Our service project each Thanksgiving is to deliver a meal to the elderly through Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. We’ve been doing this for a few years now and my kids all agree; it’s the best part of our Thanksgiving.
It isn’t always easy to find a service project around Thanksgiving meals that includes your kids. I tried calling homeless shelters and they all said that they don’t allow children to serve meals though my sister in Torrance, CA has a place that she and her family support every year. I guess you just have to call around.
In searching for Thanksgiving service projects, I found the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. This is how it works:
- Each adult in your party needs to be CORI checked through Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly and that can take a few weeks. If you have a CORI form through another organization, you still need one through the Little Brothers. Once your CORI form is done, you don’t need it for subsequent years.
- We report to Northeastern at around 10:30 am on Thanksgiving Day where the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly are set up.
- We choose someone to visit by location. There are recipients in need of Thanksgiving meals all around the Boston area. We have been going to a low-income elderly location in Boston’s South End for the last few years. Sometimes we get two places to visit within that same building which works out since we are a party of five.
- We go through a cafeteria style line to get the food which is already packaged. Sometimes the recipient needs a meal for special dietary requirements like low sodium so the form we have indicates that. We also collect flowers, a small gift of toiletries, and a bottle of sparkling apple cider to deliver. Note that EVERYTHING is provided by the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. (One year, when they were in need of turkeys, they called me. I wasn’t able to bring them a turkey but I donated $15 so they could buy one.)
- We drive to our location which takes us about 20 minutes.
- We visit with our recipients for about half a hour or so. My kids are usually quite quiet so my husband and I make polite conversation and try to draw them in.
- We go home after this visit. Our recipient enjoys the meal we’ve brought. We go home to cook our own Thanksgiving dinner. We are filled with gratitude for this experience and honestly, it’s something that my kids remember forever. It makes a lasting impact on how other people live, making them grateful for what they have.
The Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly has these kind of meal delivery, visiting the elderly opportunities all year based around many different holidays including St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day and more. It’s possible to return to the person you visited on an ongoing basis but we have not done that. We usually just do Thanksgiving but one year when we were unable to go on Thanksgiving, we switched to Easter instead.
I’m a blog ambassador for generationOn & Hasbro’s Joy Maker Challenge, a part of the Be Fearless, Be Kind campaign and this is a sponsored post. My opinions, as always, are my own.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.