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Five Ways to Give Thanks by Giving Back This Thanksgiving

Mile High United Way's Turkey Trot raised over $400,000 last year; volunteers are still needed for this year's race.
Mile High United Way's Turkey Trot raised over $400,000 last year; volunteers are still needed for this year's race. Brandon Marshall
Thanksgiving is a day of indulgence for most of us, and that's okay. After all, the purpose of the holiday is to celebrate our blessings. But before you enjoy the fruit of your labors, spare a few moments to do something for someone else, too — it's an even better way to appreciate the good things in your life. Here are five places you can volunteer during the days leading up to (and including) Turkey Day. Even if you can't make it out of the house to give your time and efforts, all of these organizations are accepting monetary donations as well. And if you really want to make a difference? Get involved year-round with an organization that speaks to your heart, and next year someone will be giving thanks for you.

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Turkey on the table at the Denver Rescue Mission.
Brandon Marshall
Denver Rescue Mission makes turkeys its mission every November with its Turkey on Every Table campaign. This year, the goal is to collect a whopping 15,000 birds — but how to handle 180,000 pounds of frozen poultry? Enter the Turkey Tossers. Volunteers are needed at the Lawrence Street Shelter, 1130 Park Avenue West, from Wednesday, November 15, to Wednesday, November 22, to load the fowl into trucks for distribution to churches, schools and nonprofit organizations around town. Go to denverrescuemission.org to sign up for a shift or to see what foodstuffs you can donate to the cause.


If you don't know who Daddy Bruce Randolph is, you're not definitely Denver born and bred. But that's okay; there's plenty of information about the onetime janitor turned barbecue pit master and philanthropist online, so you can educate yourself forthwith. And on Saturday, November 18, the most important thing to know about Randolph's legacy is that the Denver 2017 Feed-A-Family needs volunteers. The annual effort has grown from the days when Randolph opened his eatery to feed the hungry on Thanksgiving; it now distributes 350,000 pounds of food each year to over 35,000 families and seniors in need. The effort is so massive, in fact, that three city blocks near the Epworth Foundation, at 1865 Bruce Randolph Avenue, will be shut down starting at midnight to assemble food boxes. Volunteers are still needed to deliver food and fill in where needed. Go to epworthfoundation.org to sign up, or the effort's GoFundMe campaign to donate toward food costs.

For almost thirty years, Rosa Linda's Mexican Cafe in Highland hosted an annual Thanksgiving Feast for the Needy. When that restaurant shuttered, the Squeaky Bean took over the event, but now it has closed its doors as well. Not to worry, though: The longstanding Thanksgiving tradition is being carried on by Josh Olsen of ACRES at Warren Tech and Dana Rodriguez of Work & Class (2500 Larimer Street). Not only will Work & Class open its doors to the hungry, but meals will also be delivered to homes throughout the Denver area. Volunteers can donate their time prepping food from Saturday, November 18, though Tuesday, November 21, at Warren Tech High School, 1330 West Second Place in Lakewood, or hit the road as delivery drivers on Thanksgiving Day. Find out more and sign up to do your part at acreswarrentech.com. As in years past, plenty of other Denver chefs, restaurateurs and service-industry folks are giving their time and labor to make the event happen.

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Amy Antonation knows that street tacos are infinitely superior to tacos that come covered in squiggles of crema, and she will stab you with her knitting needles if you try to convince her otherwise.
Contact: Amy Antonation