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How to give back to San Antonio this Than­ksgiving

Where to give & who it helps

For many families in San Antonio, Thanksgiving will be spent eating delicious turkey, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and football, and spending quality time with in-town relatives. But not every family will be able to afford Thanksgiving dinner this year or get the opportunity to spend the holiday with their families.

If you're looking to give back or get involved with helping local people have a memorable Thanksgiving, we've compiled a list of organizations and businesses who are accepting donations and help.

1. The Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner
Although all volunteer positions have been filled for this dinner that normally feeds more than 25,000 people, there are still opportunities to provide monetary assistance.

You can donate online by clicking here.

The dinner held on Thanksgiving Day is at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, Exhibit Halls C and D. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. for dinner guests. You're asked to enter the Convention Center off of Bowie and Market Street.

An all-faith worship service will be held at 10 a.m. Dinner will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Musical entertainment will be provided from 11 am to 5 pm. 

If you are a disabled senior citizen or qualify as Section 8 and due to physical limitations are unable to attend the Dinner, you may reserve a meal for pick-up or delivery.  All reservations for Homebound Meals must be made in advance by calling 2-1-1. A limited number of meals are available, so you're asked to make your reservations early.

2. San Antonio AIDS Foundation
Every year, the San Antonio AIDS Foundation provides a turkey dinner for their guests and clients. If you'd like to bring your own dish, the foundation at 818 E. Grayson Street appreciates it.

You can also donate to their organization by clicking here.

3. Tre Trattoria Downtown Wine Dinner
When you dine with Tre Trattoria on Saturday, Nov. 23, the proceeds from your dinner will support three local families. "Tre-Giving," sponsored by the Becker Vineyard, is a six-course meal for $75 a person.

For more information on the event and course offerings, visit Tre Trattoria Downtown's Facebook Fan Page.

4. Meals On Wheels  &  Christian Senior Services
Although volunteer positions have already been filled for delivering hot Thanksgiving dinners to local seniors, the organization is accepting monetary donations in lieu of food donations. HEB has donated all of the food for the dinners and the AT&T Pioneers Volunteer Network is providing 1,700 holiday trees for Meals On Wheels recipients.

You can donate online here.

Meals On Wheels is requesting more volunteers for the rest of the holiday season, however. A spokeswoman with the organization said often their regular volunteers go out of town during the month of December, and they need more people to help. To sign up to volunteer, click here.

5. The Great Turkey Challenge 5K
Before you get to the eating, consider getting in some early morning exercise on Thanksgiving Day for the Great Turkey Challenge 5K. The run/walk will help fight hunger by supporting the San Antonio Food Bank. Every $10 generated by the race helps provide a turkey dinner to a family in need this holiday season.

You can register for the race here.

6. Operation Home Cooking 2013
San Antonio families can express their hospitality to Airmen and trainees at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland by allowing them an opportunity to enjoy a holiday meal and family atmosphere through the 38th annual Operation Home Cooking. This program is designed for family participation and not intended for groups or organizations.

Last year local residents hosted 4,796 Air Force members for Thanksgiving dinner.

If you'd like to host an Airman or trainee, you can call 210-671-5453, 210-671-5454 or 210-671-3701. To request an Airman or trainee by name, you must be an immediate family member and live in the San Antonio area. Phone lines will remain open through Nov. 27, 2013, on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit the USAF Basic Military Training Facebook Fan Page.

7. Food 4 SA Turkey Round Up
The San Antonio Food Bank is hosting its annual Turkey Round Up on Saturday, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the H-E-B at 281 and Evans.

You can donate a frozen turkey for hungry families. Turkey donors will also have the opportunity to meet and take a picture with the Spurs Coyote and autographs and pictures with former Spurs players, Brent Barry and Coby Dietrick.

Meanwhile, don't forget to donate extra food to the San Antonio Food Bank during the month of November. The Food4SA campaign to raise one million pounds of food wraps up.

If your local church or organization is hosting a Thanksgiving Day dinner, please let us know and we can add it to this list. Email the news desk at


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