10 WAYS TO GIVE BACK THIS THANKSGIVING
According to Feeding America,
Facts about poverty and hunger in America
Even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children and adults face poverty and hunger in every county across America. In 2017:
- 40 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including more than 12 million children.
- A household that is food insecure has limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life.
- Households with children were more likely to be food insecure than those without children
- 58% of food-insecure households participated in at least one of the major federal food assistance program — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps); the National School Lunch Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (often called WIC)
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the year and be thankful for the many good things that have happened in our lives and that of our families. We then eat and just have a wonderful time amongst ourselves, but we should give more thought to others who are less fortunate.
Look at the statistics above, can you imagine the number of people without food on Thanksgiving Day. If we all play our part, then together we will have a greater impact in our communities.
Volunteering does not have to be just on Thanksgiving Day. We can donate and help through out the year.
There are so many ways to give back, I have listed a few of them to do before and after Thanksgiving Day.
10 WAYS TO GIVE BACK THIS THANKSGIVING
1. Donate to the Food Bank
Find the local Food Bank and donate some canned goods. You can go the extra mile and find out what they really need. Food Banks give out more than just foods, some need personal hygiene items, baby items like diapers etc.
Volunteer at the Food Bank. The Food Bank receives thousands of donated canned goods. Volunteer to help sort the canned goods into categories. This makes is easy to put together a box for people that need them.
Find your local Food Bank through Feeding America.
2. Donate to Charity
For me, giving to charity gives me a gratifying feeling. To know that I am able to help someone makes me feel happy and fulfilled. I involve my children when donating, to teach them the importance of helping others. I believe this will help them appreciate what they have, and grow up to continue supporting different charitable organizations. You can donate to www.feedingamerica.org or to any other organization that provides food for those in need. On the Feeding America website, you can give a one-time gift, give monthly, or organize a virtual food drive.
3. Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
The statistics above states that millions of people go hungry every day. Many homeless people visit a Soup Kitchen to get a warm meal and these kitchens are run by volunteers. Find a local soup kitchen in your area to volunteer. I will encourage you to volunteer as a family, it helps to teach the kids about compassion and not to place the focus on just themselves. I took my children to a soup kitchen once, and they still talk about that experience.
4. Visit a Nursing Home
I was taught growing up to respect my elders and to treat them well. Get your children to participate in any charitable event you plan to be a part of. I have known people to work at Nursing Homes, who tell me that some of those patients don’t get visitors. Take your family to a Nursing and sit and talk to some of the people, play games, sing, or do anything that puts a smile on their faces.
5. Visit a Hospital
There are people sick in the hospital and there are workers who don’t get the opportunity to take off and be with their families. Volunteer if the hospitals needs help, or you can offer to sit with patients to talk, or bring a little gift, if it is ok to do so. As for the Nurses and Doctor’s working, you can take a fruit tray or baked goods to them just to say, thank you.
6. Invite Someone Over
If you know a college student or someone whose family lives far away, a neighbor or relative by themselves, invite them to share in your Thanksgiving Day celebration. It may not seem like a big deal to you but you never know what impact it will have on that person.
7. Support the Troops
There are several organizations that offer ways to give to the soldiers, United Service Organizations (USO) and Any Soldier come to mind. At USO, gift a phone call to home, or contact the local USO division to find out how you can help. At Any Soldier, a list of names is provided, select a name and send care packages to that soldier.
8. Participate in a Charity 5K
There are 5k Thanksgiving Day races that raise money for charity in your local area. I plan to participate with my family in a race on Thanksgiving Day. This will be our first time and hopefully we will make it a family tradition.
9. Clean up the Environment
Many people think about volunteering at other places except cleaning the environment. Participate in a community cleanup. If you can’t find one around, organize a cleanup with your friends and neighbors.
10. Find a cause
If you want to help but not sure where to go or how to volunteer. Volunteer Match makes it easy for volunteers to contribute their time and money. They connect volunteers to causes they are passionate about and committed to.
How do you plan to give back this Thanksgiving? Share in the comments section below.
Hi, I’m Ngozi, I work full time during the day blog at night and in my free time. Join me as I write about saving money, side hustle, getting out of debt, and ways to enjoy the simple things in life.