Give Thanks by Giving Back

Nov 17, 2016

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we look for ways to demonstrate gratitude to the people closest to us. The holiday season is a good time to give back, but also serves as a reminder about the importance of giving back year round. One excellent way to show gratitude is to look for opportunities to give back to the people or organizations that have given something to you over the years. To get you into the holiday spirit while also tapping into your spirit of service, here are some ways you can give thanks by giving back.

At school:

For many, some of life’s best experiences have taken place at school. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to show your gratitude to all the teachers who have invested in your life and education.

  • Host a school supplies drive
    Help students succeed by making sure they have all the supplies they need to learn. You can arrange a school supplies drive using this guide, which also includes donation ideas. You can also contact your school district or school of choice directly to find out how to make the most effective donation.
  • Help out at an afterschool program
    Help make sure children have the best possible educational opportunities by supporting afterschool programming and tutoring groups. Get in touch with your local school to find out what kind of programs they host, offer to start and lead your own club, or volunteer with organizations like Reading Partners or the Boys & Girls Clubs to help students unlock their true academic potential.

In your community:

In addition to volunteering at local food banks, soup kitchens and homeless shelters, there are many ways to get involved in your community around the Thanksgiving holiday. Many people have a reason to be thankful for community groups or recreational programming offered at a local community center. Maybe you’ve participated in a club, took swimming or art lessons, or you stop by the rec center every weekend to get some exercise in. There are lots of opportunities in your community to give back by helping others enjoy the same programs and facilities.

  • Lead programs in your community
    The programming offered at your local community center is often organized by your town’s parks and recreation department. To get involved, contact them directly and see what volunteer opportunities they have. Most cities put out a program guide so you can have a better idea what you might get involved in and find something you’re excited about.
  • Support an organization
    If, as a child, you took part in organizations like the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, consider giving back to them by volunteering a couple hours a week as a leader. Or, if you want to get the whole family involved, Doing Good Together helps connect families who want to give back with local nonprofits that need help.

If none of these ideas work for you, there are lots of other ways to show thankfulness with service! You can volunteer at other places that are important to you, like your local hospital, food bank, or your place of worship. You can show gratitude to veterans, your elderly neighbor, or even your cat or dog. Think about who you’re thankful for and brighten that person’s day!

Looking for more ways to give back? Check out All for Good for opportunities to give back in your area! 

Robert Montgomery