During this season of thankfulness, many of us want to show gratitude and give back. Whether your donation is time or money, you can make a difference in your community. Here are 10 ideas of ways to give back:
1. Many grocery stores have programs that allow you to buy a turkey or an entire Thanksgiving dinner to donate to a family in need. You can also donate many non-perishable Thanksgiving staples, such as canned green beans or cranberries, to your local food pantry.
2. This season also marks a drop in temperature in many parts of our country, which can be dangerous for people who are currently homeless. Go through your closets and storage areas to find gently worn shoes/boots, sweaters, coats, and other winter gear to donate to a local shelter. Also, consider contributing bulk packs of new socks, as this is an oft needed but forgotten donation.
3. Make time to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Whether it is on Thanksgiving Day or not, helping prepare and serve healthy meals is a great way to help those in your community who would otherwise be hungry.
4. Donate blood and help save a life! Go to the American Red Cross website to find out where and when in your community you can donate.
5. Don’t forget about helping the pets in your community! Contact your local shelter to see if you can spend a couple hours volunteering with their cats and dogs.
6. Run in a charity 5k or 10k race. What better way to start your Thanksgiving Day than a brisk run! See if your city or town is having a “turkey trot” or other road race to raise money for a local cause.
7. Invite someone to join your family Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe a coworker whose family lives out of state, or an elderly neighbor. Your meal will taste even better knowing that you have shared it with someone in need!
8. Help clean up your town or city. Show your appreciation for the place you call home by spending a couple hours picking up litter in public spaces or clearing leaves and fallen branches off walkways.
9. Send thank-you or thinking-of-you notes to your loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. Who doesn’t love receiving snail mail that isn’t bills or ads!
10. If you don’t have the time to donate, consider making a reoccurring, online contribution to a cause near and dear to your heart.