'Tis the season for gratitude, and we've organized a list of ways to give back on Thanksgiving.
It might have been a year of, uhm, interesting events, but we still have so much to be grateful for. And what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than giving back to the cause you're most passionate about.
Or you can support more than one group if you're feeling extra generous this year.
Here are your 5 options.
1. Show your support for frontline and essential workers
As the threat of the pandemic's second wave looms ahead, give thanks to those who've been braving the battle against COVID-19 since Day 1—and it's been 8 months.
- Look for a local "Feed The Frontlines" or "Feed Essential Workers" program in your city. If you can't find one but would love to start your own, check the instructions on how to bring Frontline Foods to your city. If all else fails, donating pizzas through the Pizza vs. Pandemic program will do!
- Donate personal protective equipment. Check this page for the list of PPE you can donate. Masks are on the top of the list. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, essential workers need better masks. But if purchasing and donating N95s isn't an option for you, search for an organization like MasksOn.Org whom you can give your monetary donation to. Got time to hand sew masks? Learn how to make a fabric face mask and find an organization in your community who needs sewn masks.
Refer to Average Socialite's comprehensive how-to-help list for more ways to give back on Thanksgiving. You can donate blood, donate socks, and even gift healthcare professionals the once-in-a-lifetime helicopter tour experience. And so much more!
2. Help the homeless (including those displaced by natural disasters)
When you think about the people who have no roof over their heads, it makes you feel fortunate despite the fact that stuck-at-home is now mostly your new normal. Want to extend your blessings?
- Volunteering during holidays at a soup kitchen may be tricky in the midst of coronavirus, but there are other ways you can help. For example, you can organize your own clothing drive in your neighborhood—from a safe distance. You can also donate essential items to homeless shelters. Or contribute cash to nonprofits fighting homelessness.
- Put some elbow grease into building or renovating homes through the Disaster Risk Reduction and Response program. If not, get more tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on how to volunteer and donate after a disaster.
That's just for starters. Here are 35 ways to help the homeless—from understanding who they are to pushing for state homelessness prevention programs.
3. Volunteer during holidays by caring for the lonely and elderly
Did you know that older people are more likely to live alone in the U.S. than elsewhere in the world? While this may be okay for others, there are those who wouldn't mind you reducing the loneliness during the holiday season.
- No visitors allowed? No problem! You can still volunteer during holidays and phone a homebound senior on Thanksgiving. Join the Friendly Chat program of Meals on Wheels People, which "aims to provide socialization and human connection for seniors through a friendly chat phone conversation". If they run out of spots for volunteers, don't fret. There are more call-a-senior programs to choose from.
- If you want to take these friendly chats (and your Thanksgiving giving back efforts) to the next level, you can sign up at Meals on Wheels America and start picking up meals at a central location and delivering them to the homes of several seniors in your area. Need more choices? Here are 12 food delivery options for seniors—from prepared meals to groceries.
Find out all the programs of your local Meals on Wheels—it’s different for each city—and see how else you may be able to help the elderly.
4. Don’t forget our furry friends—adopt or foster a pet
Yes, they also need some love, food, and home for the pawlidays. 🐶 If you're passionate about animals but unlikely to be able to bring home a pet, read on for other animal-related activities for Thanksgiving.
- Visit a pet shelter or check if there are Thanksgiving Adoption Events in your city. If you're not able to adopt (or foster an animal even just for the holidays), look for pet food drives and donate cans of cat and dog food for animal shelters and rescue organizations. Want to start a pet food bank in your area? Here’s some vital information you need to know.
- Some cities have already started cancelling their Turkey Trot events. Know what else is being cancelled? Slaughtering turkeys. Popular celebrities have already committed to go turkey-free this Thanksgiving. You can also take the pledge and then symbolically adopt a rescued turkey or sponsor a whole flock.
5. Give back to the environment by having a more sustainable Thanksgiving
How exactly do you say thank you to the environment? Here are several ways to reduce your negative environmental impact. Mother Nature will thank you for it in return!
- When shopping for your Thanksgiving dinner, buy food items that use the least amount of packaging (or at least use packaging made in recycled materials). Ideally, you’d also bring your own shopping bag with you, but there have been concerns about its impact on spreading the coronavirus. Please be wary.
- After filling your belly and there are still leftovers to be had, store them in reusable food containers. Keyword is reusable. Avoid using anything that can be easily thrown away—disposable utensils, plates, napkins, etc. These single-use items are time-savers, yes, but they’re also not-so-good for the environment.
We’ve only talked about food so far. There are still sooo many ways to give back to the environment on Thanksgiving. You may start with these 16 sustainable ideas for giving back.
Now, if you simply want to express your appreciation to your mom, your sister, or your girl friend, gifting them with a pampering session and a new dip nail powder kit may just do the job. ;) We’d love to hear about it if you choose to do this. Share your story over at DipWell's Dipper Club or tag us on Instagram @dipwellnails and use our official hashtag #DoYouDipWell.