Happy Thanksgiving: The Best Ways to Give Back this Year

By Amanda Thambounaris,
Give back to others this year, and give them something to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving is a time where people all over the world reflect on what they’re most thankful for. In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, many are thankful for their lives and the safety of their loved ones. As another tough year has passed us, especially this one, we must be grateful for what we have and give to others who may not be as fortunate.

1. Donate to a non-profit that helps the hungry

According to AltaVista, a great way to make a contribution would be to visit an organization that will provide food and aid to hungry families, such as Feeding America. Or, you can check out your local food bank and donate items like canned goods, suggested by 97.1 AMP. That way, those in less fortunate will have their own version of a Thanksgiving dinner.

2. Donate a Thanksgiving basket

While you’re out and about shopping for Turkey trimmings, pick up extras to donate to a local organization, such as Los Angeles’ annual Gobble Gobble Give 2012 proposed by AltaVista. The Gobble Gobble Give 2012 consists of volunteers who help cook and deliver meals to the homeless.

3. Hold a food drive

A good way to get together with your family, friends and community to make a difference is to participate in a food drive. According to 97.1 AMP, local grocery stores, banks and convenience stores all have drop off locations. But, you can always set up a food drive of your very own!

4. Volunteer at a soup kitchen

Helping out at a soup kitchen is a wonderful way to give a hot meal to those who need it most. According to Divine Caroline, it is a good idea to call the soup kitchen several weeks in advance to let them know that you’d like to contribute. Not only will you serve food, but you will also pick up donations, prepare food or clean up.

5. Send a care package to a soldier

Whether you know a soldier stationed overseas or not, we all know they are unable to come home and spend Thanksgiving with their loved ones. AltaVista suggests helping a homesick soldier celebrate the holiday by shipping a care package through a group, such as . Treats for Troops. They risk their lives every day for us, we can give them something in return.

6. Hold a Thanksgiving Charity Bake Sale

Almost everyone craves pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. So, give the gift of pie this season and put your culinary skills to good use to sell in advance of Turkey Day!

7. Donate to the homeless

Many of us have been tempted to, and have given, a few dollars here and there to a homeless person on the street. Divine Caroline states that your money will make more of a difference when you contribute to an organization dedicated to providing help for those without shelter, such as the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans.

8. Deliver Thanksgiving dinner to housebound people

Meals on Wheels is an amazing organization that has spent years making a difference among communities everywhere. So, whether you cook it yourself, or pick up a pre-made Thanksgiving feast, bring it over to your local Meals on Wheels, and make their holiday unforgettable.

9. Visit hospital patients

Thanksgiving can be lonely for some hospital patients who have no family nearby or at all. AltaVista urges readers to visit a local hospital and drop off turkey dinners or keep the patients company.

10. Turkey Trot!

Thanksgiving is the one holiday out of the year where people eat until their pants are about to pop. And generally, they pack on the pounds. According to AltaVista, many organizations all over America host Thanksgiving Day runs, also known as “Turkey Trots,” that keep you fit and contribute to a good cause at the same time. You can find your local race and start taking donation pledges for the big day.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



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