Most days, the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in Chelsea gets about 50 volunteers, sometimes as much as 70. This Thanksgiving, they will have more than a hundred, all of whom signed-up far in advance. The first-come-first-serve list filled up weeks ago, and the kitchen has had to turn away "hundreds" of prospective volunteers since, says Rev. Rev. Glenn Chalmers, the program's executive director.
Social Security Administration
"Everyone seems to want to volunteer at the holidays," he says.
Spending Thanksgiving serving the needy is a tradition embedded deep within American cultural psyche. A sitcom cliche. A universal symbol for gratefulness. It is a pleasant tradition.
But it also leads to an inefficient distribution of our collective good will.
"with the holidays it's when we get all the media and the volunteers, but we're here all year," says Chalmers.More »