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Thanksgiving is a time of heart-warming reunions, coming together to enjoy the abundance of the harvest, and celebrating the good things in your lives. Some people spread that joy by giving back to society and helping those less fortunate. These are ways to celebrate Thanksgiving through volunteer efforts.

Donate Meals

There are many locations that welcome donations of canned and boxed food. These non-perishable items can be easily made and are tasty and nourishing. If a donation center is not readily available, people can try sponsoring their own food drives. This raises awareness about homelessness and hunger, particularly in the local area. Food drives offer excellent opportunities to create meaningful events in the workplace, and getting the whole office involved means more food for more people in need.

Help Out at a Soup Kitchen

Thanksgiving is a big day for homeless shelters and soup kitchens. The homeless want to enjoy a delicious meal in a warm environment, and volunteers are needed to cook, dish up, and serve this food. Assistance is also needed in setting up the dining area and the service area as well as cleaning up afterward. Volunteers have the task of greeting visitors and seating them, and can even enjoy some pleasant conversation over a tasty meal. To find an opportunity to serve dinner, call the local Salvation Army, contact local churches, or visit VolunteerMatch.

Visit Thrift Stores on Black Friday

When planning out shopping conquests, pencil in the local donation-driven thrift store. Thrift stores offer everything and anything, from clothing to collectibles and furniture to housewares. If you’ve got too many materialistic goods at home, you can donate to these institutions and offer even more wares for shoppers on a budget. People’s purchases at some locations, including Martha’s Village, provide clothing, food, services, and shelter to individuals in need. It’s the perfect blend of giving and receiving. 

Be a Friendly Presence

People looking to share warmth and kindness as the weather turns colder can visit locals in need. A conversation can be uplifting, and even a quiet, friendly presence can raise the spirits. Nursing homes, hospice homes, veteran associations, and homeless shelters are all options for places to visit and make somebody’s holiday more enjoyable and memorable. Call ahead to find out when visiting hours are, and enjoy a good conversation and great time!