors, playing board or card games, solving jigsaw puzzles, reading or simply talking over a pot of coffee.
To learn more or request details about volunteering, visit their Friendly Visitors Program page.
Grocery Shopping Assistance
Shopping for groceries as an older individual was a challenge pre-COVID. Now? It’s far more difficult and certainly more dangerous. You can volunteer to pick up and deliver those groceries to the elderly or immunocompromised in your neighborhood.
Find out how to become a volunteer by clicking here.
Feeding South Florida
The Feeding South Florida organization provides nearly 100 million meals to local residents in need each year. Over 100 million pounds of food must be inspected, sorted and packaged before those meals can be distributed, which is a tall order. That’s why SFO is always calling on volunteers over the age of 12 to help during the holidays.
For more details, visit feedingsouthflorida.org/volunteer.
American Red Cross
Although Thanksgiving marks the end of hurricane season in Florida, the American Red Cross is asking for more volunteers than normal to support COVID-19 relief and emergency response efforts. Volunteer opportunities and positions include Shelter Service Associates and Supervisors, recruiters, IT professionals, drivers, and more.
Learn how to volunteer for the Red Cross in South Florida here.
Volunteers of LifeNet4Families serve the community in a variety of ways. They can work in the Community Kitchen, serving Thanksgiving meals to the hungry; prepare and deliver emergency food and rations through their Food Pantry; donate clothing and other hygiene necessities; and more.
To sign up as a volunteer, visit www.lifenet4families.org.
If you’ve lived in South Florida for a while, you may have heard of Broward County’s HandsOn volunteering program. Partnering with over 200 local nonprofits, HandsOn Broward provides dozens of opportunities and events for volunteers each week, including drive-thru food distributions, Habitat for Humanity construction projects, and even horse rescues.
View the volunteer calendar and sign up at handsonbroward.org.
Hope South Florida
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hope South Florida saw a 240% surge in demand for their services. That equates to over 9,000 hot meals and 500 showers through their mobile showers program. They and their clients are in desperate need of donations, sponsors, and volunteers for Thanksgiving Day meal preparation and distribution. Do your part to help if you’re able!
Head to hopesouthflorida.org for additional details.
Area Agency on Aging of Broward County
Volunteering through the AAA of Broward County is a perfect way to give back during COVID-19. As a volunteer, you’ll be providing telephonic support to the elderly through the agency’s ConnectingWithU program. There’s no need to risk a visit or, in many cases, even leave your home.
Click here to join the ConnectingWithU Telephone Reassurance Program as a volunteer.
Branches South Florida
The Branches program in South Florida is in need of volunteers for their Thanksgiving Meal Delivery program as an estimated 5,000 people throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties will be receiving meals. Volunteers will help by packaging and/or delivering meals throughout Thanksgiving morning.
Registration begins soon. Visit branchesfl.org for details.
About South Florida Honda Dealers
With various Honda dealerships in the Miami region, we’re always striving to make our communities stronger and safer. To learn more about how we’re keeping our customers protected and helping those in need during these challenging times, find and contact your nearest South Florida Honda Dealers location.