INFO / FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Westside Thanksgiving Dinner & Celebration - Thanksgiving Day
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main Street
11am - 3pm dinner | firstname.lastname@example.org | info 310-394-3153
- What do you need for the celebration that I can contribute?
We need lots of clothing, clean in good condition, especially men's pants. We need food and drinks.
We need money to pay a lot of expenses. We need people who can organize their friends and groups to
collect all kinds of donations. We need people to come work with us, especially late in the afternoon/evening
clean-up, post production shift.
- What can I do ahead of time to help?
Start saving and collecting non-perishables: clothing, canned food, dry food, and money.
Donations. We need a few reliable,
well-organized people to help ahead of time (Monday-Wednesday) to transport goods from storage to donation sites.
- How do I volunteer to help?
That's easy! Decide whether you want to work early or late, if you have a job preference, read over the descriptions
and sign up.
- Can I just show up on Thanksgiving Day to help?
We encourage you to sign up ahead of time. Its too big an event to leave things to the last minute. If you can't
sign up ahead of time, we'll still try to fit you in. You can always join us for dinner without a reservation.
- Do you need help before Thanksgiving Day?
Yes. We need help planning and organizing, starting in September. We need help collecting donations starting NOW.
We need your help with transportation and logistics the week of Thanksgiving. We need help loading trucks Tuesday at 4pm.
- What time is dinner served?
Dinner is served from 11am to 3pm. Kids carnival starts at 8am. Medical and Eye Exams start at 9am. Haircuts start
at 9am. Photography at 10am. Clothing sorting starts at 8am. Clothing distribution starts at 11am.
- Who is the dinner for?
Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us.
- Where is the celebration and parking?
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main Street, Santa Monica California 90401.
There is free parking at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
- What do I do when I get there?
Look for the signs and volunteers directing traffic. Donations can be dropped off at the curb in the back of the
Civic. Volunteers sign in at the "Volunteer Sign-In". Be sure to get there early before your shift starts, so you
can park, check in and find your assigned area. Leave non-essential belongings in the car. Please plan to stay
and have dinner before or after your shift, if you can. Most people find that the biggest blessing of Thanksgiving is
sharing a meal with neighbors they haven't yet met.
- Who puts this on?
You do! It's entirely a volunteer effort. Thousands of people just like you have been blessing their friends and neighbors
every Thanksgiving since 1982.
- Why do you do this?
The tradition of setting aside a day for giving thanks as a national holiday has its roots with the Pilgrims and is
uniquely American. The Continental Congress, Presidents Washington, Madison, Lincoln and every president since have
proclaimed a national day of prayer and thanksgiving. We believe that we are merely stewards of all the blessings bestowed
upon us. We believe in showing our gratitude and sharing our blessings with others, and we love getting
together with friends to eat and celebrate. Everyone is invited!
- Who pays for and supplies everything?
Everything is donated by people like you. Thank you!
- Is my donation deductible?
Yes. You can get a tax receipt at the event when you donate. Checks paid to "VFC Westside" serve as your
receipt for taxes. The Vineyard Christian Fellowship is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, and your donations
as such, are deductible.
- Can I help publicize the event?
By all means, tell your friends. To maintain the family, community atmosphere at the event, we don't allow press,
commercial photography, or videos, and we don't promote the event, except to invite guests to come and bring their friends and family.
- Why don't you advertise?
We find that press coverage tends to disrupt the family atmosphere of Thanksgiving dinner. We do this as an expression
of gratitude for our blessings, not as a way to obtain publicity.
- What about bringing children? Can they help too?
Many people bring their children. So many in fact, that we have a carnival in the morning to entertain kids
under 12. Kids under 18 will need to stay with their parents. Some jobs are better suited for children than
others. Children often help their parents on their shift.
- How should I dress?
Dress comfortably, ready to work. Morning shifts are chilly, especially if you're outside. Kitchen workers should leave
jewelry, high heels, purses, scarves, etc. in the car or at home. It's a BIG event, with thousands of people. Don't bring
extra things in that you'll have trouble keeping track of.