Giving Back this Thanksgiving Season

The Thanksgiving season is upon us! For many, that means turkey, stuffing and all the fixings! While many celebrate the holiday indulging, surrounded by family and friends—and, of course, playing some football—Thanksgiving can be challenging for those who are struggling. Far too many families are grappling with job losses, medical conditions and other challenges that make it hard to put food on the table year-round, let alone during this holiday season. Poverty unfortunately strikes people everywhere, including near your 1500 Locust apartment. However, those whose plates are overflowing can embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving this year by giving back to those in need.


Among the local organizations striving to lend a helping hand to those who are struggling is Valley Youth House. The organization, two blocks from your 1500 Locust apartment, provides a wide range of services for local at-risk youth. Among its programs, Valley Youth House provides an emergency shelter, connects homeless teens with supportive housing, offers counseling, and provides life-skills training, mentoring, substance-abuse resources. Recently, Valley Youth House stuffed more than 4,000 backpacks full of school supplies for local youth in foster care and raised more than $30,000 to support their clients.


So how can you help this worthy cause? Volunteering is easy! There are a number of areas where Valley Youth House relies on volunteers: as mentors and tutors, to help with apartment searches and setup, to oversee outreach to program alumni, as guest speakers and to welcome youth to shadow them at work. The organization also organizes an annual holiday gift drive, which provides gifts for more than 1,000 local youth. Buy something directly from a wish list assembled by the organization or contribute gift cards, winter gear and other supplies. Volunteers can also help sort, package and deliver gifts this holiday season.


If you find that you have a lot to be thankful for this year, consider spreading some of that spirit by volunteering at Valley Youth House.


Valley Youth House

1500 Sansom St.

Philadelphia, PA 19102