I’ve never really been able to stomach Thanksgiving. Even as an elementary school kid, the hypocrisy and darkness surrounding the holiday was too much for me. I can’t just “shake off” the barbarism, genocide, and brutal cultural conquest that Thanksgiving sprang from, and would frankly rather ruin everyone else’s Thanksgiving with a diatribe about how evil it is, and how the whole damn tradition is rooted in fraudulent history and cultural amnesia. That said, I usually just wind up pissed off at myself for being so well-behaved. Yes, it’s true: I show up for the stupid meal (which I can’t usually eat much of, anyhow), smile graciously, and do everything in my power not to answer, “That I’m not an indigenous American,” when asked what I’m thankful for.
The one thing I can fully get behind (and that keeps me relatively sane) on Thanksgiving is the plethora of opportunities to do something nice for those less fortunate than myself. If you feel the same way, there are lots of options available here in LA. They range from donating canned goods to serving meals to the homeless. Here are a handful to get you started:
Gobble Gobble Give collects and distributes food and items to the homeless, and is looking for donations and volunteers to meet at The Echo, put together and deliver meals to people in vacant lots, empty fields, river bed bridges, freeway underpasses and alleys throughout the city.
There will be a community pot luck in Venice Beach, if that’s your speed. Just cook or buy something, and bring it on over to 1 Westminster Ave. Venice, CA. 90291 from 12 – 2 on Thanksgiving Day. Questions? Email [email protected]
This Interfaith Group in Santa Monica is looking for servers, greeters, food runners, decorators, hairstylists, medical providers, entertainers, prep and breakdown help for their event at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica, on
November 22 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Each year they put together a Thanksgiving feast to feed 5,000 people, and for the past 25 years they have fed, distributed clothing, blankets, and hygiene kits, and provided haircuts and medical attention to thousands in the community. Sign up to volunteer by calling (310) 394-3153.
The Los Angeles Mission could probably still use your help for their huge Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow (Nov. 21), at which they expect to feed 3,500 homeless men, women, and children. Give ’em a call: (213) 629-1227