Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year for helping those in need. Sharing is what the first Thanksgiving was all about. Pilgrims and Native Americans worked together to share the harvest. Thanksgiving is a time when we prepare for the cold months of winter. Let’s make sure that people in need are taken care of. What’s more important? Stuffing yourself with Thanksgiving Dinner, or remembering those who can’t afford dinner at all?
Donating non-perishables to food banks is a good place to start.
*Think long term storage.
*Some food banks accept fresh foods.
*Donate mostly high nutrition foods.
*Add a few treats for the children.
*Baby Formula is always appreciated. It can be unreasonably priced for some.
Donate personal care items to local shelters. (Non-food necessity items used on a daily basis.)
*Brushes and combs
*Toothpaste and toothbrushes
*Razors and shaving cream
People in the hospital might look forward to a kind gesture. How about something to pass the time with? Adults might like a book to read, or maybe even a puzzle book or hand held game. Children might like coloring books, toys or a stuffed animal. Even a pen and notebook can help to fill the time. Consider buying a magazine subscription for a hospital or hospice.
Clothing of all sizes and types is a wonderful charitable donation. Consider some inexpensive basic new clothing such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, blue jeans, socks and underclothes. What a wonderful gift for a school age child who can’t afford new clothing. “Sponsor” one child or get together with a group of people and help several. Used clothing is fine. Just make sure it’s clean and in good condition. If you wouldn’t wear it, have the same standards for donations.
Newborn babies often go home without essential care items. Some parents simply can’t afford to provide their children with basic needs. Don’t pass judgement. You don’t know their situation. Just lend a hand. Blankets, diapers, clothing, cribs, high chairs, car seats and strollers are some of the things new parents might need. Ask if any special programs exist at your local hospital. If the answer is no, maybe you can start something up yourself.
Medical Bills are devastating to people without insurance. You could start a fund to help defer hospital and doctor bills. Even if you, yourself are impoverished, you can work to find people who are willing to help.
People with special needs often go without. Consider donating a wheelchair, crutches, walker, or even plain old eyeglasses. Imagine being a kid in school who can’t see the blackboard. It’s not their fault parents can’t afford the eye doctor. Schools often know which less fortunate kids have special needs. Just ask teachers or the school principal.
It doesn’t matter what you decide to do, you will feel better when you act in a charitable manner toward those less fortunate at Thanksgiving or any other time.