Trendspotting–Volunteering on T-Day

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is shopping like a champ today! $13 toasters, $200 dollar laptops, $30 cashmere sweaters, what’s not too like?? Oh yeah, the insane crowds, long lines, traffic jams, etc. Ehhh count me in anyway, who doesn’t love a bargain?? πŸ™‚

Yesterday I had a nice Thanksgiving with family and am very thankful for my close-knit family, plenty of food to go around, the health and employment of all my family and friends-and also for the opportunity each day brings!
Yesterday I had the well-intentioned idea of wanting to volunteer at a soup kitchen in NYC before going home to LI for a feast with the fam. I had a rough year myself and am very thankful for all my blessings and I really wanted to do something with my time to give a little back. Well let me tell you the good news first–our homeless were well fed yesterday–just not by me!
I started researching places to volunteer about 3 maybe even 4 weeks prior to Thanksgiving Day. At that time, several of the “most popular” soup kitchens, including the Bowery Mission and some others were already “booked.” Some even offered to put me on a “waiting list” if someone cancelled. No, I am not kidding. Only in NYC can someone be “wait-listed” to VOLUNTEER on Thanksgiving. One church shelter right near my apartment told me they had all the volunteers they needed through the end of the year, but could probably squeeze me in one Sunday in January. Another place told me that I could bring some homemade pies by, but they didn’t need anymore volunteers (umm try making a pie in MY apartment, sorry…). Now I know that some people only think about volunteering on Thanksgiving day or Christmas day and it has even become sort of a “cool” thing to do. Many celebrities and athletes can be found photo-oping it up at shelters all over the city on these holidays and that’s very nice and all but I was pretty shocked to actually be turned away from being able to help people. I have no problem helping out any other time of the year and am going to make a committed effort to do more volunteer work in general (and Yes, I will be taking that random Sunday in January for starters!) but I thought starting it off on THANKSgiving would be very appropriate.
I guess much like getting a table at Butter or The Waverly Inn, it’s all about who you know and calling well in advance. I will be booking next year’s Turkey Day volunteer opp. this week–who wants in?? πŸ™‚

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