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It’s the Season of Giving!

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Show Your Gratitude This Thanksgiving

Whether it’s catching the big game or enjoying a second (third?) piece of pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving is a day to spend with friends and family and express gratitude. It’s also a great time to start giving back to your community. If you’re wondering how you can give back, here are seven great ideas for volunteering, donating, delivering meals and more this holiday season.

Run a turkey trot

Too many yams, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving? Runoff the extra calories with a turkey trot! Usually occurring on or around Thanksgiving, a turkey trot is a great way to give back, exercise, and feel a sense of community. Check online to see where the nearest turkey trot is to you and find out which charities or nonprofits they raise money for. Not sure if you’re up for a run? You can still volunteer by helping set up for the race, hand out refreshments, and clean up. You can also just cheer on your family and friends and give them that extra boost they need!

Volunteer at your church or community center

Show up for your community this Thanksgiving! Check to see if your local community center or church is hosting an event where you can lend a helping hand to, or find the nearest soup kitchen and roll up your sleeves. Get the whole family involved by washing dishes, preparing food or serving plates piled high with turkey and stuffing.

Donate to a food bank

Stock up on extra cranberry sauce, canned corn, instant oatmeal, and olive oil while you’re doing your Thanksgiving grocery shopping and donate to your local food bank. Check to see if the food bank is accepting donations, then fill up a bag or two with non-perishable items to give to someone in need. One way to find a food bank is Feeding America, which distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs in the United States. You can also check to see if they are accepting non-food items like toothpaste, soap or blankets.

Deliver meals to seniors

Let the senior citizens in your town no they are not forgotten this holiday season. Sign up to volunteer or donate to Meals on Wheels, a national organization that provides meals to seniors. You can also volunteer at your local senior center or retirement home and spread good cheer for those who may need a little extra this Thanksgiving.

Send a care package or letter to the troops

Support the troops stationed at home or abroad by sending a care package or a handwritten letter. Since 2003, Operation Gratitude has sent over two million care packages to the troops, as well as first responders and veterans.

Buy from a brand that does good

With Black Friday right after Thanksgiving, you may have already bookmarked a few sales and items you’re itching to buy. This season, turn your online shopping extravaganza into something more meaningful by buying from a company that is socially responsible. Warby Parker, TOMS, AllBirds, and Patagonia are just a few name brands that donate a portion of their sales to nonprofits and charities.

Participate in GivingTuesday

Since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been dubbed GivingTuesday. According to the official site, GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and their world. In 2018, over $400 million was raised worldwide for nonprofit organizations. The idea is simple: wherever you live, find a way to give back! It could be with your own family, a senior center, your workplace...the options are unlimited. Tag your photos with #GivingTuesday to spread the message!

Bonus tip: Give back all year long! Thanksgiving is a great place to start, but local charities and nonprofits need donations and volunteers all year long.

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