DEAR ABBY: Thanksgiving is fast approaching and I would like to share some advice with your readers from someone who has volunteered in shelters for many years.
1. Please do not volunteer on Thanksgiving. It's the day most people volunteer, and there are always more volunteers than homeless people.
2. If you want to make donations, please drop them off a few days before or a few days after. It will allow the shelter time to store all the donations and to take an inventory of what is still needed.
3. Shelters need not only food, but also paper goods such as plates, napkins, toilet paper and plastic utensils.
4. Because refrigerator space is limited, don't bring anything that must be refrigerated.
5. Most shelters pay rent, water, electric and telephone bills and lease office equipment, etc. A check or cash donation is ideal. It's also tax deductible.
If in doubt, call ahead (at least a week in advance) and ask what is needed. -- YEAR-ROUND VOLUNTEER
DEAR VOLUNTEER: Kudos to you for so generously giving your time to help others who are in need. I'm sure my readers will appreciate your insight. Planning ahead and knowing what is needed make perfect sense.