Thanksgiving is a national holiday filled with tradition, joy, food and gratitude. Every year, family members and loved ones gather to celebrate and give thanks for what they have, oftentimes giving back to the community by volunteering and helping the needy and less fortunate. Thanks to the power of the Internet today, anyone, anywhere can help raise money for those who are in need. Not only are these 5 campaigns are showcasing the philanthropic power of the world, but the number of contributions from acquaintances and strangers alike truly demonstrates how generous, giving and kind people can be.
Feeding 100 People on Thanksgiving with Jalapeno Mac and Cheese
Sathya Peri, a junior at Bentley University in Massachusetts, started a campaign to feed the homeless and hungry when he found out that 49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table. A viral video brought jalapeno bacon mac and cheese into the spotlight in a negative light, and a group of friends “thought it might be incredibly meaningful to take a negative trending news story and turn it on its head toward social good.” The original goal to raise $500 to make 100 bowls of mac and cheese shattered its goal within days and entered InDemand to continue raising funds for supplies, like socks, gloves, hats and jackets to keep the homeless warm this winter.
“We chose Indiegogo first because it allowed crowdfunding for social causes, we also believed that our campaign could reach a wider audience because of its popularity, and the built in incentives of perks had the potential of giving our campaign more momentum.
I’ve been blown away by the diversity of people from different parts of the country and all walks of life who have come alongside our mission. So many people are looking for an opportunity to make a meaningful impact and our campaign made making a difference accessible. We never imagined that we’d get the attention of national brands like Strideline and Oros to send us socks and jackets for the homeless. It’s easy to feel helpless when an issue is so big and our Indiegogo campaign showed that small solutions matter and it also showed that there is power in numbers.”
– David France, campaigner
Mama G’s Thanksgiving Street Dinner in San Francisco
The Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco, CA is known for its high homeless population. There are several established community organizations that help feed the needy 365 days per year, and Mama G’s annual Thanksgiving dinner has become one that hundreds rely on year after year. Founded in 2009 by Peter Gallotta, Mama G’s Thanksgiving Street Dinner is a grassroots movement of volunteers hoping to provide a nutritious, warm meal to those who need it. Their goal of $2000 goes directly to fund the meals, and any additional funds leftover will be donated to Tenderloin community organizations like St. Anthony’s Foundation, Glide Memorial Church and Project Open Hand.
“We started Mama G’s Thanksgiving Street Dinner out of a real compassionate concern for the health and wellbeing of the Tenderloin community, and wanting to find a way to support a community and people that are often overlooked and marginalized in San Francisco. Our vision of food sharing has always been about bringing resources donated by members of the community directly to the people who need it most, and fostering solidarity in the process. Since 2009, we have served over one thousand people a warm, nutritious Thanksgiving meal on the streets of San Francisco.
Every year we seek to bring more food, more help, and more hope to the Tenderloin community. On Sunday, November 22nd, we will hit the streets once again, and we are actively fundraising right now on Indiegogo to ensure that we can provide a high quality Thanksgiving meal to as many people who need it.”
– Peter Gallotta, Founder & Lead Organizer of Mama G’s Thanksgiving Street Dinner
7th Annual Day Before Thanksgiving Feast in Santa Monica
Once you realize how rewarding and fulfilling giving back in charitable ways can be, it’s easy to start a tradition of doing so year after year. Such is the case for Angelina Burnett, the organizer of the Day Before Thanksgiving Feast at the OPCC Access Center in Santa Monica, CA. This year marks the 7th anniversary of this annual event at which volunteers feed 250 people fresh, locally grown, chef-prepared vegetables and sides as well as home-cooked turkeys. Though the goal of $800 goes directly to paying for food and supplies for the Thanksgiving feast, any additional funds will be donated to the shelter to help house and feed people year-round.
500 Turkeys for 500 Families in New York City
CAMBA, a Brooklyn-based non-profit that provides services that connect people with opportunities to enhance quality of life, wants to provide 500 turkeys for 500 families this Thanksgiving. The CAMBA Flatbush food pantry serves 4,000 people every month, providing emergency food, assistance with public benefit screening and applications, access to community resources and more. However, each November, people hope for a little bit more so that they can provide their families with a Thanksgiving meal. Their goal of $10,000 will help provide 500 Thanksgiving meals to 500 families who rely on CAMBA’s emergency food pantry.
“We’ve been thrilled by our community’s generosity and the support of our sponsor, Ditmas Park Corner. The goal of raising money on Indiegogo for 500 Turkeys for 500 Families is simple: to give the low-income clients of our food pantry a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Come Thanksgiving week, we hope to see 500 families (or more) walk away from our pantry with turkeys and all the trimmings, knowing that this year, they can have the kind of holiday we all enjoy.”
– Joanne Oplustil, President and CEO, CAMBA
Thanksgiving Turkeys for Families in Atlanta
The neighborhood of Peoplestown in Atlanta, GA is home to over 3,200 individuals and has a rich history of community-based organizing and deep social networks. It also happens to be what’s known as a food desert, an urban area without ready access to fresh, healthy, affordable food. Emmaus House, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, wants to raise $3,500 to pay for turkeys and fresh fruit and vegetables for the people of Peoplestown, providing a healthy and hearty Thanksgiving meal for many residents who often don’t get to enjoy nutritious meals. All tax-deductible donations will go directly to pay for Thanksgiving meals that people might not otherwise be able to afford.
Though we’ve only highlighted 5 campaigns here, there are plenty more altruistic Thanksgiving campaigns on both Indiegogo and Generosity. You can join the movement for giving back by starting a Generosity fundraiser for #GivingTuesday.
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving back to launch the holiday giving season. On Tuesday December 1, 2015, people around the world will come together on Generosity to share their support for the causes that matter to them. With 0% platform fees, you keep more money for your causes.