Thanksgiving is not just a time to give thanks, it is also a time to give a helping hand. This season there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer.

(Note: We are listing some Wednesday activities, as this issue of The Argonaut is being distributed on Wednesday this week, due to the holiday.)

ST. JOSEPH CENTER — While most would consider themselves philanthropically covered performing just one good charitable deed per holiday, the St. Joseph Center in Venice has plenty more to give. After sponsoring Thanksgiving events with the Los Angeles Clippers for their clients on Tuesday, the Center hosts two more activities on Wednesday, November 26th intended to give the Center’s working poor and homeless clients a more hopeful holiday.

In the morning, at the Center’s on-site Bread and Roses CafÈ, the Shanti House, a nonprofit service organization of local yogis, will be funding and serving Thanksgiving meals to the center’s homeless clients.

Later that afternoon, the United Talent Agency (UTA) hosts a Thanksgiving party for the Family Center clients at St. Joseph’s new 30,000-square-foot headquarters. UTA will also be participating in the Center’s Adopt a Family program.

“The best part of working with St. Joseph is the immediacy of helping those in need,” says a United Talent Agency spokesman. “The organization is exceedingly well run and their programs are very efficient, so when agents and other employees get involved, they know they are making a difference immediately.”

Bread and Roses CafÈ and the Family Center are but two of the Center’s ten programs that attempt to, according to their motto, “plant hope and grow lives.” Volunteers and donations are always welcome.

For information on volunteering or becoming a client, (310) 396-6468,

ST. MONICA CATHOLIC COMMUNITY’S THANKSGIVING DINNER — All are welcome at the 29th annual St. Monica Catholic Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 26th, in the parish auditorium, 725 California Ave. in Santa Monica.

The event is open to the homeless, as well as anyone who is struggling with life or feels they need a proper Thanksgiving dinner. According to representative Delis Alejandro, the dinner is “somewhat homespun, with most of the turkeys being cooked in parishioners’ homes and food being prepared all day on site.”

Participants are also invited to pick up cold-weather clothes, toiletries, and other donated articles.

Information, (310) 393-9287,

WESTSIDE THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION — From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27th, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, they’ll be giving thanks and support to community members, with a full day of free services, entertainment, and a hearty traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Other services such as basic medical consultation, clothing distribution, haircuts and basic eye exams are also available.

The event is held especially for community members who need assistance with food and services, but the celebration is open to everyone. No reservations are necessary.

Information, (310) 394-3153.

ONE INCREDIBLE FAMILY — The incredible One Incredible Family nonprofit organization, says “Turkey Cookers Unite!” from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, November 29th, at the Westchester Masonic Lodge at 7726 Manchester Ave. in Playa del Rey.

Cooks are asked to cook their 18-pound or bigger bird on Friday, then bring it to the event on Saturday. Once united, the cooks will prepare over 1,500 Thanksgiving meals as well as 18 “Free-Form Artistic Banners to beautify and brighten up the shelters/facilities,” according to executive director, P.J. Schumacher.

After the meals are all prepared, volunteers will drive the loot to 13 different shelters throughout Los Angeles County, including many on the Westside.

Those who can’t attend the event but are still willing to cook a bird can drop it off at the One Incredible Family headquarters in Culver City.

Information, (310) 313-0123,