It can be easy to get caught up in the flurry of to-do lists, prep, and shopping that are so front and center this time of year. This Thanksgiving, we encourage you to start a new tradition: carve out time to share your blessings by supporting those who are less fortunate within your local community. In addition to helping those in need, acts of volunteering and kindness can become a meaningful bonding experience for your family.
Here are 5 ways to give back this Thanksgiving:
1. Visit a retirement home
Taking the time to visit a local retirement home and just enjoy the company of some of its residents can help boost their spirits, especially if they don’t have family nearby or a place to go for Thanksgiving. This is a great activity to involve kids in, too!
2. Find an organization to volunteer with
Choose a cause that’s close to your heart, and get involved. If you don’t quite know your options as far as ways to plug into local volunteer opportunities (or want to try something new!), check out VolunteerMatch.org to get connected.
3. Purchase a donation bag at the store
Next time you’re at the checkout, before speeding out the door to hit the next item on your to-do list, take a quick look around. Your local grocery store likely has a way for you to give back to your community this Thanksgiving, often in the form of pre-packed grocery bags you can purchase for people in need. It’s a quick, easy way to make a meaningful impact.
4. Invite someone to your Thanksgiving
Think about someone in your community who may be lonely this time of year, and include them in your Thanksgiving celebration. If you’re hosting your family’s meal, offer them a seat at your table, or if you’re traveling for the holiday, just have them over for coffee. Taking a few minutes to make those people feel loved and appreciated – especially during this family-centric time of year – can go a long way.
5. Donate warm clothing to a shelter
Are you hanging onto cold-weather clothing items that you and your family no longer need? Consider doing some fall cleaning, and donating those items to a local shelter to make someone’s Thanksgiving warmer and cozier than it might have otherwise been.
photo credit: Lea Jones