Staff file photo / Runners take off during the 2019 Grateful Gobbler 5K Walk/Run in Chattanooga, one of several events that raise funds for charitable causes on Thanksgiving Day.

Whether you need help at Thanksgiving or can offer it in some way, here are options to consider. You'll also find ideas for your Thanksgiving meal preparations and just-for-fun exercise options the day after.



— Hope Harvest, a community outreach led by the Change of Status Ministry of Pneuma Christian Center International and R.J. McGowan Ministries, is Saturday. Over the past 12 years, the event has provided Thanksgiving turkeys and gently used clothing to 1,000 families. This year, gift cards to purchase 10-pound turkeys will be distributed at two drive-thru locations: 11 a.m. at Brainerd High School, 1020 N. Moore Road; and 12:30 p.m. at Howard School, 2500 Market St. Donations and sponsors are welcome. 423-855-8226

— Thanksgiving community dinner, sponsored by the Chattanooga Area Young People's Department of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will be served at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul AME Church, 2514 Williams St. Service will continue until 4 p.m. or while supplies last. Donations of gift cards or money orders (no checks) are requested to prepare food baskets for families in need during the upcoming holiday season. 423-421-4688

— Community Thanksgiving dinner will be served Saturday at Daisy United Methodist Church, 9508 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy. Participants should plan to arrive between 3 and 4 p.m. 423-413-7933

— Cranberry Jam, a food drive and concert, is 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday at Miller Plaza, 850 Market St. Love, Peace & Happiness will entertain with Motown and soul music, a free lunch and refreshments will be served (while supplies last) and donations of canned goods, hand warmers, plastic bags, umbrellas and ponchos will be accepted for the Chattanooga Community Kitchen. This event by the River City Co. subs for Gratefull, an open-table Thanksgiving street dinner, which is not happening this year.

— Community Thanksgiving dinner, provided by the Union Gospel Mission, which serves Chattanooga's homeless population, will be served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday at Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd. The ministry also will give away clothing, hats, gloves and personal hygiene items to those in need. Donations and volunteers are welcome.

[READ MORE: See more upcoming events in the Chattanooga area.]



— Turkey Trot: Chattanooga's original Turkey Day promenade will start at 7 a.m. Thursday at the Sports Barn East, 6170 Lee Highway. The Chattanooga Track Club event includes a Kiddie K, 3-mile walk and 8K race, with proceeds benefiting the Kidney Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. $32-$44; $6 for Kiddie K (prices rise Monday).

— Thanksgiving Day 5K takes place at the Greenway at Tinsley Park, 4031 Keith St. NW, Cleveland, Tenn. It includes a 20K, 5K and 2-miler, starting at 7 a.m. Nov. 25. $20-$60.

— Stuffing Strut: This 5K run/walk opens for registration at 7:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day at Chester Frost Pavilion, 2277 N. Gold Point Circle in Hixson. Proceeds benefit Northside Neighborhood House, Soddy-Daisy Food Bank, Dallas Bay Fire Department and Soddy-Daisy Middle School's Jim Wilson Fund. $30.

— Grateful Gobbler, a 5K run and walk benefiting Chattanooga Community Kitchen's Maclellan Shelter for Families, starts at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day at Coolidge Park, 150 River St. $15-$30.

— Chattanooga Hungry Turkey: Packet pickup for this half marathon, 5K, Kids Fun Run and Kids Dash benefiting Chattanooga Sports Ministries starts at 7 a.m. Nov. 27 at Coolidge Park, 150 River St. $10-$50 (free for Kids Dash). chattanoogahungryturkeyrun



Note: See a list of Chattanooga restaurants taking orders for Thanksgiving specialties you can serve at home or that are open for business on Thanksgiving Day at

— Chattanooga Market will host Thanksgiving Market vendors, offering local meats, cheeses, breads, produce and other edibles, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. This is the final open-air market at First Horizon Pavilion, 1826 Carter St. Vendors will move to the Chattanooga Convention Center for Holiday Markets the first three Saturdays and Sundays in December.

— Pie making: The Sweet & Savory Classroom, 45 E. Main St., will offer hands-on instruction for making a pumpkin cream pie and a maple bourbon pecan pie from scratch at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The $80 cost includes two take-home pies.



Tennessee State Parks are offering after-Thanksgiving hikes on Black Friday. Registration is requested, as are donations.

— Booker T. Washington State Park, 5801 Champion Road. From the pool parking lot, a roughly 1-mile hike on Nature Trail, 10 a.m.

— Cumberland Mountain State Park, 24 Office Drive, Crossville, Tennessee. From boat dock parking lot, a one-hour, 2-mile hike on Pioneer Short Loop, 8 a.m. CST.

— Fall Creek Falls State Park, 2009 Village Camp Road, Spencer, Tennessee. From Snack Bar parking area in the Village, a 2-mile trek to the falls and back, 9 a.m. CST.

— Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park. From Benton Falls trailhead of the Chilhowee Recreation Area, 3171 Highway 64, Benton, Tennessee, a 3-mile round trip with a big decline and incline, 10 a.m. $3 parking.

— Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, 732 Stone Fort Drive, Manchester, Tennessee. From the top of the museum, a 1.25-mile hike on historic Enclosure Trail, 1 p.m. CST.

— Red Clay State Historic Park, 1140 Red Clay Park Road SW, Cleveland, Tennessee. Starting at the gazebo, a 3/10-mile tour of the grounds lasting about an hour, 1:30 p.m.

— South Cumberland State Park. From 498 Foster Falls Road in Sequatchie, Tennessee, the Turkey Trot Hike to an overlook on Fiery Gizzard Trail, 9 a.m. CST.

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.