How to Have a Shareable Thanksgiving

article image

This post originally appeared at Shareable.net.

Ahh, Thanksgiving, a day
dedicated to community, abundance and gratitude. In an ideal world, this could
be the theme of every day, but we all know how it goes: life is a fast-moving
train and expressions of gratitude oftentimes get left at the station.
Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to give thanks and to give back. Below are
some ideas for having a community-driven, gratitude-inducing, Shareable
Thanksgiving.

Share Food

Invite people you’d like to get
to know better to share a Thanksgiving meal. How to Host a Stranger Dinner offers advice on how to
organize it.

Put your meal to music, throw a
Thanksgiving concert in your home. How
to Host a House Concert
provides the how-to’s.

Meals on Wheels
serves over one million meals a day to seniors in need. Volunteer to deliver to
someone in your community.

Volunteer to help at a soup
kitchen. DoSomething.org has some ideas on how to get started.

Host a potluck,
Thanksgiving-style. How
to Reinvent the Potluck
provides tips on using a potluck as a means of
planning more sharing and community-building projects.

Some areas have community meals,
open to anyone who wants to spend Thanksgiving with their community at-large.
These gatherings are a great way to meet your neighbors, connect with your
community and share in the abundance of the holiday. Contact your city
officials or search the web to see if there’s a Thanksgiving community meal in
your town.

Share Skills
& Stuff

Have a skill you’d like to offer
to others? This skills-based volunteer program connects those who have
something specific to offer (carpentry, coding, gardening, graphic design etc.)
with those who can benefit from a particular skill-set.

Many homeless people have
limited access to personal care items. This Thanksgiving, Family-to-Family’s Stuff a Shirt for the Homeless campaign is encouraging
people fill a new or lightly-used bag or shirt with supplies including
toothpaste, soap and shampoo. There is also a need for baby bags, with diapers,
wipes and clean clothes. The organization will help you find a drop-off point
near you.

Many are still reeling from the
effects of Hurricane Sandy. Volunteers are needed to help with everything from
clothing and food drives to drywall removal and debris clean-up. New York Cares and the HandsOn Network are two of the many organizations that are
coordinating volunteer efforts.

Help out at a homeless shelter. The National Coalition
for the Homeless
has extensive resources and a database to find a shelter
near you.

Many volunteer opportunities are
based on local needs. Check with organizations in your area to find out what
you can do to help your community with its immediate needs.

Use Thanksgiving as a springboard
into year-round volunteer work. VolunteerMatch connects volunteers with a number of
nonprofits and community programs.

Practice
Gratitude

Thanksgiving is the perfect
opportunity to introduce the idea of gratitude to children. The Imagination Tree has arts and craft ideas to get the
gratitude ball rolling. The UC Berkeley News Center offers ways to
teach kids gratitude instead of entitlement
. How to Teach Your Kid to Share has some interesting ideas
and resources related to sharing, community and abundance.

Take time to think, feel and
express gratitude. Need a prompt? Four Reasons to Thank Everyone in Your Life provides a
great jumping off point.

And Explore
Other Ways to Share During Thanksgiving

Shareable’s How To Share
guide has lots of resources and how to’s on sharing, a number of which can be
modified for Thanksgiving.

Tell us how you’re having a
Shareable Thanksgiving in comments. And enjoy the holiday!

Image by David Goehring,
licensed under Creative
Commons
.

UTNE
UTNE
In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.