Giving Back in Indy this Thanksgiving
Community Things to Do

Giving Back in Indy this Thanksgiving

This year, how about thinking about volunteering on Thanksgiving?  I know – so many things to be done to prepare for your own Thanksgiving-palooza, but hear me out.  Volunteering on Thanksgiving can be the start of a whole new family tradition. Below, we have listed a few ways that you and your family can volunteer on Thanksgiving.  What a better way to show that you are grateful than giving back to your community?

  • Mozel Sanders – It would be an understatement to say that Mozel Sanders has a large presence in Indy on Thanksgiving.  They serve 35,000 meals. This local foundation needs over 2,000 volunteers to make their annual Thanksgiving tradition happen.  They distribute meals from Butler University and 39 satellite locations to the, “elderly, medically confined, and needy.” At this time, they are still looking for drivers, truck unloaders, and those willing to clean-up.
  • Meals on Wheels – Meals on Wheels is a pretty fantastic organization in that it delivers two meals per day to those in need five days a week.  All added up, Meals on Wheels distributes more than 500 meals every day to seniors, those with disabilities, and those with chronic illness.  This year, Meals on Wheels is giving away turkeys with dressing and vegetables. Be sure to check their website for additional details and ways that you can help.
  • Good Samaritan Network – Good Samaritan Network has several ways for you to serve this Thanksgiving.  In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, volunteers can distribute food boxes and baskets to those in need within Hamilton County.  The actual day of Thanksgiving, Good Samaritan Network is serving a sit-down meal in their three Hamilton County locations and distributing meals to those who cannot travel.  Be sure to check their website to see how you can help!
  • Plainfield Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner – Every year, Plainfield Christian Church hosts a Plainfield Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner.  The event, occurring from 11am-2pm, is hosted at Hummel Park. This year, volunteer spots are filling up quickly, so be sure to check their website for openings.  Of course, you can always to reach out to them directly at their Thanksgiving email ( to see how you can help.
  • Feast of Plenty Community Outreach – This wonderful community event is in its 13th year and takes place yearly at the Hancock County 4-H Fairgrounds.  This year, Feast of Plenty Community Outreach is offering four ways that individuals can give back: volunteering, donating food items, sponsoring a turkey, and donating financially.  Additional details about each of these opportunities can be found on their website, here:
  • Gleaners Food Bank – Gleaners Food Bank has quite a presence in Indiana.  It works with over 240 agencies and 21 counties in Indiana to distribute food to those in need.  In Indianapolis, they distribute food through their Community Cupboard, designed to feel like a grocery store.  Though they have no official Thanksgiving Day event, those interested can volunteer at any time throughout the week.  We simply could not fail to include Gleaners on our list!
  • Johnson County Thanksgiving Banquet – In a nutshell, Johnson County Thanksgiving Banquet is, “families, friends, neighbors, church groups, and businesses all work[ing] together to feed hungry guests on Thanksgiving Day.”   This event is still looking for more volunteers the day of Thanksgiving, specifically in serving. Can’t serve on Thanksgiving? They are also looking for turkey preppers the day before.
  • Watkins Family Annual Thanksgiving Dinner – This is the 37th year of the Watkins Family Annual Thanksgiving Dinner.  The event was originally started as a way to feed neighbors in the near Northside of Indianapolis.  The event has evolved over the years from a small group of volunteers to an army of volunteers, distributing over 10,000 meals to hungry residents each year.  To volunteer or donate, simply call (317)709-0984 or (317)361-5149.
  • St. Luke’s United Methodist Church – St. Luke’s United Methodist Church will be serving a Thanksgiving meal from 11am-1pm in their Great hall.  One great part of this event is that they have numerous cooking shifts in the days preceding Thanksgiving. Volunteers are always needed, so be sure to check their website here for more details:

Of course, be sure to check each of these organizations’ websites for details about volunteering.  We hope to see you at one of these wonderful places this Thanksgiving!


Want to serve, but think that Thanksgiving still would not work for you and your family?  Be on the lookout for an article highlighting food pantries in Indiana later in the week. There are always numerous ways to serve your local community!