As you’re relaxing with family and friends this Thanksgiving weekend, consider yourself lucky. Some in metro Detroit will be hungry, others alone. Think you can’t help because you don’t have money to spare? That’s OK — you can give your time. And in some cases, that’s an even more valuable gift. Here’s a guide to volunteer opportunities in metro Detroit over the holidays — or anytime.

(credit: Thinkstock)

Meals On Wheels

Meals on Wheels groups throughout southeast Michigan are always on the lookout for friendly adults with their own transportation to deliver meals to homebound senior citizens. The meals are prepared somewhere else, drivers just collect them and deliver on a regular route. For some, it’s their only opportunity for a hot, healthy meal. Volunteerism is arranged through your local Area Agency on Aging. Check out a map of the nearest agencies HERE, give them a call and offer your services!

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

American Red Cross

Keep it simple by giving up a pint for a good cause. The American Red Cross of Southeastern Michigan is always on the lookout for adults to roll up their sleeves and donate. Check out blood donation events HERE.

(credit: cskdetroit.org)

Capuchin Soup Kitchen

Volunteers are always needed to serve soup at this Detroit institution that offers healthy meals to hungry people six days a week. Capuchin also runs a youth program and programs to help substance abusers recover. Volunteer help is also needed to clean up the kitchen, mentor children or help with special events. Get volunteer information HERE.

Salvation Army volunteers collect donations to help earthquake victims. (Getty Images/File)

Salvation Army

Whether you want to ring the bell for the Red Kettle campaign, work on a food truck, pack holiday food baskets, wrap holiday gifts for needy families, spend time with a senior or disabled person, sort clothes and home goods — There’s always a way to give back at the Salvation Army. Get volunteer information HERE.

Michigan Humane SocietyCleaning out cages, working at special events, helping with mailings — there are lots of ways to give back to animals in distress this holiday season. Volunteer at the Humane Society HERE.
Also consider volunteering at your local animal shelter, or through animal adoption networks like the Animal Welfare Society of Southeast Michigan in Madison Heights.


Area Hospitals

Cradle a sick infant, visit the infirm, work in the gift shop, or just lend an ear and a smile.
Check out a list of hospitals in metro Detroit and their volunteer opportunities below.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan
University of Michigan Medical Center 
St. John Hospital 
Henry Ford Hospital
Detroit Medical Center 
Oakwood Healthcare System

Gleaners volunteers (credit: gcfb.org)


Last year, Gleaners distributed 45 million pounds of emergency food to over 600 partner soup kitchens, shelters and pantries in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties. They stave off hunger by providing the equivalent of 97,344 meals per day to people who otherwise cannot afford the food they need. Clean and package food, work at special events or do administrative tasks alone or sign up a group of friends! Check out volunteer opportunities HERE.