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Places to volunteer and donate to those in need on Thanksgiving

SALT LAKE CITY – In every corner of Utah, people are working to improve the lives of families struggling through the holidays.

Thousands of Thanksgiving meals have been distributed to families in need across the state, but every organization needs help and many have creative ways in which people can get involved.

Those helping the less fortunate, from Logan to Heber, from Park City to St. George, said their needs are great this year as inflation hits so many Utah families.

“We’re definitely seeing increased demand,” said Linda Stay of Switchpoint. “Our pantry has grown from 300-400 families a week to 500-700 families. The soup kitchen has seen the same increase: up 27%. These are people who have never needed help before. Our shelter is also at full capacity and people have to be turned away.”

In Ogden, the lantern house has a great opportunity with their “miracle on the 33rd” Program where residents can sponsor a homeless family or child for the holidays.

For those in the Salt Lake Valley who are available Tuesday morning, MOSAIC InterFaith Ministries is organizing a Thanksgiving dinner giveaway. Volunteers are asked to show up at 8am where they will organize boxes containing everything a family will need for a full holiday meal.

“We will serve at least 400 households, and that equates to approximately 2,000 people. And really, every person who serves feels really good,” said Dr. Leslie Whited, CEO of MOSAIC InterFaith Ministries.

Tabitha’s way in Utah County, families at their locations will provide for both American Fork and Spanish Fork pantries. Volunteers will find a page with kit ideas from children’s Christmas stockings to newborn necessities.

Below are some other organizations in Utah that welcome volunteers:

  • Cache Community Food Pantry – Giving meals Tuesday and Wednesday. All volunteer spots are filled, but they’re still accepting donations, and their website lists ideas for creative donations.
  • Lantern House/St. Anne’s Center – Volunteers are always welcome with lunch service between 11:15am – 1:30pm and dinner service between 4:45pm – 7:00pm
  • Middle stage Heber Valley – Those interested in volunteering can sign up at the Park City and Heber pantry and thrift store website.
  • switching point – Various donations are needed including towels, washcloths, blankets, paper towels, toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes, foil pans, to-go containers, disposable forks, bowls, cups, gift cards and bus tickets.

For more volunteer opportunities across the country, see United Way website.

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