Phoenix, Arizona - Thanksgiving is a time of celebration for families across the country. Thanksgiving also marks a time of year when charitable organizations experience greater need.

This Thanksgiving, as numerous groups and organizations seek to meet increased seasonal demands, they’re also working to provide relief to victims of natural disasters, including the devastating wildfires in California. These circumstances have charitable organizations stretching every resource thinner than years past. Arizonans routinely rise to the occasion to help their neighbors -- and this Thanksgiving, organizations across our state can really use the help. Here are ways you can give back this season:

Midwest Food Bank
Midwest Food Bank’s Arizona Division is partnering with the Salvation Army in expediting relief efforts to those affected by severe wildfire damage in California. Midwest Food Bank has trucks and drivers in-place to provide aid to Californians but does not have enough supplies to both provide California aid and continue to supply food centers in Arizona.  

Midwest Food Bank seeking donations for hygiene kits, nonperishable foods, and other supplies. Monetary donations can also be made online or by text message. Midwest Food Bank, Arizona Division positively impacts the lives of 250,000 people in Arizona as part of their mission to alleviate hunger and provide disaster relief to those in need locally and across the globe.

Items Needed:

  • Hygiene Supplies: Hand Sanitizer, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Sunscreen, Lip Balm, Deodorant, Shampoo/Conditioner, Soap, Personal Cleaning Wipes, First Aid Kit (all items should fit in a 1-gallon zip lock bag).

  • Non-Refrigerated Food Items: Prepared Meals (Mac & Cheese, Ramen, canned stew), Fruit Cups, Milk (12oz or smaller, shelf-stable), Canned Vegetables, Canned Meats, Peanut Butter, Hard Candy, Coffee (instant or small bags ground), Juice Bottles (12oz or smaller).

  • Other: Midwest Food Bank is also accepting donations for other items such as diapers, feminine hygiene items, new socks, and new underwear.

For location and more information about how to help Midwest Food Bank, click HERE.

Vitalant Blood Donation
Blood banks across Arizona are in short supply. Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services, needs blood and plasma donations to provide life-saving transfusions to those in need. Donating blood is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to give back. While blood banks are always looking for donations, incidents of disaster, like the Camp Fire in California, drastically increase the need for blood and plasma donations. 

Before you donate, Vitalant reminds you to:

  • Eat a healthy meal within two hours prior to your donation. Eat a salty snack the day before.

  • Hydrate by drinking 8 to 16 ounces of water one hour before you donate.

  • Avoid caffeine on the day of donation.

Find a donation location in your area HERE, or host a blood drive for your organization.

St. Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul is looking for volunteers to help provide meals to those in need. Their industrial kitchen and five dining rooms serve over 1.2 million guests across the Phoenix Valley. The success of St. Vincent de Paul is made possible by Arizonans volunteering to prep, cook, set-up and serve the members of their community. 

This Thanksgiving, St. Vincent de Paul needs volunteers to help prepare and serve meals. Monday - Thursday 7:30 - 11 AM & 12:30 - 6:30 PM

Learn more and find the dining room closest to you HERE.

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
St. Mary’s Food Bank is 2,000 turkeys short of the 12,000 turkey goal for their annual holiday meal distribution. St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance works hard to provide Arizona families with Holiday Food Boxes, hoping to provide each family with a turkey and traditional Thanksgiving foods for the holiday. 

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance is a community-based organization that works to alleviate hunger while encouraging self-sufficiency, collaboration, advocacy and education across Arizona.  

Turkey donations for Holiday Food Boxes will be accepted through Wednesday 8 AM- 4 PM.

Those wishing to pick up a turkey can do so through Wednesday from 8 AM - 12 PM. 

Donations and distribution will be at both locations: 303 West Thomas in Phoenix and 13050 West Elm Street in Surprise.

Donate and volunteer with St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Salvation Army
The Salvation Army helped more than 276,000 Arizonans last year, providing social services to citizens through youth, family, senior, and homelessness programs, along with disaster services and more. Each donation made to the Salvation Army helps provide opportunities to those both in your local community and around the world.

Donating Goods: Drop off your items at a location near you, schedule a free pick up of oversized items, or donate your vehicles HERE.

Volunteer Your Time: organize a food or toy drive, sort and pack donated items, build furniture for Salvation Army locations, and moreHERE.

Donate Financially: Give directly to the Salvation Army HERE.

Phoenix Rescue Mission
Phoenix Rescue Mission needs volunteers to aid in serving the community’s vulnerable members. This community-based organization works to end homelessness and hunger while transforming the lives of those in need.

As the holidays approach, several of their volunteer positions remain to be filled. Phoenix Rescue Mission is looking for volunteers to help serve the community at food banks and kitchens across Phoenix, provide hygiene supplies for the homeless, host toy drives, and more.

Sign up to volunteer HERE.