As the leaves start to fall and the weather gets colder, October is coming to an end. Many people like to skip over November and jump right into December for Christmas, but I am ready to enjoy the eleventh month of the year. For as long as I can remember, my family has always celebrated Thanksgiving together. Aunts, uncles and cousins from all over join together for the holiday. What makes my Thanksgiving so unique each year is when every person sitting at the Thanksgiving table says what they’re thankful for. Some years it’s light-hearted and other years require multiple boxes of Kleenex. As I think about what I am thankful for this year, I cannot help but realize how fortunate I am. I always have food on the table, nice clothes to wear and opportunities not many others have. This Thanksgiving, I want to take advantage of how lucky I am and give back to my community. Whether it is in a small or big way, I just want contribute. If you feel the urge to give back this holiday season like I do, then continue reading below and check out five ways you also can give back to your community!
Take a few hours of your day and look for ways to volunteer in or outside of your community. For example, neighborhood cleanups, animal shelters and Habitat for Humanity are always looking for help. Just giving some of your time can go a long way. Check out your newspapers, social media groups and through word of mouth for opportunities. If you are passionate about something, create your own event where you and others can volunteer somewhere. Something so simple like serving a meal at a Soup Kitchen can make the biggest difference in someone’s life. You will never regret giving up your time for those in need.
Donating does not always have to be money out of your pocket. Consider an alternative to giving money and donate to places like Goodwill and Salvation Army. Think about current situations when donating. Was there a recent house fire in your neighborhood? Donate old furniture. Cold weather? Donate jackets that you no longer wear.
3. Support Small Businesses
What’s not to love about a small business? Your neighbor, friend or family member could be putting their blood, sweat and tears into something they are passionate about. Supporting a small business gives recognition to the people in your community that are working hard to provide a unique experience for you. Whether it’s buying a cup of coffee at the local shop or a handcrafted necklace from a friend of a friend, you are giving money to something more authentic than a big business.
Find an organization/charity that you are passionate about, get in contact with the right people, and help support them by creating your own fundraiser! Bake Sale, lemonade stand or selling candy bars are all the cliche ways to fundraise for something. Although cliche, they are very effective. While making sales to people, don’t just take their money, but take advantage of the attention they are giving you and inform them about who/what you are fundraising for.
5. Watch the Local News
You are probably thinking, “how does watching the local news give back to your community?” You’re right, simply watching the news on your couch will not make a difference in your community. But, watching the local news will give you important information on events happening in your community. Each and everyday, things are happening in our communities that are out of our control. Putting on the news allows us to be aware of what is happening and can motivate us to go out and make a change!
This blog post was written by Account Associate Brianna Love.