Local nonprofits say they have enough volunteers for Thanksgivin - KPTV - FOX 12

Local nonprofits say they have enough volunteers for Thanksgiving dinner

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

This may sound a little backwards, but many local nonprofits tell FOX 12 that they don’t need help serving dinner on Thanksgiving. 

As it turns out, Thanksgiving and even Christmas are the two days of the year that many organizations don’t need to worry about drawing in volunteers. 

FOX 12 called Portland’s Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, the Union Gospel Mission and a few churches and found out that they all have more than enough help for Thursday’s big dinner. 

In fact, Meals on Wheels told FOX 12 that volunteer spots were filled up a month ago. The Union Gospel Mission said its volunteer list was booked by early October, and it’s already running out of volunteer spots for Christmas.

So, if you were thinking of popping in somewhere to volunteer on Thanksgiving, you may want to think twice. 

Organizers said the huge one-day rush on Thanksgiving Day can be tough to organize. Many charities do considerable prep work and planning for turkey day. All the newcomers can make that process hectic and puts too many cooks in the kitchen. 

"We have to pre-plan this. So calling the day of and saying, ‘Hey, I want to come down’ … it’s like the Super Bowl, there's logistics, it's like a battle, we have to put everyone in their place. If you're thinking about it, think about it in October. Don't lose that impulse to volunteer just because you couldn't get in on one day,” said Stacey Kean with the Union Gospel Mission.

Sadly, organizers of many nonprofits said this is not a problem during the rest of the year. Organizers said the real need for support is when the craziness of the holiday season comes to a close. Many programs especially need help during the summer. 

So if you’re a bit of a procrastinator but still want to help out, instead of showing up at a soup kitchen, mark other days on your calendar throughout the year to help. Try calling smaller organizations, your local community center or church. 

Also, many Portland organizations FOX 12 spoke with are still in need of blankets, jackets and warm clothing.

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