116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
There is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. But while we count our blessings we also should take a moment to think about the fact that the need for help and volunteers to provide it remains great.
Look no further than this past Monday, when cars lined up for hours to receive Thanksgiving meal boxes from Together We Achieve at Hawkeye Downs Speedway & Expo Center in Cedar Rapids. The nonprofit distributed unprepared meal boxes to 500 households. Registration for a second round of meal box giveaways on Friday is full, as is a waitlist.
According to its website, Together We Achieve has served more than 10,800 individuals with 704,768 pounds of distributed food and more than 5,700 hot meals.
Another Eastern Iowa-based nonprofit, the Iowa Giving Crew, distributed 1,200 Thanksgiving meal boxes on Sunday as part of its annual Operation Give Birds.
People are rising to the challenge. But both of these organizations are looking for volunteers.
There are many organizations in our communities that need volunteer help and resources. We’re welcoming refugees and immigrants who need assistance, support and stability. Kids need warm coats and boots to wear this winter. Multiple organizations will be offering opportunities to brighten the holidays for local families.
Homelessness remains a pressing local issue. Housing, food and clothing are needed. Meals need to be delivered to people who must stay home. Sidewalks need to be cleared when snow falls. People need rides to doctor’s appointments and other necessary trips. The list is endless.
So the needs are there, and growing. What’s missing may be you and others. You time and resources can make a big difference in how quickly and effectively these needs can be met.
This is not just a Thanksgiving or holiday concern. Volunteers are needed year-round. But this is the season when the contrast between those of us blessed with abundance and those in need is perhaps the sharpest and most poignant. Community needs are literally a ringing bell greeting us when we enter retail stores.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to resolve to give back.
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