5 charitable ways you can give thanks
Thanksgiving is typically the time of year that families and friends gather around the table for a feast. You offer up thanks for the the many blessings in your life. But what if you didn’t have much to be grateful for? What if you didn’t even have a Thanksgiving meal to devour? Would you still give thanks? Sadly, this could be the situation for some of your neighbors, and you’d never even know. This year, seek out those in need and find ways to support them during a season that’s all about love and togetherness. Here are a few ideas.
- Serve a meal to the less fortunate.
Soup kitchens and shelters usually serve a special meal in honor of Thanksgiving, which means they’ll need some extra volunteers. Find a local kitchen that could use your help and sign up for a shift. You could also volunteer with an organization like Meals on Wheels, which delivers dishes directly to homebound elderly people who can’t make it to the store. You might be surprised by how rewarding it is to put your own needs aside and help someone else on Thanksgiving.
- Donate food for others’ Thanksgiving tables.
If you don’t have any extra time to give to a soup kitchen, you can help out in another way. Make sure the kitchen is fully stocked for the seasonal feast by donating non-perishable food items, including Thanksgiving staples like boxes of stuffing and cans of cranberry sauce. Some nonprofit organizations might pack special Thanksgiving meal boxes and ask for specific donations, so keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved.
- Clean up your neighborhood.
Thanksgiving isn’t all about eating. It also presents an opportunity to give back to the global community, including Mother Nature. Take your philanthropy outdoors and arrange a neighborhood clean-up or join an existing event to rid your community of litter and excess leaves.
- Run for a good cause.
The benefits of participating in a Turkey Trot, a 5K held the morning of Thanksgiving, are numerous. First of all, you run off a few hundred calories—wiggle room that you’ll be able to use during the feast later on. Second of all, most Thanksgiving runs raise money for charities via their registration fees and donations garnered by runners. Find a Turkey Trot that contributes to one of your favorite nonprofits and exercise away those mashed potatoes preemptively.
- Collect toys for kids in need.
With Thanksgiving coming up, the rest of the holiday season is right around the corner. That means that some local parents are probably starting to fret over how they’ll be able to afford gifts for their kids this year. Ease their worries when you donate to Toys for Tots or any organization that doles out gifts for parents to give to their little ones during the holiday season.
6 Ways You Can Give Back Like a Celebrity This Thanksgiving [Huffington Post]
10 Ways to Give Back With Your Family This Thanksgiving [Thanksgiving.com]
10 ways to give back this Thanksgiving [Business Insider]