Over the summer, on one of the few days it rained a lot, I pulled up to a stop light beside a homeless man in a wheelchair. I had no cash, but I was more concerned that he was soaked. Thankfully I had a jacket in the car. I rolled down my window and gave it to him. My six-year-old was in the back seat and expressed how glad she was that I had something to offer. She was so worried. Now, every time we drive by that area, she says, “I wonder how that man is doing and if he is ok.” It’s always rewarding to help when you can, and you might be looking for ways to give back this Thanksgiving.

RELATED READING :: Food Drives in Austin

Holidays can be tough on some, beyond compiling the perfect menu, coordinating family photos, and finding something to wear to the office holiday party. This is the time of year when we all get really, really busy – our brains are running a mile a minute, so even when we are not in physical motion, our brains are never still. My kiddo reminds me to think outside of myself, and my household, to more often consider how others are doing and if they are ok.

We don’t have family in Texas, and this year we aren’t traveling back to Virginia or hosting family members here. I’ve been brainstorming on how I can use some spare time to give back to those that may be having a rough patch in life. If you and your family are also looking to serve your community here are 5 Ways to Give Back This Thanksgiving.

  1. Rally up a few friends and sponsor a meal for a family in need – We all have at least one group chat that is always jumping, right? Utilize that to coordinate supporting a family this year.
  2. Hand out leftovers to the homeless – I love me some Thanksgiving leftovers, but we can only eat so much. Some may freeze them, throw them away or repurpose them in another recipe. Another way to use them is to pack them up in some Styrofoam plates and hand them out.
  3. Invite a single mom to dinner – When I first moved here, an invite to Thanksgiving dinner would have meant the world to me. The first few years, holidays were hard for us. I made my own meals, but my son and I agreed that it just wasn’t the same.
  4. Holidays can be lonely! Host a Friendsgiving specifically for your friends who don’t have family nearby or may be facing a challenging time. Sometimes, during hard seasons community makes all the difference.
  5. Donate to an organization’s Thanksgiving drive – If coordinating any of these other ideas is not feasible, many churches, businesses, and nonprofits are putting things together for families or the homeless community. Grab an extra turkey or some canned veggies to contribute.

It’s easy for us all to overlook the things outside our bubbles. I’m Thankful that my kiddo constantly reminds me to stop and think about others when things get hectic. My children have always had a soft spot in their hearts for feeding the homeless, and I think it’s beautiful! Even when life is not where we want it to be, we are in a position to help in some way, and even the smallest gesture could make a massive difference in someone’s life! We all have something to give, even if it’s just time.

What are some ways your family plans to give back this Thanksgiving?


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