Pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and turkey for Thanksgiving dinner are available to the less fortunate, thanks to the many volunteers in Madison.
"Everyone can relate to Thanksgiving and being able to eat with their families," says Lisa Jacob, assistant director at the Atwood Community Center. "Volunteers want to make that happen for others."
The center's Thanksgiving Basket Program distributes food to about 1,000 needy families at St. Bernard's Catholic Church, 2450 Atwood Ave. The baskets are being distributed this week, as supplies allow. More than 150 volunteers will take part in the effort.
"We have all the help we need," Jacob says, "People start signing up at the end of October."
A few other Thanksgiving programs, however, still need volunteers on Thursday to deliver meals, cook and otherwise help out on Thanksgiving meal programs for the poor and elderly. Among them:
- First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1609 University Ave., is hosting a dinner starting at 11:30 a.m. Help is especially need toward the end, between 2:30 and 5 p.m. For more info, call 233-9751.
- Neighborhood House hosts a dinner at Parkside Apartments, 2234 Luann Lane, in the community room. The dinner will be held from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. For more info, call 255-5337.
- New Beginnings Alliance Church is hosting a meal at the Fitchburg Community Center, 5510 Lacy Rd. The meal is from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more info, call Eileen at 241-9632.
- Alliance for Animals puts on a vegan dinner at the Wilmar Center, 953 Jenifer St. The group is looking for volunteers from 3 p.m.-9 p.m. for dinner and clean-up. For more info, call 441-2457.
Aside from meal opportunities, the Technology Education Foundation is holding its Berbee Derby fundraiser, a 10K run/5K walk, on Thanksgiving Day from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Volunteers are needed at water stations, registration tables, and more. Prospective volunteers can call (888)337-2978.
Volunteer opportunities throughout the year can be found online from the United Way.