Thanksgiving is a special holiday in the United States. It brings families together, reminds us of gratitude, and ends with a festive meal. It allows us to remember our ancestors and how the holiday began, officially in 1941, but has been a tradition throughout the world for many years. I try every single day to be grateful for what this life has given me, but especially on Thanksgiving, it gives you the opportunity to hear about other people’s gratitudes, and what they give thanks for.
Every year, it’s easy to be thankful for what you have, but did you ever think about how you can take this holiday as an opportunity to give back? It’s important to remember those less fortunate, and try to find ways to volunteer or give your time this holiday season.
1. Find a Charity and Donate!
Whatever it is that you care deeply about, find an organization that supports your interests and donate your money and/or time. One organization that I personally care for is a local one called the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MCSPCA). This nonprofit is ran solely on donations and they aim to protect animals. Whether it be saving animals from abuse, enforcing animal cruelty laws or nurturing animals back to health for adoption, this organization is one that I find extremely important to me and my family. Our family adopted our cat from them, and we continuously support them each year! Find a nonprofit like MCSPCA near you, and see how you can help!
2. Send a Note or Compliment to Someone
Discover stories of people who are doing good in the world, and send them some love thanking them for their positive contributions to the world. Send a gift box to someone you love and are thankful for. Add our Thank you candles to give them something that has inspiring words and adds a fun scent! Find a positive person in your neighborhood or community and bake them a pie along with a handwritten letter! Sending a note/gift and giving someone a compliment is good karma and is an easy way to give thanks!
3. Start your own Food Drive or Donate to One
Whether big or small, donating non perishables to those in need is not only a good way to give back, it can single-handedly save lives. See if your child’s school is doing a food drive, find a local food drive organization in your community, start your own food drive in the neighborhood. Maybe raise a contest and have a prize to whomever raises the most food! For those of you who have so much to be grateful for, it goes along way to give thanks and give back to those less fortunate.
4. Support a Thanksgiving 5k Fun Run
Each year across America, this holiday brings many different fun runs that support various nonprofits in your community. Use Running in the USA to find out what is happening near you! Donate to the cause and have a fun and active event before eating your weight later in the day! Remember, being active is another way to give thanks to the body you were given. It’s also very important to stay active during the cold season, as many food-heavy holidays are coming up and the weather may make you feel a little dreary. Supporting various runs and charities in your community helps keep you active, gives thanks, and donates to wonderful causes!
5. Pay it Forward
Whether you’ve been blessed monetarily or are in the mood to give back. Make a microloan to a student or small business in a developing country. There is an amazing organization called Kiva that facilitates these types of donations. You can invest in a small business or a school in an underdeveloped country and the recipient will pay you back in small increments. Once fully paid up, you can take your money back or donate it again to another cause. Continuously donate forever and help change lives!
6. Treat Someone in Need
Many people ignore the homeless on the street every single day. Many of these people have real stories about how they got to where they are, and can be very interesting to listen to! During the holiday season, give a meal to someone on the street or invite them out to eat with you. Hear their story and broaden your horizon or biased you have about the homeless community. Donate to organizations or nonprofits that help shelter and feed those less fortunate. Give back!
While this time of year brings many joyous moments together, remember that not everyone is as lucky as you. Remember to not only give thanks, but give back as well. Thanksgiving can sometimes be misconstrued as a time to be gluttonous and greedy. Fight those biases and find ways to put other people before yourself. It will undeniably have positive effects on your mood, moral and holidays!