Putting the 'Give' In Thanksgiving // Blanche & Thirteenth

Centered around loved ones, food, tradition, and a focus on thankfulness; Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.  Whether it’s the heaviness of this years multitude of naturally occurring and man-afflicted atrocities, or the fact that I’m now a parent (probably both), this season, I’ve found myself even more sentimental and reflective on how truly thankful I am for my life’s many blessings. The hard realization of this reflection  is knowing that what I am thankful for – health, stability, felt equality, etc. – are things that others are battling with.  For this reason, while going into this Thanksgiving season, I find myself not just thinking of my thankfulness, but also of what I can do to bring more thankfulness to those who need it.

For those of you who feel the same way, here are some ideas of at-home volunteer opportunities that you can incorporate into your Thanksgiving day festivities.  I am hoping, and can only imagine, that it will bring a sense of gratitude that will enrich the holiday further.

Share Words Of Love and Support

Set-up a letter/card writing station, complete with pre-made cards/stationary, or the supplies to make your own, and send written support and love to those who are in need of it.  Set out a basket and offer to mail the messages following the holiday.  Here are some wonderful organizations that have done the work to connect you with those individuals who are in need of your words.

More Love Letters – connects you with individuals around the globe whose reasons for needing your supportive words are varied.
Send Kids the World – connects you with children around the world who are battling with life threatening illness and injury.
Operation Gratitude – write a letter of gratitude and support to our servicemen/women to be included in care packages. 

Get Crafty Together!

·Reach out to your local Meals On Wheels organization to see if they are in need of decorated lunch sacks.  If so, set-up an assortment of markers, stamps, etc. that can be used to decorate brown/white bags throughout the day.

·If you’re a really crafty bunch, check out these numerous opportunities to knit items of need (baby beanies, lap blankets, scarves, etc.) 

Collaborate As A Group

Create a community experience by collecting and assembling care packages together.  Prior to gathering together, request that each person/family bring a designated item.  While gathered for Thanksgiving, cut aside time for all of you to assemble the items into care packages.

Reach out to local shelters and/or your local YWCA/YMCA to see if they are in need of such packages, or divvy up the packages amongst yourselves to hand out personally.  Check out this site and this site for tips and suggestions.

I’d love to know if volunteer-minded traditions to share, or if you end up incorporating any of these ideas into your holiday