7 Ways to Help Out on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks and appreciating the good things we have in our lives. Also important is thinking about those who don’t have it as good.  By helping out this Thanksgiving, students can not only earn community service hours, but more importantly, they can make a contribution to their community and to the greater good. Here are some ways students can help out this Thanksgiving:

  1. Deliver meals to people who need them. Many organizations deliver meals on Thanksgiving.  Meals on Wheels and Salvation Army are two of these organizations, and they have branches all over the country. You can donate time and-or food in your community. Call your local branch to see how you can help.  Hospice organizations may need volunteers to help with food delivery as well.
  2. Run in a Turkey Trot. Burn off those Thanksgiving calories. Numerous races take place all over the country with the purpose of raising money for local charities and other good causes.  Not a runner or a walker?  You can volunteer to help at a Turkey Trot event.
  3. Serve dinner at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. These places often need volunteers to cook, serve and help out at the dinner. The opportunities to help are many including setting up the service area, seating visitors, and cleaning up afterward. Another option is to bring a dish to a shelter which can be served to those who attend.
  4. Send care packages to troops. Donate to Homefront America’s “Giving Thanks to Heroes” program.  This initiative provides turkey certificates to military families to help with their Thanksgiving grocery shopping.
  5. Collect money or food to donate to your local food bank. One in six Americans will face an empty plate this Thanksgiving.  Donate meals and happy memories to families struggling with hunger through your local food bank, for example, through the Feeding America network of food banks. If you raise $39.99, you can purchase a Turkey on the Table kit which “also provides 10 meals for people in need” via a deal with Feeding America, according to the company. You can also reach out to your local food bank to find out which foods are needed through donation.
  6. Visit lonely people in your community. Whether you’re there for a conversation or simply being with others, sometimes there is nothing more meaningful than fulfilling someone’s yearning for connection. Consider visiting a nursing home, veteran association, hospital, or homeless shelter. Be sure to call ahead, as there may be specific hours visitors are allowed to stop by.
  7. Invite someone over. Do you have a lonely neighbor?  Someone who has recently experienced a loss?  A friend with family far away?  If this person is alone for the holidays, invite them into your home for Thanksgiving.  This seemingly small gesture can make a huge impact on someone.

To all students and parents: Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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