5 Ways to Show Gratitude This Thanksgiving
This Thanksgiving, as you prepare your menu and make plans to spend the holiday with your family and friends, take a moment to be thankful. So often, we forget to recognize all the good things we have in our lives. Here are five ways to show gratitude for all that we have by giving back to others.
1. Write Letters to Soldiers
While many of us get to spend time with our loved ones during the holidays, thousands of deployed troops aren’t so lucky. This Thanksgiving, why not take a moment to express your thanks to our nation’s heroes?
Several organizations are helping everyday citizens give back to our troops. Organizations like Operation Support Our Troops allow individuals and families to send care packages, letters, and other thoughtful items to those who are deployed or stationed overseas this holiday season.
One of the best ways to show gratitude is to take time out of your busy holiday schedule to write a letter, fill a care package, and say “thank you” to the men and women of our armed forces.
2. Give Socks to the Homeless
If you have enough — a roof over your head, food in your belly, and clothing to keep you warm — you are already more fortunate than many people in the world. In fact, you have more than some in your very own community.
This Thanksgiving, consider showing some love to those who may not be so fortunate. Buy several packs of warm socks (or other warm clothing), and deliver them to local homeless encampments, shelters, or individuals in your city. You’re guaranteed to make someone else’s day — and you’ll find joy in the giving.
If you need some inspiration, check out the Sock It to ’Em Campaign out of Colorado. They have distributed more than 625,000 pairs of new socks to the homeless since 2012!
3. Host a Food Drive
One excellent way to show gratitude is to share what you have with others. Thanksgiving revolves around food, so why not host a food drive for your community?
You can involve your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers — anyone can drop off a few non-perishable items for those in need.
There are food pantries all across America, just like Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano, Texas. With your generous donations, these organizations can help other families have joyful, delicious Thanksgiving feasts, too.
4. Deliver Meals to the Homebound
For senior citizens, those with disabilities, and other homebound individuals, the holiday season can feel particularly lonely. You can help by signing up to make and deliver meals to these special people.
The best way to get involved is to join your local Meals on Wheels chapter. This national organization has affiliates in nearly every community in the country, bringing much-needed food and companionship to those in need.
Deborah, a volunteer at the Meals on Wheels in Allentown, Pa., says this about her experience: I truly enjoy the interaction with my clients. I admire their tenacity for trying to remain living in their homes for as long as possible, some at incredible odds.
5. Help a Soup Kitchen
Many nonprofits offer meals for underprivileged community members. This Thanksgiving, consider serving those less fortunate by volunteering for a soup kitchen or meal service organization. Or consider donating food to help one of these nonprofits.
Many homeless shelters, local community centers, senior facilities, and other locations provide warm meals for their clients. Find one in your community and volunteer your time.
At the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen in New Jersey, for instance, volunteers serve more than 195,000 meals every year to members of the community. Many of the clients would not otherwise have access to regular, nutritious meals.
There are many ways to show gratitude this holiday season. As we prepare for Thanksgiving, consider all you’re thankful for, and then find ways to share your joy with others.