Thanksgiving is just four days away, and you know what that means: it’s time to get the turkey out of the freezer and start thawing it! Time to stack your pantry with all the staples needed to recreate grandma’s delicious stuffing recipe; to set the table with the adorable place tags your kids made in art class; to clean out the guest room for out-of-town relatives. It’s definitely one of the busiest times of the year, as it marks the official start to the holiday season. It’s also a great time to give others a reason to feel thankful too.
Every year, millions of families go hungry on a day when most of us are feasting until we burst. This year, with Thanksgiving coming so close on the heels of Hurricane Sandy, many families are both homeless and hungry. Sandy didn’t discriminate when she tore through the East Coast. She wiped out both massive multi-million dollar beach homes and modest to low-income housing. In some cases, she even wiped out entire communities.
With so much devastation, many families who lost everything are still finding a way to be thankful that they’re at least still alive and together, but with the holidays rapidly approaching, that grateful feeling can turn to depression and anger very quickly. Fortunately, it’s not difficult for just about anyone to get involved and find a way to give the victims of Sandy, or anyone suffering from their circumstances, a reason to feel thankful this holiday season.
Simple Ways to Spread the Thanksgiving Spirit
Foster a family. If you know someone who suffered a financial loss from Sandy, or for any other reason, invite them to be part of your family on the holiday. Most families typically make way more than they can eat on Thanksgiving, so the only cost to you is giving up those hot turkey sandwiches made from the leftovers.
Restock a fridge. Even those who didn’t lose their homes may have lost power, some for as long as two weeks! For those without a generator to keep the refrigerator going, that could mean hundreds of dollars of lost food. Help a family out by buying the basic necessities to create a Thanksgiving feast.
Arrange a cleanup crew. While many homes were left standing after Sandy, they still may have suffered damage from the flooding, falling trees, and high winds. Organize neighbors and friends into a cleanup crew to help pick up debris, vacuum carpets, and restore a little order to damaged homes. Just make sure the homes have been declared safe before entering them.
Harness the power of crowdfunding to raise donations to help those in need. Crowdfunding isn’t exactly a new concept, but in recent years it’s finally started catching on as a way to raise money for both causes and businesses. Talk to everyone you know and ask if they would be willing to make even a small donation to help a family in need. While many people can’t afford to give large amounts, even if 100 people give $10, it would help make Thanksgiving brighter for dozens of families.