JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In the spirit of the First Coast, we want to help you give back to the place we all call home.
The On Your Side team has compiled meaningful ways you can volunteer and give something back on or around Thanksgiving Day.
Meals on Wheels needs volunteers to help assemble meals on Thanksgiving morning. They are doing a big Thanksgiving Day meal delivery to 500 homes across Duval County.
The Meals and the volunteers will benefit people like Martha Surrency during the holiday.
"They've got the good Lord working for them!" Surrency said with a smile. "They're just great people, to do that."
Spokesperson Tourea Robinson said Meals On Wheels lost $180,000 in city funds in October, forcing them to lay off 100 people.
To volunteer call 904-807-1320
The Trinity Rescue Mission says it needs your help. It is booked for Thanksgiving for volunteering, but they need a lot of other things.
It is planning on feeding 1,000 people at its downtown Jacksonville facility on Thanksgiving Day.
The facility needs 25 turkeys, hundreds of canned goods and is also in desperate need of winter clothing and toiletries.
"Thinking about it myself, I'm just extremely grateful that people would care enough to help out," Trinity Rescue Mission resident, Joel Hayes said.
They're located at 622 W. Union Street in downtown Jacksonville.
Another way you can give back is by volunteering your home. Invite someone over for your Thanksgiving meal.
Maybe a friend or neighbor or someone who doesn't have family here on the First Coast.
The City Rescue Mission needs clean, unused men's and women's socks to give away during their Thanksgiving celebration.
You can bring those socks to the City Rescue Mission on Wednesday. Their address is 234 West State Street in downtown Jacksonville.
Habitat for Humanity's Jacksonville office has Friday and Saturday volunteer spots open at the retail store at 5800 Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville.
Proceeds help Habijax continue building homes for folks in need. Call 904-208-6648 for more information.
Judy Smith, President and CEO of HandsOn Jacksonville, Inc., offered this advice if you are looking for Thanksgiving Day volunteering:
-Look around (your) neighborhood (or inquire through (your) place of worship) for people who may be alone Thanksgiving Day and invite them to their family's feast. Reaching out to people who are alone during a holiday is a generous act of kindness, and anybody can do it.
- For others, grabbing some garbage bags and heading out to one of our beautiful beaches or parks is something anyone can do to help make our community cleaner and greener.
- Folks can also do a field day on their pantry for canned or packaged foods that have been disappearing in the back of the shelves or do a Black Friday run on their favorite grocery store and deliver those bags to one of the many food pantries that desperately need stocking for the holiday surge.
-There are formal volunteer opportunities still available for Wednesday with the Salvation Army's Angel Tree project and Clara White Mission's tutoring project.
Descriptions and sign-up information may be found at our HandsOn Jacksonville opportunity calendar.
-Friday, instead of shopping Black Friday, volunteers could head over to the Teacher's Supply Depot to help with a scheduled volunteer project.
-Our Visit from St. Nicholas mega-project culminates next week, and we still need about a hundred volunteers on both Thursday evening and Friday morning.
Volunteers would need to sign up for these opportunities atour web site as well.