The Thanksgiving season is a wonderful time to reflect on all that we have to be grateful for. One way for making this season extra meaningful is to engage your family in a service project centered on the meaning of Thanksgiving. Involving your kids will not only help out those who could use a hand, it will make your Thanksgiving day one to remember for years to come.
Have a car and an hour or two to spare? Contact your local Meals on Wheels program and help deliver holiday meals to folks in your community. Meals on Wheels prepares over 14,000 turkey dinners, so help bring that food to the table. Sometimes food banks, homeless or domestic violence shelters will also have meal delivery programs on this special day. Be sure to talk to your local organizations well in advance.
If your Thanksgiving is especially fair-weathered, head outside with your kids and pick up garbage around the block or rake leaves for a neighbor. This is a great random act of kindness to help out a friend who is busy or a neighbor who is elderly. This pre-feast activity will spiff up your neighborhood and burn a few calories, revving up that metabolism for a big holiday meal.
For a hands on experience, literally, contact a shelter or food bank and see if your children can volunteer to cook a Thanksgiving meal in their kitchen! No culinary skills needed, just the ability to follow directions. The Salvation Army is a good resource for finding a good place. Often, these places are actually packed with volunteers on this day, so if this is the case, ask if they have other opportunities to help. Alternatively, have your kids invite neighbors who don’t have friends and family around to come to your dinner.
Thanksgiving in a Box
Do you know someone serving our country overseas? Box up a number of non-perishable food items such as turkey jerky, instant mashed potatoes, dried cranberries, and pumpkin spice latte mix and and send it to them. Don’t forget a favorite holiday music cd or candle. These care packages can also be sent anonymously through AnySoldier.com. There is a handy list of wanted items and how to send them.
In the USA, the day of Thanksgiving sees more people running than any other day of the year. Thanksgiving fun runs are happening almost anywhere and will usually benefit a valuable service organization in the community. Get with your family, tie on those running shoes and head outdoors! You’ll be thankful that you did and thankful to enjoy a second piece of pumpkin pie.
These are just a few ideas for a Thanksgiving service project. As you can see, giving back on the big day doesn’t require a lot of time or elbow grease; just a little effort and good will can go a long way. You’ll have a great time with your family helping the community and celebrating the true spirit of this very special holiday.
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