Thanksgiving is about more than watching football and filling up turkey and pecan pie with friends and family. As the name suggests, it's also about being grateful and generous.
Fortunately, there is no lack of charitable organizations in Alabama to put the "giving" in "Thanksgiving" this holiday season.
Here are ten ways you can help in Alabama today:
Still Serving Veterans
Huntsville's Still Serving Veterans (SSV) aims to serve U.S. military veterans and their families by helping them find jobs and transition to civilian life. SSV also has offices in Phenix City and Birmingham.
You can provide a donation on the organization's website.
Feeding Alabama assists food banks in obtaining food and funds to help alleviate hunger in Alabama. Its summer meal program has provided meals to over 3,000 children in Florence, Auburn and Tuscaloosa. The organization is headquartered in Huntsville and receives donations through its website.
Vineyard Family Services' BackPack Buddies
Vineyard Family Services (VFS) is a family resource center headquartered in Pelham. According to its Facebook page, the organization promotes responsible fatherhood and feeds children in need. It operates the BackPack Buddies program in Shelby County, which provides nutritious food to free and reduced meal recipients in public schools to take home to their families.
Currently, VFS is aiming to provide Christmas stockings for Buddies. To participate, you can drop off stuffed stockings, stocking stuffers or funds at the nonprofit's location at Pelham Mall. You can also Venmo Vineyardfamily-services.
The Lovelady Center
Brenda Lovelady Spahn founded the Lovelady Ministry in 2004 when she invited female inmates from Tutwiler Prison into her home. Now, the Lovelady Center in Birmingham provides shelter, food, clothing, life skills, and spiritual guidance to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women in Alabama. It operates two thrift stores in the Birmingham area to provide work to the women it helps and continue to the charity's operating budget.
You can learn more about Lovelady and donate on its website.
Lifeline Children's Services
Lifeline Children's Services, headquartered in Birmingham, is a pro-life Christian organization that has supported children and mothers for 40 years. Lifeline offers a variety of services, not only for mothers looking to choose adoption for their child but also for orphans and even mothers experiencing unexpected pregnancies who still plan to parent the baby.
1819 News featured Lifeline in a long-form feature article earlier this year.
The best way to help is to go to lifelinechild.org or call 205-967-0811.
Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind
Founded before the Civil War, the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) serves over 31,000 individuals of all ages who are deaf and blind every year. It has six campuses in Talladega, including separate schools for the deaf and the blind, and ten regional centers around the state.
You can donate to the AIDB on their website.
Alabama Wildlife Federation
The Alabama Wildlife Federation has over 25,000 members. It celebrates the conservation role of hunting and fishing and promotes wildlife management and protection efforts across the state through education, community involvement and hands-on assistance. Founded in 1935 and headquartered in Millbrook, it is currently the state's oldest and largest conservation organization.
You can learn more or donate to the federation here.
Jace Waters Foundation
The Jace Waters Foundation for Traditional Living in Baldwin County seeks to end the opioid epidemic through advocacy and outreach services. The organization receives its name from Jace Water, who passed away in 2016 after developing an opioid addiction due to a back injury. It provides scholarships and transitional living while raising awareness and supporting families and communities.
The organization celebrated six years earlier this month.
You can help the foundation by visiting its website.
Birmingham-based Glenwood began in 1974 and aims to provide services to children and adults with autism and other behavioral needs. The organization serves over 8,00 families annually with diagnosis, full-time care and outpatient and in-home care and educational services. One of its programs is the Allan Cott School, which serves residential and day students with autism and other intellectual disabilities.
You can learn more about how to support Glenwood here.
Your local congregation
As one of the most religious states in the country, Alabama is home to over 12,000 churches across various denominations. Many of these churches provide charitable services to their communities. You can support these efforts by giving back to your church during the offering or on your church's website.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.