Since my family will be out of town this year, leaving me with no set plans, I’ve been sitting here wondering how to volunteer to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving.

After doing some research, I found 3 different places to volunteer in Wilmington, NC.

  • Good Shepherd Center
  • First Fruit Ministries
  • Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

All 3 options look like great choices, but they’re also distinctly different experiences. Let’s dive a little deeper into this so you can pick the opportunity that sounds like the best choice for you.


Good Shepherd Center

First up, we have the Good Shepherd Center. According to their website, they started as a small soup kitchen back in 1983 and grew from there - so they've been around for a while.

More impressively, they had over 500 volunteers last year alone, which is mindblowing when you stop to think about it. As for the experience you'll have volunteering there this Thanksgiving, there is one major thing to keep in mind - you must already be a volunteer in their network in order to serve when the day comes.

So if this opportunity sounds appealing to you, I would sign up right now using the link below so you can go ahead and get approval from them.


811 Martin Street

Wilmington, NC 28401

(910) 763-4424


Sign up here.


First Fruit Ministries

Alright, so the next volunteer opportunity to check out is First Fruit Ministries. Whether or not you're a person of strong faith, this nonprofit looks like a great choice.

They've been serving our local community for the last two decades when founder Rick Stoker felt a calling to help homeless runaway children. Since then, among other things, they've gone on to purchase a property providing housing for individuals and families who are going through difficult life transitions.

In terms of the volunteering, their Food Pantry will be open from 11 AM to 2 PM. Check them out below!


2750 Vance Street

Wilmington, NC 28412

(910)794-9656 Ext. 102


Sign up here.


Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

Next, you've probably heard about Mother Hubbard's Cupboard. If not, they're a little different than our previous opportunities. Instead of providing one hot meal to individuals on Thanksgiving day, they provide a supply of groceries.

This usually amounts to a 3-5 day supply, made up of both shelf-stable foods and frozen groceries. Also, people can come to get these groceries once per month, not just on certain days.

Rather than serving meals, you'll assist the people in gathering their groceries and in checking their information.


315 Redcross St.

Wilmington, NC 28401



Sign up here.


Why Volunteering Is So Important

If you've read this far into the post, it's likely that you already have a desire to volunteer. But I was curious to see if there were any unexpected benefits to volunteering.

Besides the obvious answer that it makes you feel good inside to help others, there were a few interesting things I came up with. The first was making friends, which when I look back I can see has totally been true in my life.

Actually, I met one of my current best friends when I volunteered at a local art camp for kids a few summers ago. The second thing is that volunteering looks great on a resume.

Especially when you're fresh out of college and have little in the way of paid work experience, every little thing counts. Simply showing that you're the type of person who cares about volunteering puts you ahead of more people than you'd expect.

Whether or not your family is in town this year, you can still find an opportunity to give back to your community. It’ll make you feel great for the rest of the holidays, as you’ve fully embraced the spirit of the season.

And if your family is coming to town, give them (and yourself) the gift of space. Check out our rentals before they’re all gone here.