The holidays are a busy time. People are traveling miles and miles to be with loved ones, you can’t walk through the kitchen without being assigned a task, and your one aunt that is always in charge of pie is having to guard them like a watchdog until the family swarms after the main meal (sound familiar?). This year, with all the hustle and bustle (and so much to be thankful for) we wanted to round up a few ways to give back as you give thanks this year.
Simple Ways to Give Back:
1. Cook Up A Smile
When food is so central to Thanksgiving, it’s on everyone's mind. What’s she cooking? What will I make? Seconds of that, thirds of this, and definitely filling our dessert plates to the brim—it’s hard to even think of being hungry after we stuff our faces so fully. It’s important to remember that not everyone is so fortunate, and there are those who haven’t sat down to a warm home cooked meal in a long time. Gather friends and family and head down to your local soup kitchen to ladle gravy or hand someone a hot drink. Trust us, this holiday isn’t just about telling you friends how thankful you are for them—doing more for others goes a long way for everyone involved.
2. Be A Good Neighbor
You know who deals with you 360 days out of the year and they’re not your family? Your neighbors. Be a good one around this time of year by shoveling a walkway next time it snows, signing for a package or minding for a potted plant for a few days when they are out of town. It’s just little acts of kindness that can turn out to be a huge help.
3. Think “Toilet Paper”
Ew—we know. It’s that item you abbreviate “TP” on the grocery list any time you need it and you immediately push it to the back of your mind until you run out. Most donations to soup kitchens or homeless shelters are food-oriented (which is great), but there’s a lot more they need. The most sought-after items are often not edible, but toiletries like shampoo, soap, feminine hygiene products, toothpaste and yes… toilet paper. Call in to check with your local centers first to see what they really need most.
4. Make A Donation
Nonperishables drives are happening everywhere you look this time of year, so add a few cans of soup, tuna or jars of peanut butter to your shopping cart. You may even be able to donate them at the grocery store register, via neighborhood can drives. Another popular donation this time of year is clothing! As temperatures drop, jackets are necessary. If you have any clothes that could still provide a good life of comfort to someone but you haven’t personally used it in years—donate it! Used items can of course go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, but there are also a variety of local organizations that facilitate clothes donations during the holidays.
5. Bring it Back Home
After all, or any, of these selfless tasks we think you’ll be feeling pretty good. Giving back to your community always deserves a pat on the back, but this time we want you to bring it back home. Tell your family how much they mean to you, and think of all the little things throughout the year that they help you with. Offer your overworked brother a few hours of free babysitting, or give your grandad a ride to the doctor’s office. This may fall under the “give thanks” part of this blog, and it doesn’t have to be big. Look around for something you can do just so someone else doesn’t have to and Thanksgiving will be more relaxed for everyone involved.
To learn about how Boulder Clean gives year round, visit 1% for The Planet.