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C.O. charities’ reminder: Need knows no season


Carrots, potatoes and turkey broth.

It’s less than 48 hours until Thanksgiving Day, and Bend’s Community Center is getting prepped for the big feast.

“We have our season volunteers and they’re going to take little teams and we have projects set up that they’re going to do,” BCC Director Linda Heatley said Tuesday.

Volunteers are an essential part in making sure everyone gets fed. This year, as usual, there’s almost too much help.

“We have so many people that want to help, and we’re pretty full,” Heatley said.

The Bethlehem Inn, Shepherd’s House and Family Kitchen have also had to turn volunteers away for “turkey day” — a far cry from most of the year.

“How wonderful it is that so many people want to volunteer that we’d have to say ‘no thanks’ right now,” said Family Kitchen Marketing Manager, Donna Jacobsen.

But these agencies say the need for your help is year-round. Hunger doesn’t know a season.

“We serve seven meals a week, so every day there’s a meal going on here. So it’s not just during the holidays,” Jacobsen said.

“We stress to them that we don’t need volunteers for the holidays — we need them every day of the year,” Heatley said.

Some organizations need more than just help in the kitchen. They need food, blankets, a driver or just a pair of helping hands.

“Currently, right now, we have 250 volunteer opportunities on our website,” said Holly Williams with Volunteer Connect.

Volunteer Connect is your one-stop shop when it comes to volunteering. By logging on, you can find out what organizations need your help.

“We partner with 120 different non-profit organizations, and whenever they need volunteers, they come to us and we connect them with Central Oregon community members,” Williams said.

So whether you want a one-time gig or become a year-round giver, officials say the need goes beyond a holiday tradition.

“We enjoy our community Thanksgiving and our community Christmas, but we enjoy every day, when we see people come in and appreciate the meals,” Heatley said.

For more information on volunteer opportunities, visit

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