Charities work to fill growing need amid pandemic; How you can help


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created a massive need for help this holiday season, and community groups are coming together to help fill it. But things will look different due to the pandemic. 


Mel Trotter’s annual Turkey Drop will be held Nov. 18, and it will be a curbside pick-up event. You will be able to drop off frozen turkeys for families in need from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Celebration Cinema Grand Rapids North, located at 2121 Celebration Drive NE. 


For Thanksgiving, Mel Trotter and Kids Food Basket are putting together food boxes that families will be able to pick up from local food pantries. Mel Trotter officials say more than 2,000 families signed up for the boxes in the first day they were announced.

There will also be a smaller-scale Thanksgiving dinner for families and individuals experiencing homelessness. Mel Trotter officials say they are still working out the details of that event.


Mel Trotter also has its ongoing Code Blue Drive. They are collecting items like coats, hats and gloves in blue buckets around the city of Grand Rapids. It runs through Dec. 31.


Kids Food Basket is also doing a virtual Gobble Wobble fun run through the month of November and Thanksgiving morning. More information and how to register can be found online


The Salvation Army will kick off its Red Kettle Campaign on Nov. 13. They will still have the physical kettles present, but not as many due to the pandemic. 

They are offering several ways to donate online including Kettle Pay, which allows people to make a donation via Apple or Google Pay. Donors can also create a Virtual Red Kettle, which allows them to set up their own red kettle online and raise funds from their friends and family. 


The Salvation Army will also continue its Angel Tree program this year. In addition to in-store trees, they will offer the option of shopping for toys online.

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