Thanksgiving presents us with an opportunity to reach out to those in need during holidays and beyond. There are plenty of ways to be a helping hand. And as you see here, some are as easy as clicking on a button.
Serve At A Soup Kitchen
Soup kitchens and community kitchens are always extra busy on holidays and they’re a great way to give somebody else something to be thankful for. Of course, remember that these locations also need help (and financial resources) the rest of the year too! So don’t be a one-day-a-year volunteer.
Stock A Food Pantry
Frankly, we’d be surprised if you didn’t overbuy food for Thanksgiving anyway. But it wouldn’t hurt you to pick up $20 worth of nonperishable food while doing your shopping to donate to a food pantry. The number of Americans who struggle with chronic hunger is only rising. Anything you can donate helps.
Help An Animal
While adopting an animal during the holidays isn’t the right choice for everyone, you can help abandoned and at-risk animals in many other ways. Petfinders.com is one resource for discovering how to volunteer with or donate to your local animal rescue organization.
Visit A Local Senior Center or Retirement Home
As the world changes and more people relocate, many seniors are left without family around at the holidays. Brighten an elder adult’s day by visiting them at a senior center or retirement home. You may find a friend for life!
Give an Anonymous Gift
Find somebody in your neighborhood or town that could use a little extra help this holiday season and anonymously help him or her out by paying his or her utility bill, having food delivered or any other way you can ease his or her burden a bit.
Set a Volunteer Goal for the Year
Not everyone has the time around the holiday season to squeeze in volunteerism. Rather than feel non-productive, take some time and set goals for how you want to make a charitable or volunteer impact in the upcoming year. Websites like VolunteerMatch.org provide resources for people who want to help but may not know where to start.
Help Build a Home
Habitat for Humanity, as well as many other smaller organizations with the same goal, tend to have larger holiday-time projects (particularly in areas of the country where weather isn’t a huge factor). Get your handyman (or woman) on and help somebody who doesn’t have the resources for a home to obtain one. It’s life changing.
Invite Someone Over
Know a lonely relative, a colleague at work, a student or neighbor far from home ? Consider inviting them to join your Thanksgiving table.
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