With Thanksgiving only a couple weeks out, our minds turn to ways we can give back to our community. Here are a few ideas to get you in the altruistic mindset.
1. Be a driver for nonprofits that deliver meals to people in need. Many of these nonprofits need extra drivers around the busy holiday season (and cheerful delivery people). Grab a friend and go spread some turkey love around your city.
2. Invite a neighbor or someone who doesn’t have any family in town to your Thanksgiving meal. When it comes down to it, what’s one extra place setting at your large table? It will be something for them to look forward to, rather than eating alone.
3. Visit a hospital or nursing home. Talk, sing, perform a piano piece, play cards or chat with residents while they eat. Bring up their favorite past Thanksgiving to break the ice and give you each something to talk about.
4. Deliver a Thanksgiving meal to someone. Perhaps it’s a friend who is recuperating from a surgery or illness (and they can’t attend your meal). Put together a delectable plate and drop it off at their home. If you’re unaware of anyone who fits this description, consider bringing a few meals to public service workers such as firemen, nurses on call, policemen or other workers on duty.
5. This one is a classic. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. But keep in mind that soup kitchens need more than servers to make their meals go smoothly. Be prepared to do a number of tasks (perhaps you’ll set tables, clean up plates, refill food trays, etc.).
6. Run a turkey trot. Most cities sponsor a 5K run/walk around Thanksgiving, with proceeds going to a local charity. Do some online research to find a turkey trot near you.
7. Short on time? Perhaps you’re hosting your family’s Thanksgiving meal and don’t have a lot of spare time to donate this year. Look for annual coat and warm clothing drives around your city. Generally donation boxes are stationed around high traffic areas and all you have to do is drop off unwanted, gently used, warm clothing and know that you’re helping someone in need.