Give Back this Thanksgiving Season

Thanksgiving is coming! Like many American holidays, Thanksgiving comes with some complicated historical baggage. Behind the image of warmth, family and food and gratitude, for many lies a long history of violence against and oppression of Indigenous People. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to “celebrate” while also acknowledging our responsibility to understand the day in its historical context.

One way to navigate this is to turn a ‘day off’ into a ‘day on’ and carve out time to help people in our own communities. Some years, Tribe 12 has brought together a group to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day. Since we are not doing that in a formal way this year, we wanted to share opportunities to volunteer on your own with some of our favorite organizations in the coming weeks!


Staff an ‘Our Closet in Your Neighborhood’ Pop-Up Shop
Volunteers will run registration/check out and maintain display tables, as well as act as sales associates, assisting shoppers as they select free items from our clothing shop and food from our farmers’ market stand.

When: Thursday, November 17th @ 11AM to 2PM
Where: McPherson Square Library (601 E. Indiana Avenue, Philadelphia)
How to get involved: Sign up to volunteer or contact Bri Torres, Volunteer Coordinator, at 267.256.2261 or


Distribute food and clothing at Bethel Community Mission
Bethel Community Mission offers a weekly food bag distribution (Thursdays) and community food program (Saturdays). Volunteers help with a variety of tasks including preparing and distributing food bags, cleaning up, breaking down the trash, helping people to their cars with food, as well as clothing distribution, separation, and storage.

When: Thursday, November 24th @ 11AM to 3PM or Saturday, November 26th @ 11AM to 4pM
Where: Bethel Presbyterian Church (1900 W. York St., Philadelphia)
How to get involved: Sign up to volunteer or contact Deacon Grace Marable at 215-228-0328 or


Usher for Lantern Theater Company’s production of The Royale
Set in 1905, The Royale takes inspiration from the life of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight world boxing champion. Ushers are required to arrive at the the theater an hour before the performance for which the are assigned.

When: November 23rd @ 2PM and November 25th or 26th @ 8PM
Where: St. Stephen’s Theater (923 Ludlow Street, Philadelphia)
How to get involved: Apply to volunteer or contact


Food distribution at Feast of Justice
The food pantry is set up to serve guests grocery store style, so that guests can pick out their own produce and dry goods according to family size. Volunteers help with receiving and sorting deliveries and restocking shelves.

When: Thursday, November 24th @ 8AM to 2PM
Where: St. Phillips Church of the Deaf (3101 Tyson Avenue, Philadelphia)
How to get involved: Sign up to volunteer or contact Jayden Doan, Staff Manager, at


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