By Tomi Alfonja
Thanksgiving is all about gratitude and appreciation characterized by giving thanks to God, helping others, sharing, and impacting people in general.
Reminiscing over a great feast with loved ones, sharing a warm plate of tenderly roasted turkey, is just one way of the many ways to enjoy your Thanksgiving. But you can do more. You can give back to others and experience the joy that stems from giving. Below are a few ideas on how to meaningfully give back this Thanksgiving.
Help out at a homeless shelter
During Thanksgiving, facilities like homeless shelters are often in need of volunteers to set up designated area, meet and greet visitors, cook and serve meals, ensure that meals go round, and to clean up after the event.
You can volunteer to help out with any of these activities. It’s definitely a good way to give back.
Feed the needy
There are many organizations that deliver meals on Thanksgiving Day. Delivering meals to the needy benefits you as much as it does them. They get to feel loved and you get to experience the kind of happiness only giving brings. Keep in mind that by helping the needy, you also give them a reason to be thankful.
In this choked up world, it’s easy to think that you’re going through the worst there is when in actuality, there are others in worse situations. You get to take your mind off yourself, meet new people and form new relationships.
So, donate your time behind the wheels of sharing food to those in need in your community.
Visit homes for the elderly and disabled
Some do not have family members around or visitors during the holidays. You can take it upon yourself to visit during visiting hours to talk, play, read, or share a simple game or meal with them. Connect and see how much of an impact you’ll make on them. Make sure to make proper enquiries before visiting.
If you happen to have a family member in a nursing home and haven’t visited in a long time, this is a good time to right the wrong by paying him or her a visit. Break the cycle this Thanksgiving. It would mean a lot to them as much as it would free you of some of the guilt you might be feeling.
Participate in a turkey trot
These races are in almost every part of the country during thanksgiving to raise money for the needy. Most YMCA’s hold one every year. You can sign up along with family and friends. It’s also an opportunity to burn some calories (that sure can’t hurt).
Host Thanksgiving dinner
It doesn’t have to be in the house of the same person year in year out. You can choose to host Thanksgiving dinner with members of immediate and extended family.
On the other hand, if you’re invited, don’t just arrive when all is done and ready. You can come early enough to help out with setting up, maybe helping with the cooking. Your efforts are never too little.
Thank your friends
Take note of those who have been there for you through the year. Recall your rough patches and those that stood with and by you. Send them a “Thank You” note, call or even visit them and show your sincere appreciation. After all, it is the season of gratitude. Why not show it.
You can’t go wrong choosing to be helpful wherever you can. Whichever way you finally decide to give back, be assured that no matter how small the gesture, it will make a difference.