Family eating Christmas dinner

Source: Ariel Skelley / Getty

There’s more to Thanksgiving than decorated dinner tables and dishes of your favorite food. It’s about showing gratitude, love and being thankful for our many blessings. It’s also about giving back and paying it forward for all the times someone has been a blessing to us. It’s important that we remember those less fortunate always, but especially during the holiday season. If you’re wondering just how to do that, here are five ways that you and your family can give back together during the holidays.

Adopt A Family

Relationships: Family and friends gather for Christmas dinner party.

Source: Pamela Moore / Getty

Sponsoring a family during the holiday season will be sure to bring you and your family great joy. Whether you buy or make presents, donate your time or money, or send a warm meal their way for Thanksgiving dinner, your gift of love will be greatly appreciated by any family in need. Many local organizations and religious groups can help you locate a family to sponsor in your area. The best part? Here are same family-orientated acts of kindness that the entire clan can join in on.

Donate to a Food Bank

US-POLITICS-OBAMA-TOYS

Source: SAUL LOEB / Getty

Your local ministry or food bank typically collects non-perishable items all year, but this is especially true during the holidays. While you and your family are picking out menu items for your Thanksgiving dinner at the grocery store, select a few extra cans to donate to those in need. You’d be surprised… a little bit can go a long way.

Clean Out Old Clothes and Toys

Let's make cookies for Christmas

Source: eli_asenova / Getty

While you’re at your parents’ house for the holidays, it could be a great time to clean out some of your old clothes and toys and donate everything to those in need. Even small children can pick out a few lightly used toys to donate to children who don’t have anything. If you don’t have any old clothes or toys to donate, consider taking the kids shopping for new toys or clothing to donate to a local children’s shelter or nonprofit.

Participate in a Local Charity Event

Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief - Los Angeles

Source: Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand / Getty

During the Thanksgiving season, there are a ton of local charity events that you and your family could participate in together. Inquire about different fundraisers in your area like marathons, bake offs, carnivals and more which raise money to help families in need on Thanksgiving. If you’re unable to pay an entry fee to participate in the event, don’t worry, you could always volunteer your time to the event as well!

Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen

President Obama and Malia At Soup Kitchen

Source: Getty / Getty

Soup kitchens aren’t just in need of people to help and serve food on Thanksgiving Day. They also need help collecting the food, setting up service areas, helping those coming in, making deliveries, cleaning up and more. As you can see, there are a plethora of roles involved in making sure a soup kitchen runs smoothly, especially on Thanksgiving.

You can search for soup kitchens in your area by checking online for advertisements calling for extra people to help. You could also check with a local church, the Salvation Army, Rescue Mission or even your workplace to inquire about nearby soup kitchens looking for extra assistance on Thanksgiving.

However you and your family decide to give back this Thanksgiving, please remember that just showing up and sharing your love with someone in need is enough to bring a smile to their faces this holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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