It’s the holiday season. It’s the time of year to reflect on what we’re thankful for: families, friends, food, shelter, and everything else this year’s fortune has brought. It’s also time to think about how we can give back. Food banks and a 5K and half-marathon are only two of the ways you can volunteer, fill bellies, and get to know the community better this year. Here are our top 5 ways to give back this Thanksgiving.
1. Freestore Foodbank 2019 Holiday Distribution
The Freestore Foodbank will distribute a medium-sized box of groceries and one meat item this Thanksgiving and holiday season. On November 25 and 26, food will be distributed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can donate food during those times and on November 27 from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Or, if you choose to volunteer, you will can pack food boxes, sort donations, and get to know community members. You can donate food without volunteering or visa versa—any effort counts.
Freestore Foodbank, Customer Connection Center, 112 E. Liberty St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 241-1064
2. Fall Feast 2019
For over 10 years, Fall Feast has been Give Back Cincinnati’s staple holiday event that provides people with a hot Thanksgiving meal. If you choose to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day, you can work in the kitchen, as a server, or get to know a guest and share the meal with them. Each volunteer position has varying hours, but doors open at 9 a.m. and dinner is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Most volunteer positions require you to be 18 or over, but you can share a meal or help clean up at any age.
Fall Feast, Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., downtown.
3. Cincinnati Hungry Turkey Half-Marathon and 5K
You can volunteer at the Cincinnati Hungry Turkey Half Marathon and 5K on Saturday, Nov. 30. Help at the water stations, course marshaling, or at registration, and recieve a free t-shirt. If you want to burn off some of those Thanksgiving calories, you can register for the race and donate to the event’s charity, Whole Again, which helps feed at-risk children. Added incentive to run the race? There will be Holtman’s Donuts waiting at the finish line.
Otto Armleder Memorial Park & Recreation Complex, 5057 Wooster Pike, Linwood, (224) 757-5425
4. Spring Grove’s 5th Annual Giving Tree
Starting Nov. 21, visitors of Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum can pick an ornament from the Giving Tree in the Rose Garden Gazebo. Each ornament will have a gift listed on it for you to purchase and drop off at the Spring Grove Customer Service Center by Dec. 13. These items include hats, gloves, mops, detergent, blankets, and children’s toys, but it’s up to you as to what you would like to contribute. It’s a simple way to give back and help spread holiday cheer.
Spring Grove Cemetery, 4521 Spring Grove Ave., Spring Grove Village, (513) 681-7526
5. 13 Below Brewery Holiday Donation Collection
Running until Dec. 20, 13 Below Brewery is holding a daily collection of holiday donations from patrons new and old. Former taproom helper Emily Seibel, organizer of the collection, will be taking donations and assembling care packages for the local homeless population. You can bring in bars of soap, scarves, band aids, cough drops, non-perishable food, and much more to the brewery to receive $1 off your first beer. Give back and drink up.
13 Below Brewery, 7391 Forbes Rd., Sayler Park, (513) 975-0613