Columbus volunteers needed to help serve Thanksgiving meals

If you’re looking to volunteer during the holiday season, there are several organizations that could use your help.

Neil Richardson, executive director of Safe House Ministries, said Thanksgiving is a great time to serve.

“The holidays bring out a special spirit in people, so we see a lot more people that want to help during the holidays than normal,” he said. “The need also increases during that time. I think more people who may not be homeless but may be hurting, surface, because they know there is going to be more help available.”

Richardson said volunteering at Safe House and other agencies — rather than on your own as a church or family — makes it easier to get people the help they need.

“These are locations that not only will provide an emergency meal for someone that’s hungry, but they also have the resources and training to hook them up with solutions,” he said. “So, instead of just meeting the ‘I’m hungry right now’ need, we also have the ability of working with them should they have that need going forward.”

Looking for ways to help? Here are some organizations seeking volunteers and donations over the Thanksgiving holiday:

  • Safe House, 2101 Hamilton Road: Richardson said the agency will serve Thanksgiving breakfast from 7 to 8 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. About 10 to 15 volunteers are needed, especially around lunchtime.
  • The Liberty Theatre, 813 8th Ave.: A meal will be served on Thanksgiving Day, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers are needed starting 2 p.m. on Wednesday for set-up, and starting from 9:30 a.m. Thursday for additional preparations. The organization is also accepting donations of food and gently-used clothing. To donate, call 706-653-7566.
  • Salvation Army, 1718 2nd Ave.: A Thanksgiving lunch will be served the day before Thanksgiving, from 11 to 2 p.m. No additional volunteers are needed. However, the organization is accepting Red Kettle donations. The kettle fund-raising began Nov. 18 at local businesses, said Captain Josh Hinson
  • Valley Rescue Mission, 2903 Second Ave.: Thanksgiving day will start with an 11 a.m. chapel service. Dinner will be served in the dining hall at noon to approximately 1,000 men, women and children. At Damascus Way, a women and children's shelter, volunteers will deliver about 200 to 300 meals to elderly shut-ins in the community. No more volunteers are needed for Thanksgiving, but the organization is recruiting for Christmas. For more information, call 706-322-8267 or go to http://www.valleyrescuemission.org./

Alva James-Johnson: 706-571-8521, @amjreporter