How do you share your wealth, even when you’re feeling broke? Although money has its inherent worth, it is not the only thing of value that we can give to help people in need. Time is precious to all of us, and so sharing some of your time can be a powerful and rewarding way to celebrate the Thanksgiving season.
Here are some rewarding opportunities to volunteer during Thanksgiving time:
• Serve meals in a soup kitchen. DoSomething.org recommends searching online for “Soup Kitchen + Your Town Name” to find local nonprofit organization in your area. Many people make time to volunteer during the holiday season, so if you find that shifts are already full, take the initiative by asking what else you can do to help.
• Deliver daily meals. Organizations such as Meals on Wheels have meal-delivery programs nationwide. Ask the group nearest you if you can sign up as a short-term, Thanksgiving volunteer. Delivering meals is something you can do with your kids, and it gives them a chance to participate and adding a special treat for the homebound seniors who see your smiling faces at their door.
• Visit a local pet shelter. Humans aren’t the only ones who appreciate Thanksgiving volunteers. Pet shelters are always delighted to receive donations of canned food, cleaning supplies, toys and other pet items. Even old towels or spare blankets are welcome. Call ahead to inquire about visiting with the animals when you drop off a donation.
• Create Thanksgiving decorations for hospital rooms and homeless shelters. Are you good with a glue gun? Plan a family crafts session to make some simple holiday decorations. How about a cornucopia collage with bright dried leaves or colorful paper turkeys, or tabletop bouquets made of bundled twigs and tissue paper blossoms. Spoonful.com offers a fun batch of ideas. Call a local hospital or homeless shelter to see if you can donate handmade items to brighten a dining area or recreation room.
Finding creative ways to volunteer this Thanksgiving honors the spirit of giving this season. And, demonstrating to your children that giving money isn’t the only way to help others is an invaluable lesson indeed.