Thanksgiving is like a light in the window on a dark night...
It welcomes all...gives a sense of warmth in the cold...and reminds us to share the bounty of the harvest with those less fortunate. If you have a homeless shelter in your city, drop off some old, clean blankets, or shoes that might be welcome to someone whose feet are cold. Donate a couple of turkeys and some canned goods to the food bank for those who can't afford to spend so much on a hot meal. Old socks are always welcome on cold nights...they cover hands as well as frozen toes. I like to go buy a couple dozen pairs of those "one-size-fits-all" knit mittens and donate them to the shelter. Old coats that are just hanging in the coat closet will make someone happy. At our homeless shelter, a gift of $25.00 feeds 30 people a Thanksgiving feast. At our food bank, a gift of $25.00 buys a couple of cases of canned meat and veggies, and a can-opener to boot.
Old clothes in decent shape will help a family in need. Snow boots still in decent shape can help keep a homeless person from getting frostbite, along with those old socks. Gift sacks filled with a comb, brush, toothbrush, toothpaste and shampoo, and scented soap left at the shelter can help someone clean up to look for work. I save wrapped soaps that I get at my condo and hotels and give the entire bag to the shelter. Bags of handkerchiefs, packs of tissues, and even single wrapped rolls of toilet paper are a godsend to some folks.
Giving someone a case of cooked, ready-to-eat stew or chili with pull-top lids is a good thing. I buy fruit and veggies and chili and stew with pull top lids because often, people don't even have a can opener.
Sub for Santa is a wonderful thing, but there are so many people who have learned how to play the system and get on multiple lists...asking for expensive items that they can return to the store for cash. I was stung twice...the only two times my office tried to do the Sub for Santa thingy.
Now I give where I know my offerings will do the most good.
What do YOU do for Thanksgiving? I know we all have big dinners and those who have family try to get together and enjoy each other...but what do you do for your communities and those in need? Share your ideas with us. And have a marvelous Thanksgiving holiday.