What started out as one man feeding a homeless family in his neighborhood at Thanksgiving has turned into a testament to the power of community. Barry Walker began with a simple act of kindness. Now, 22 years later, Walker and his brother Brent have grown that into Gobble Gobble Give.
Gobble Gobble Give is an initiative that delivers food, clothing and toiletries to those in need during the holidays. The organization delivered over 30,000 meals last year and now has over 10,000 volunteers throughout 24 cities across the US.
Business leaders joined together to offer spaces for hosting events. Local hairstylists and make-up artists offer their services free of charge. Chefs and culinary resources to help provide meals for the homeless. It’s truly a collaboration of giving.
In a 2014 article for the OC Register, Walker said of Gobble Gobble Give, “It sheds a light on the [homelessness] problem in our country. It gets people thinking about the solution rather than the obvious problem.”
What Walker said he’s observed, “The change occurs within the people that show up to help. The parents that bring their children, the busloads of college students that arrive with warm food, the interaction between these people and the people on the street is the beginning of a solution.”
This year, Gobble Gobble Give hopes to serve even more people during the holidays. If you’re interested in donating to the cause or becoming a volunteer you can visit their website to see how you can make a difference in your community and in the lives of others.
Cooking not your forte? Here are other ways you can lend a hand:
Pre-event Volunteer – Follow your local Gobble Gobble Give’s Facebook page for updates about pre-event meetings and ways you can help.
Money Donation – Always needed: funds to buy supplies, run marketing campaigns and pay for permits.
Team Leaders – Lend a hand helping to get volunteers in and out of our venues efficiently, making sure safety comes first.
Drivers – People with cars are needed to volunteer in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and beyond.
Do you own a truck? – If you have some spare time in the days before Thanksgiving, assistance is needed in picking up items for donation and transportation for carrying out other tasks.
Warmers – Are you able warm a turkey on Thanksgiving morning? Let the program know if you have an available oven.
Photographers, Videographers – Connect with the organization (see website links above and below in Sources) if you would like to volunteer your services and create some magic for us.
Donation solicitors – Gobble Gobble Give is always looking for products from local vendors that we can add to our outgoing bags on Thanksgiving. Things like toiletries, clothes, etc. We need people who can get on the phones or ask local stores.